As a layman, you might be confused about the word ‘ICF’ and why it seems to have been repeated so many times as one of the key features in numerous house plans.
As a leading residential design firm that offers pre-designed as well as custom home plans, we prefer to inform our prospective clients what the term ‘ICF’ means when it’s mentioned on a house plan, and what it means for the structural integrity of their home!
What is ICF?
ICF or Insulated Concrete Form is an alternative type of framework that’s used in place of conventional construction materials. Typically, for home construction, traditional wood frames are constructed to give the house adequate support.
However, many home designers have now converted their plans to include ICF instead of wood because of the benefits it offers.
Why ICF is Important– Safety Features
Especially for those in the Midwest and Southeast, homeowners experience a lot of property damage due to natural disasters such as tornadoes, hurricanes and earthquakes. While ICF doesn’t completely protect their homes from damage, ICF construction does help in minimizing it.
Homes built with insulated concrete forms are not only resistant to earthquakes and fire, they’re also much stronger. They can withstand wind and falling debris much more easily than how a wooden frame would. Against any form of environmental challenge, ICF homes offer enough security to at least keep their residents safe from any elements.
The insulation components of the ICF structure work as vapor barriers and sound barriers. Any water that is used during construction is 100 percent recyclable. And given that you don’t use more wood when building your home, this helps cut down on the use of wood as well. Insulated concrete form also traps heat better in the winter and keeps your home cooler during summers, thus reducing the dependence on your heating and cooling systems.
In comparison to wood frames, insulated concrete forms are far more cost-effective because they help you cut down on utility costs. There’s also no problem with termites and moisture control. In the long run, the quality of the concrete doesn’t go down, as it does for wood when exposed to heat and changes in temperature. And with added protection, thanks to the concrete and steel frames, ICF keeps the damage low for a longer time.
Talk to Us about ICF House Plans!
Great House Design offers ICF home plans in addition to other types of pre-designed home plans. So, contact us if you have any questions about the role of ICF for your home. Great House Design is here to put your worries to rest, by offering you the best home plans for your money!