What are Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF)?

Insulating concrete forms (ICFs), are forms used to hold fresh concrete that remains in place permanently to provide insulation for the structure they enclose. After World War II, blocks of treated wood fibers held together by cement were used in Switzerland. In the 1940s and 1950s, chemical companies developed plastic foams, which by the 1960s allowed a Canadian inventor to develop a foam block that resembles today’s typical ICFs. Europeans were developing similar products around the same time.

The Benefits of Insulated Concrete Forms

Insulating concrete forms (ICFs) result in cast-in-place concrete walls that are sandwiched between two layers of insulation material. These alternative building systems are strong and energy-efficient, and traditional finishes are applied to interior and exterior faces, so the buildings and rooms can have all of the modern wall treatments and other amenities that homeowners love in their dream homes.

These products also attract homeowners because they provide:

  • Strong Walls

  • Disaster resistance and safety

  • Mold, rot, mildew, and insect resistance (below grade can still require termite protection)

  • Sound-blocking ability

  • Overall comfort

  • Energy efficiency and resultant cost savings

  • Built-in thermal insulative qualities equal to an R-40 insulated frame wall

  • Hurricane resistance — 700% stronger than a 2X6 frame with 1/2-inch shear wall

  • 4 hour fire rating

  • Easy installation, providing significant savings in construction time and labor cost

  • Truly GREEN — made from 87% recycled post-consumer Styrofoam

EF Block

EF Block is Our Preferred ICF Product

At Innovative Home Builders, we prefer EF Block over other ICF products for several reasons. First is the fire rating that you get with EF Block that you don’t get with other ICF products. The improved fire rating is due to the addition of concrete to the foam giving you the structure of concrete and the insulation value of foam all in one product.

Secondly, the concrete in EF Block adds a bit of weight to the product dry stack construction with minimal bracing. Other products are very light weight and tend to move out of place more easily if not braced well.

Please visit efbm.com for more information.

We Build to Exceed Your Expectations

We know there are many different alternative building products out there to chose from, each with there own unique design and function. Together with your designer and engineers we can work with you to find the best building materials and methods to meet you needs and preferences.

Not Sure About Alternative Building Products?

We are more than happy to build you a fine home using traditional wood framing that won’t disappoint. With today’s engineering and building methods we are able to build a very comfortable home the old fashioned way.