Concrete stained floor over radiant heating
View homes build with ICF
Lightweight and fast forming system-concrete floors, roofs and walls.
Solid concrete construction is a long-term, quality alternative to typical wood- and steel-framed houses that can be built much quicker and a better product. The features and benefits of above-grade, removable form, solid reinforced and insulated concrete construction for residential and commercial owners is as follows:
Faster to Build
Helps shave numerous construction days off a typical home building timeframe.
Fewer subcontractors are needed in this type of construction lowering labor costs and increasing productivity with a smaller labor force.
Improved Utilization and Scheduling
Operations, scheduling and administration becomes more efficient in concrete construction with less labor and fewer subcontractors.
A home is "dried-in" when final concrete lift is complete and allows succeeding trade work to begin quicker so an average home can be completed substantially sooner.
Built to Last
Take pride in building a product that can last 200+ years. Concrete housing is estimated to outlast most typical wood structures.
Use of cast-in-place poured concrete drastically reduces construction material waste including lumber, sheetrock, wiring, and mechanical scraps reducing landfill disposal.
Lower Insurance Rates
Building concrete homes significantly reduces potential property damage and loss during disasters like storms and fire. Insurance premiums during construction may also be lower.
Concrete construction is low-maintenance and minimizes damages during construction. Easy clean-up and pre-move-in prep generates quicker closings and quicker collections. It also reduces builder warranty work after the sale.
Concrete Homes Are Quiet!
Studies have shown that concrete homes are quiet. ICF's (insulated concrete forms) homeowners almost always comment on how unbelievably quiet their new house is. The usual noise is muffled in the thick, insulated concrete walls. In sound transmission tests, ICF walls allowed less than one-third as much sound to pass through, as compared to wood-framed walls with fiberglass insulation. With double-glazed windows and increased roof insulation, you will rarely hear street or airport traffic, all of which disappears behind your ICF curtain of tranquility.
Standing Up To The Elements
In early 2009, budgets are tight everywhere you
look. Like everyone else, colleges are getting squeezed for funding. Yet
that doesn’t mean their need for additional dormitory or recreational
space goes away. What it does mean is that college administrators and
other building owners are even more critical of assessing new projects to
make sure they’re getting the most value for their investment.
Circumstances such as the credit crunch can actually improve new projects,
whether that’s increased design creativity or efficiency of construction
or building operations. That’s what happened at North Central College (NCC)
in suburban Naperville, Illinois. When NCC was faced with a choice between
building more student housing or a new track facility, they decided to
build them both under one roof.
Exterior appearances aside, the real beauty is the highly engineered concrete sandwich panels, which provide rugged, durable surfaces for both walls and floors inside and out. Exterior walls are fire resistant and can withstand an F5 tornado (intensity rating termed “incredible” with winds from 261 – 318 mph). A 2-1/2 in. concrete face on either side is held together with regularly spaced steel trusses. Following a two-step casting process, the resulting 3-in. void between panels is injected with a bio-based insulating foam (polyisocyanurate from soybean or castor oil). This gives the panels superior energy efficiency; finished walls are rated at about R 19. And the exposed concrete provides thermal mass inside, and mass walls are great for soundproofing. Next-door neighbors may like it warmer or cooler, louder or quieter than each other, but the insulated concrete panels means they can both have it just the way they like it.
Although the production process of the panels is
highly automated, workers do make final adjustments so that tight quality
control is achieved for thickness and other dimensions. This allows panels
to be erected quickly at the site with only a minimum of field
adjustments. Solid, high-quality concrete construction built with an
efficient use of labor makes for cost effective structures.
The building contains many exciting energy
features from top to bottom and in between. The roof will be a white
membrane to reduce heat island effect. Down below, geothermal loops will
capture the earth’s heat and bring it inside. Before being deposited into
sewers, waste water will transfer its warmth to incoming water lines,
lessening the energy required to heat clean water. Inside, the plumbing
fixtures are low-flow and there’s no irrigation system, so the building’s
total water use is reduced compared to conventional construction. Each
room has its own thermostat and lighting controls for comfort and
efficiency and all windows are energy efficient. As a result, the envelope
is tight (has low air infiltration). Radiant heating, high velocity air
conditioning, and heat recovery ventilators (HRVs) improve energy
efficiency so that the structure is 40%- 50% more energy efficient than
standard wood construction. The building is rated at Energy Star 5+ level.
Other green features related to the building are aimed at reducing
traffic, like a car- and bike-sharing program. This all adds up to a
guaranteed LEED™ Silver rating for NCC Res/Rec, with a potential for Gold
when all the numbers are finalized.
Click on the pictures below to get a quick overview of a typical panelized project.
ICF Vertical Wall