Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF)
Insulated Concrete Forms (ICFs) consist of insulating foam, commonly expanded polystyrene (EPS) or extruded polystyrene (XPS). ICFs can be used to form various structural configurations, such as a standard wall, post and beam, or grid. They replace traditional formwork during concrete placement and curing and remain in place afterwards to serve as continuous thermal insulation and provide backing for interior and exterior finishes.
The foam sections are lightweight and result in varying insulation values depending on the thickness of the panel. Typical insulation values range from R-26 to over R-50, compared to between R-13 and R-19 for most wood-framed walls. ICF walls are designed as reinforced concrete, having high wind and seismic resistance as well as improved acoustical properties.
ICFs allow trade contractors to construct concrete walls without a significant investment in reusable wood and metal forms. Because they use non-biodegradable materials, they are not subject to rot. They can increase the temperature range for pouring concrete to below freezing by insulating the concrete until fully cured.
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