When it comes to engineering your project, we strive to provide you with a plan for building the highest quality and longest-lasting product for the best possible price. At PSE Consulting Engineers, we engineer your projects with cost savings, durability, and sustainability at the forefront of our minds, and we have found that one of the best ways to achieve all three is by building with insulated concrete forms.
What if we told you that while traditional lumber building might be the most affordable building material, it is also one of the shortest lasting materials you can use to build with. However, there are alternatives, and some of them beat out lumber in every category. We mentioned one of those alternatives above, and now we want to share with you the top advantages of insulated concrete forms.
- What are Insulated Concrete Forms?
- Energy Efficient
- Green Building
- Versatile Design
- Fairly Priced
What are Insulated Concrete Forms?
Initially patented in the late 1960s, insulated concrete forms wouldn’t become common until years later. However, building with ICFs is becoming one of the most sought-after construction methods, and with all the benefits it has to offer, it should come as no surprise – but what are ICFs?
ICF blocks are composed of two thick pieces of foam that allow for easy stacking while keeping a hollow center. Once the blocks are in the preferred design, the builders can fill the space between them with concrete. The completed product is a durable and heavily insulated wall that can withstand nearly anything.
At PSE Consulting Engineers, one of the main things we try to provide our clients with is a plan for an energy-efficient building. Insulated concrete forms are one of the best ways to minimize your energy use. The high R-value of the foam on either side of the wall, paired with the concrete’s thermal mass, makes for an impenetrable combination perfect for regulating the internal temperature of your building.
What good is a building that can’t withstand the occasional storm or gust of wind? Insulated concrete forms make for a solid structure that is strong enough to withstand nearly anything that mother nature throws at it.
Buildings made from insulated concrete forms are known to withstand the strongest of tornadoes, hurricanes, and any other form of inclement weather. ICF buildings also require less routine maintenance than most other building materials, which means more savings. Concrete structures can last well over a hundred years which is over twice what you can expect to get from a lumber home before an extensive remodel is required.
Traditional building methods leave behind tons of waste, and most building owners don’t realize that they will be responsible for footing the bill to remove it all. Insulated concrete forms leave behind far less waste than most other building methods, and what is left over can often be recycled. This means the potential savings of thousands and a much less significant impact on the environment.
Insulated concrete forms can be cut and stacked in any shape for a completely custom building experience. We can accommodate nearly any design ideas you have into your plan for a building that feels uniquely yours.
In addition to customizing the shape of your home, you can outfit the walls with any material you want. You can easily install drywall on the interior walls while the outside can be adorned with the siding of your choice. From vinyl and cedar to stone and brick, the possibilities are endless when you build with insulated concrete forms.
One thing that makes people question the validity of ICFs as a building material is their slightly higher cost to use. However, like any other investment, it is essential to think about the long-term savings of investing in something of a higher quality. As mentioned above, concrete buildings have been known to last twice as long as lumber-framed buildings with significantly lower maintenance costs. When you pair this with the increase in energy efficiency, the price difference is well worth the future savings.
PSE Consulting Engineers ICF Building Design
If you have been on the fence about whether insulated concrete forms are suitable for your building and worth it, we hope this convinced you. Here at PSE Consulting Engineers, we want what’s best for our clients, and we firmly believe that ICFs are one of the best. Contact us today if you have any additional questions about the advantages of insulated concrete forms or would like to request a quote on all of our design, engineering, and construction management services.