Insulated Concrete Form and Foundation supply and installation.
The ICF system below are the primary systems we supply and install
ICF systems are ideal for modern house building Insulated Concrete Forms are also now recognised as an ideal method of construction for hotels, schools and industrial buildings. The ICF system is made up of two high density, fire resistant EPS leaves held between a variable tie systems. Once assembled the inner cavity is pump filled with a concrete mix, this results in a monolithic, high strength, thermally insulated construction with high thermal mass ready for external and internal finishing.
ICF Construction UK Ltd specialise in the supply and installation of Insulated Concrete Forms in the UK.
All of our installers are qualified and professional people certified to install the INSULWALL and IntegraSpec® ICF systems.
What is ICF?
First, ICF stands for Insulating or Insulated Concrete Forms. Basically, these are stay-in-place concrete forms used to build exterior walls of homes or buildings. The forms consist of a middle section, which many times houses plastic webs used to stabilize and strengthen the form that will eventually be poured with concrete to fill all voids. Each side of the form, which will ultimately be the interior and exterior of the walls, consists of insulating material. This insulator is 65-75mm of EPS insulation. So, in the finished product, your exterior walls have a concrete core wrapped with insulating EPS.
ICF systems are most often used for exterior walls only. There are a few reasons for this. First, there is not a need for thick, insulating interior walls. Second, if you want to reconfigure interior walls, this would be a huge chore if your walls were reinforced concrete. There has been a trend, however, in building a "safe room" on the interior of a home or office which is housed by concrete walls on each side. This room can be used for a storm shelter or safe haven like that in the movie, Panic Room.
ICF systems can be applied below or above ground and are ideal for use in multi-story applications.
One common misconception about ICF systems is in how the final product looks. Since ICFs have stay in place insulation, there will be a need for rendering, siding, brick, rock, etc. on the exterior and drywall on the interior in fact no different to standard construction . The final product is a home that looks like a traditional home, if the home builder so chooses to or ultra modern depending on taste.
Standard flat panels
45deg Molded Corners
Tee wall detail
(for forming doors and windows)
SantaFe Cavity Buck
(for forming doors and windows)
SantaFe Cavity header
(for forming doors and windows)
Vertical fastening strip
(in all panels at 200mm centers)
(from 100mm to 250mm)
System spacer extension strip
Brick Ledge panels
ICF Construction UK Ltd
Benefits of ICF Systems to the Homeowner
1 Energy Efficiency - The most common sited benefit of ICF wall systems is that it is superior in energy efficiency. Not only does it keep the cold or hot outside air from coming in, it keeps your air conditioned or heated air from going out. Suddenly, your air conditioner and heater barely have to run to keep your interior air at your optimal temperature. What does this mean for you? You can save 50-80% on your energy bill, depending on the doors, windows, roofing, etc.
2 Strength - ICF wall systems are rated to withstand extreme weather conditions, including tornados and hurricanes. They can endure winds in excess of 140 miles per hour. In addition, they are rated safe for earthquake zones (up to zone 4).
3 Durability - These walls will not settle, crack, warp, rot, mildew, rust of even vibrate when you slam a door. They do not provide food for insects (like wood worm, for example), mould, or vermin.
4 Quiet - ICF wall systems decrease the amount of sound that comes in from the outside by over half. It is the quietest building material on the market.
5 Comfortable - ICF wall systems result in an even temperature distribution throughout the house from floor to ceiling. There is less than two degrees Fahrenheit variation in an ICF home, compared to conventional homes that vary anywhere from five to ten degrees Fahrenheit. According to ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers) points to uneven temperature distribution as a leading factor in people feeling uncomfortable. The "feel" of an ICF home is unsurpassed in comfort.
6 Cleaner Air - ICF systems prevent draft and air infiltration, meaning they prevent airborne contaminants. This is great for a homeowner because not only does it reduce allergens but dust, as well.
7 Environmentally-Friendly - Aside from it reducing energy consumption due to heating and cooling, it also reduces construction waste. Each and every form will remain on the home or building. There is no construction waste resulting from this system whatsoever aside from the small amounts of packaging. So, not only are they a pleasure to you, but they are a benefit to the environment.
8 Fire Retardant - ICF systems can resist fires for up to four hours. Even when it starts to burn, the smoke is less toxic than burning wood.
9 Bullet Proof - Standing behind a concrete wall will shield you from any flying objects, including bullets. Sure, the chances are slim, but this is an added bonus.
10 Possible Premium Reductions - Many insurance companies offer a premium reduction for homes with ICF system walls.
Arguments Against ICF Systems and Rebuttals
1 ICF cost too much – The ICF systems cost anywhere from one to five per cent more than conventional framing. However, with energy savings, waste savings, speed of build and insurance premium savings, this small extra construction cost is paid off rather quickly. Also, costs associated with ICF systems are about the same as "super-insulated" framing or advanced framing techniques, yet ICF systems outperform these other systems in energy efficiency, strength, durability, comfort, and indoor air quality.
2 ICF is limited in build options - Forms are made for all sorts of shapes and sizes. Arches, curved walls, odd angles, etc. are all possible with ICF systems. Also, these walls are great for high ceilings and multi-story applications.
3 Difficulty with extending ICF properties - Concrete walls are more difficult to extend . However there are simple procedures which allow this to be done very easily.
4 The ICF system has limited finishing - ICF walls can be finished with new acrylic render products and many traditional building materials, including brick, rock, siding, drywall, etc. Therefore, you cannot tell the difference between ICF walls and traditional walls.
5 Too air tight – ICF wall systems are air tight but the stability of the wall temperature negates condensation, as with all super insulated homes the emphasis is on energy saving so it makes sense to install air exchangers with heat recovery and/or humidity regulating systems. This allows you to enjoy an allergen-less, dust-less home.
6 You can't build in bad weather - The insulating concrete form actually allows you to build in cold and wet weather. In the UK any temperature is suitable for building these walls. You have no cement to be washed out by rain and as the concrete is insulated it sets without being influenced by the cold. This means there are no breaks in the build schedule. In the UK many weeks can be added to build schedules in traditional construction due to bad weather.
7 Limited floor plan options - You can take any floor plan and exchange the existing wall structure for an ICF wall systems as there is no change to the footprint of the building.