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Features and Benefits of ICF Construction:

Residential and Commercial Applications

Once a structure is built with ICF there is no comparison to typical frame or block construction.  The ICF industry falls into a trap of comparing the benefits and features to typical frame construction, there are no true comparisons between the two.  Both ICF and traditional methods of construction perform the same requirements for most structures, but ICF performance criteria are significantly greater than traditional methods.

ICF’s have one limitation vs. concrete block construction…It requires the application of a durable finish material whereas concrete block can be painted or left bare.

The cost of ICF vs. more traditional methods of construction is typically more for the actual construction, but the cost of ownership of an ICF structure is significantly less than the more traditional methods.  In nearly every documented case of  the cost of an ICF structure, the return on investment (ROI) for the extra construction cost is within 5 years with many showing less than 3 years.  Depending how costs are viewed, ICF may cost a little more or significantly less to build and operate.

What features and benefits do ICF construction have that typical construction methods lack?

Energy related:

High performance R-values

No air infiltration

Permanent performance no downgrading over time

Shifts thermal loading from peak periods

Lower cost to heat and cool

Health related:

No air infiltration means no dust or allergens

No cavity walls for mold, mildew, bugs or rodents

Non-toxic materials

No off-gassing of materials

Structural related:

High wind resistant

Fire rated assembly

Strength is permanent

Will not rot or decay

Resistant to termites (the concrete)

Impact resistant

No maintenance requirements

Comfort related:

High sound attenuating

Enhances steady temperatures

Peace of mind during inclement weather events

Low maintenance structure

May attribute to lower insurance costs

Constructability related:

Design versatility

Energy efficient

Structurally capable

Fire rated

Sound deadening

Quick (depending on installer)

Conducive to Exterior Insulation Finish Systems (EIFS)


Fully code accepted cast-in-place concrete walls

Time tested and proven

ICF construction offers features and benefits for every type of structure.