Benefits Of Using Insulated Concrete Forms In Residential Constriction

955 words - 4 pages

Benefits of Using Insulated Concrete Forms in Residential Constriction

While technology has changed rapidly within the last decade for cell phones and computers, building construction remains the same as it was 100 years ago. Traditional wood frame structures have insulation problems that cause thermal bridging, through which precious energy is lost. These houses have a low thermal resistance resulting in a low insulation value. There is a more efficient way to build a house: using insulated concrete forms (ICF). Despite that technology had been present in the market for a long time, people are reluctant to use ICFs because of higher cost. An ICF structure is an amazing shelter ...view middle of the document...

Traditional wood frame structures have insulation problems and thermal bridging, through which precious energy is lost. These houses have a thermal resistance typically below an insulation value, R-value, between R-13 and R-19 (Blanford, 2009a), while ICF house will provide an R-value of over 30 (Fleischmann, 2008). Unfortunately people are more likely to use conventional materials because they are widely and easily available, and they are recognized by local building codes. However, the significance of the long term energy savings, durability, and fire resistance of an ICF home significantly offset the short term high costs of construction.
With the Earths changing weather patterns, there is a constant possibility of new records of natural disasters. The internet is full of video clips where entire cities are leveled by earthquakes. Hurricanes destroy miles upon miles of coastal communities. Yet after the disaster clears, conventional construction methods are utilized to quickly rebuild. History will inevitably repeat itself, but there is a possible solution for preventing devastations. ICF structures provide excellent protection against all of these natural disasters. ICFs are forms that hold concrete during a curing period and serve as insulation for those walls. It is strong enough to resist high winds and wind-blown debris, seismic forces and abnormal loadings (Blanford, 2009a). Not only are ICF structures an excellent source of protection from the elements, they are also energy efficient as well.
Once the building is erected, the efficiency continues for the life time of that structure. When Shirley T. Fleischmann, and her engineering students built and ICF house in 2006, they installed thermocouples in the concrete walls to measure the core temperature. With the data they gathered, they discovered the house did not require to be mechanically cooled during the summer months. In addition, they...

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