Developers across the country are switching from wood frame to insulated concrete forms (ICFs) construction for their durability, and long-term energy efficiency, resulting in cutting operating costs and providing more comfortable units for their tenants. Ask ANY developer their number one complaint from tenants. The # 1 on the list is NOISE. That’s why more builders are turning to Insulated Concrete Forms (ICFs) for apartments, hotels and dorms. Compared to wood, they reduce sound by over 50%.
Fast track construction Speed of construction is a strong selling points for considering an ICF solution. It is far faster to build than alternative methods of construction and lead times for materials are generally within three weeks. According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), since April 0f 2020, the cost of lumber “has soared more than 170% - adding approximately $16,000 to the price of a new single-family home and more than $6,000 to the average new apartment.”
Reduced labor costs The cost of labor is reduced as ICF systems require semi-skilled labor only and not highly paid and scarce trades such as masonry. Construction can proceed in most weather conditions including rain and frost. A real example in Rochester, NH with Cornerstone VNA, that started their concrete work on a 2-story building addition in winter conditions. Despite the freezing conditions, Groen kept concrete activities on a summer project schedule with no delays thanks to the insulating power of ICF walls.
Immediate follow-on trades Insulating Concrete Formwork systems allows the watertight building shell to be erected in days. The follow-on trades can therefore enter the building and start putting utilities and finishes into place much quicker than traditional building methods.
Simple service installation To save time on site the conduit, cabling, and ducting can be installed within the wall space of the empty forms prior to pouring the concrete. The inner wall of polystyrene can also be chased after the concrete wall has been poured and cured.
Less heavy plant and equipment. Due to the light-weight forms and the speed of the build, heavy plant and equipment normally found on the average building site is not required with ICF.
Good house keeping Using ICF makes it very easy to keep the building site tidy and clean, the formwork is easy to stack, and waste is kept to a minimum.
Increased site safety ICF systems are light to handle so there is less chance of injury. The workplace is easy to keep tidy thereby cutting down the possibility of trips and falls, and because the need for plant and other equipment is minimal, chances of accidents are also minimized.
Overall Cost savings When all the factors and benefits are taken into consideration, ICF becomes extremely competitive compared to both traditional building methods and lightweight framing.
If you are interested in building with ICF please contact us.