Insulated concrete forms (ICFs) are an innovative building product being used more often in the Lower Mainland and should be a consideration compared to conventional framing when building a new custom home in Vancouver, BC. Our Averra Developments Team is a Vancouver custom home builder with experience installing ICF assemblies supplied by local manufacturer — Nudura®.
In this post we’ll share why some clients and professionals we have worked with have chosen that we to build with ICFs.
Exactly what are ICFs?
ICFs are foam bricks, much like interlocking Lego blocks, that are reinforced with rebar and then filled with concrete. The primary use of ICFs at this time are foundations, but also constructing walls, flooring and sometimes even roofs.
Benefits of using ICFs in Vancouver…
In Vancouver, the two main advantages of the use of ICFs include: increased energy efficiency and strength.
On a daily basis, energy efficiency is the most valuable benefit of an ICF foundation. The nature of the interlocking brick system minimizes heat transfer resulting in increased comfort and long-term thermal savings for homeowners. It can also increase resale value of your property and increase your floor space ratio (FSR) of basement space.
Increased strength and stability is an important benefit to Vancouverites because of the seismic activity where we live. ICFs can be up to 10-times stronger than traditional post-and-beam building process and materials.
In addition, ICFs are fire-resistant and transmit less sound than other building materials.
Interesting Fact: The city of Vancouver (COV) has an action plan to become the greenest city in the world by 2020. As part of this mandate, the current COV building code change on July 1, 2014 requires foundations of one and two family homes to have an effective thermal resistance of 3.85, which equals an effective R-value of 22. All Nudura® formed foundations and above grade walls out perform the COV building code based, with R-values of 24 on actual testing done by the National Research Council of Canada.
Is ICF more expensive?
Based on our experience, the cost of the material is virtually the same, or lower than traditional foundation.
When using ICF for constructing walls we have found that it generally does cost more as additional supporting materials and labour are needed, however the time to install is less than forming and framing custom foundations and walls.
Each building project is unique and Averra can provide accurate comparables and pricing of using ICF verse other options for your home.
What to know more about ICF?
For more information about ICF check out Vancouver ICF. They have many interesting videos, cost comparisons, detailed information about product composition, plus much more.
Our Averra Developments Team is a Vancouver custom home builder with experience working with ICF.
Let us know if you have a building project you need help with and want to explore if using ICF is a product you’d like to use.