Articles written by industry experts.
Published: March 26, 2018
Once a structure is built with ICF there is no comparison to typical frame or block construction. The ICF industry falls into a trap of comparing the benefits and features to typical frame construction, there are no true comparisons between the two. Both ICF and traditional methods of construction perform the same requirements for most structures, but ICF performance criteria are significantly greater than traditional methods.
ICF’s have one limitation vs. concrete block construction…It requires the application of a durable finish material whereas concrete block can be painted or left bare.
The cost of ICF vs. more traditional methods of construction is typically more for the actual construction, but the cost of ownership of an ICF structure is significantly less than the more traditional methods. In nearly every documented case of the cost of an ICF structure, the return on investment (ROI) for the extra construction cost is within 5 years with many showing less than 3 years. Depending how costs are viewed, ICF may cost a little more or significantly less to build and operate.
High performance R-values
No air infiltration
Permanent performance no downgrading over time
Shifts thermal loading from peak periods
Lower cost to heat and cool
No air infiltration means no dust or allergens
No cavity walls for mold, mildew, bugs or rodents
No off-gassing of materials
High wind resistant
Fire rated assembly
Strength is permanent
Will not rot or decay
Resistant to termites (the concrete)
No maintenance requirements
High sound attenuating
Enhances steady temperatures
Peace of mind during inclement weather events
Low maintenance structure
May attribute to lower insurance costs
Quick (depending on installer)
Conducive to Exterior Insulation Finish Systems (EIFS)
Fully code accepted cast-in-place concrete walls
Time tested and proven