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Based on the simple concept of interlocking blocks, Insulated Concrete Forms gives you a wall system that is not only long-lasting, but also sound-proofed, energy-efficient, and has a 3 hour fire-resistance rating.  It is the most advanced method of building today, and is the first step to a Net Zero Energy Home.

Pre-existing plans for any style of building, whether home, office building, retail, movie theater, etc, can be re-rendered for ICF construction with just a few adjustments by your architect or engineer.  These adjustments are mainly to allow for the thicker ICF walls, essentially increasing the building's outside dimensions by the difference.  The only constraint is that any upper-floor ICF walls must be supported below by ICF walls.  We can advise.

Architects particularly like ICF, as the high strength gives them flexibility they don't otherwise have.  ICF walls can be used for the whole shell, or for the basement only, or for demising walls between units.  Office and condo buildings of six stories and more are often built using ICF, and the cost is typically equal to, or up to ~8% more than conventional framing if plans are coordinated with us for ICF-friendly design

Seattle and surrounding areas offer incentives for green building and renewable energy, as does the federal government.  And even greater energy efficiency can be had by designing to PassivHaus standards. (click English flag)

We at ICF Development are committed to providing top-quality, cost-effective building solutions.  Insulated Concrete Forms is one of the most advanced construction practices, and is an ideal solution for many reasons:

Highly Energy Efficient

The foam in an ICF wall provides a thermal resistance rating of R-24, much higher than a typical stick-built home's thermal resistance of R-16.

But that's not all: the concrete in an ICF wall provides "thermal inertia", absorbing and releasing heat during peaks of hot and cold through the day, smoothing out fluctuations indoors and providing an effective insulative value of nearly R-50.  To match that with stick-built you'd need a wall 16" thick, not 6".

This insulation and thermal mass, in addition to extremely low air infiltration into the home, have enabled ICF homes and buildings to deliver significantly higher performance levels than any other building system, since their introduction 15 years ago.

Superior Sound Insulation

ICF walls offer you a quieter, more tranquil interior environment. An ICF wall can easily achieve a sound transmission classification of STC-50, which is twice as high as a typical wood-framed wall.  Loud noises outside an ICF building will be reduced to a whisper inside the building, so build that nursing home near the freeway, without concern.

Highly Moisture-Resistant

ICF walls don't need an extra vapor barrier, firring, insulation, or the other add-ons wood-framed walls require.  For below-grade applications, we provide a waterproofing system which ensures a comfortably dry basement just like the rest of the house, as opposed to typical basements which have that 'damp' feeling.

Improved air quality is another benefit, as ICF eliminates the studs and cavities that can hold moisture and foster mold and mildew growth.  ICFs do not contain formaldehyde (like SIPs do), which permeates plywood and OSB.  And CFCs and HCFCs are not used in the production of ICF Development's blocks (but used in many SIPs), so no toxic fumes will seep from the structure into your home, and there is no thermal drift over time nor leakage of greenhouse gases, as with SIP.  ICFs far exceed the high air-quality standards of LEED.

Strength and Safety

ICF buildings are up to 8.5 times stronger than conventionally framed buildings.  As a result, ICF walls are much better able to withstand earthquakes, hurricanes, and tornadoes...  it is a 'box of rock'.  ICF walls are literally bulletproof and have a 3 hour fire rating, as opposed to 15 minutes for a comparable wood-framed wall.

We offer three grades of seismic strength (HUD's prescriptive guidelines) ranging from Seismic C to D2.  And if you'd like a completely non-combustible home, we can construct concrete floors between stories and metal studs for interior walls.  And no one will be able to see the difference.

Environmentally Friendly

Buildings constructed with ICF are designed to last for centuries, not decades.  ICF walls conserve precious natural forest resources, and their energy efficiency reduces fuel consumption over the lifetime of the building, as opposed to conventional insulation which loses efficacy over time.

We at ICF Development offer ICF blocks made of a high proportion of recycled materials, and the concrete we use includes as much select-grade flyash or slag (redeemed materials) as practicable, diverting these materials from the landfill and in fact strengthening the concrete.  And, whereas a typical stick-built home generates dumpsters full of waste material, construction of an ICF home results in a small fraction of that waste.

The use of ICF makes qualification for LEED accreditation easy, scoring the most difficult ten points as well as potentially another 16.  Energy Star and Built Green also come relatively easy with ICF.  We at ICF Development practice sustainable building, and an ICF home is an investment in the future which will pay dividends through many lifetimes.

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Please Also See:
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--  How ICF helps attain LEED certification...
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--  Concrete 201...

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