ICF wall systems can be clad with traditional material such as siding, stucco, brick and stone on the exterior wall surfaces. ICF walls, which are concrete walls with foam insulation, are structurally much stronger than wood frame walls.
The Construction of an ICF Home
Some of the basic tools for constructing ICF walls include a table or miter saw, a regular hammer, level strings, a movable scaffold system, standard framing lumber, mortar mix and a concrete pump.
The thickness of the ICF walls requires proactive planning for the doors and windows, as the depth must be considered.
The time to construct an ICF versus a wood frame house has been measured in several studies, and the ICF foundation walls were completed in less time than wood frame homes.
ICF building systems are comprised of large polystyrene blocks that lock together to form a mold into which concrete is poured to form the wall structure of the home. Each polystyrene block comprises two pieces of insulation joined together by plastic straps. Once assembled together with all of the other ICF blocks they form an inner wall of insulation and an outer wall with a
When all of the ICF blocks are joined, they look like a traditional cavity wall made from polystyrene. Once assembled the void is filled with concrete to form the wall structure.
Shutters are installed to brace the polystyrene as it would burst under the pressure of the concrete if unsupported. Once completed the finished wall is virtually the opposite of a traditional block cavity wall as it has a core of concrete where the insulation would be in a traditional wall, and a layer of insulation to the inside and outside where the block work would be on a traditional
And you'll find that because ICF walls are so strong, it opens up an entirely new world of possibilities of design options.