Home buyers are looking to get more for their money when it comes to buying new homes. They are looking for quality construction, comfort and looks, strength and lower utility bills/ energy bills.
Homes constructed with ICFs (Insulated Concrete Forms), are homes built with a super insulated concrete shell, which spans from the basement floor to the eaves. This superior, insulated shell makes for more comfortable climates. These homes can be constructed more quickly while using much less lumber, helping to preserve forests. When finished, these homes use 40% – 60% less energy to operate, saving homeowners money. By consuming less energy, ICF homes put less of a demand on our environment’s quickly dwindling fossil fuels.
The concrete walls of an ICF home have high thermal mass, which act as a buffer between the interior of a home and the extreme outdoor temperature 24-hours a day.
This reduces both peak and total heating and cooling loads.
A Healthier Home : On average, we spend an amazing 90% of our time indoors, yet inside air can be ten times more polluted than outdoor air. Unhealthy air inside can pose serious health risks such as cancer and respiratory ailments like asthma. Properly ventilated green ICF homes can have far fewer problems with mold or mildew and the fresh air inside will keep your family breathing easy.
The combination of high R-values, low air infiltration, and high thermal mass is believed to account for the amazing 25% to 60% energy savings of ICF versus wood or steel-framed homes.
ICF homes have a strong reputation for maintaining an even temperature. The reason for this is because of a phenomenon called thermal mass. Thermal mass can be best described as “having the ability to retain heat and give heat when necessary”. In ICF homes, temperatures vary from floor to ceiling 1-2 degrees F. In traditional framed homes, variances are 5-10 degrees. Because of the evenness in indoor climate, ICF homes have no drafts or hotspots.
There is little to no air infiltration within these homes, resulting in a substantial decrease in dust, bugs, pollen and disease in general. Because of an ICF home is so airtight, an air exchange system is required. These systems can filter and regulate heat and humidity more efficiently than traditional systems.
Compared to regular stick-frames homes, ICF homes cost an average of 10% more then conventional construction.