In the types of buildings and homes built with Insulated Concrete Forms you will no longer need to invest in a big A/C unit. ICF homes are conveniently energy saving. You will have no need to worry about spending a fortune on A/C units.
An ICF-designed system will actually cost less since the HVAC (heating and cooling) unit will be much smaller, operate more effectively, and be less costly, in your new home.
If we can reduce our energy bills by as high as 50%, we can also reduce CO2 emissions by the same amount. The world's international Kyoto agreement insists on a reduction of emissions by 50% just to slow down the effects of global warming. ICFs are a part of the answer to CO2 reductions.
A most interesting study was conducted in 2002 at the ORNL Buildings Technology Center to compare the energy performance of houses with ICF and typical wood frame construction. The project included the monitoring of two identical 1094 square foot houses, except for the walls - one had ICF walls and the other wood frame walls with a concrete masonry unit foundation. The sponsors teamed with the Loudon County Habitat for Humanity, Inc. to construct the two adjacent single-story houses in Knoxville, TN.
The houses were monitored for energy use for one calendar year, during which they were unoccupied and operated on identical heating and cooling schedules.
The result - heating system sizes could be 5 to 100% smaller and cooling system sizes could be 3 to 55% smaller.
The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) has published a user's manual for ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 62.1-2010, Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality, and another for ANSI/ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1-2010, Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings. This publication will have details for your contractor, and is located at:
This is an important reference manual - to achieve the total efficiency of ICFs you have to properly size the HVAC system.