The Benefits of Building with ICFs
Image of 3 ICF Homes that survived a devasting fire in San Diego, CA
Insulating Concrete Forms (ICFs) as a Green Building Material are revolutionizing the way ecologically responsible homes and buildings are being built in Georgia, the Southeastern US & throughout North America. Commercial property owners, Building Professionals and homeowners are realizing that it’s time to build more responsibly and sustainably AND take advantage of significantly lower operating costs. Dollar for dollar, no other wall system matches the performance or safety of an ICF system.
An ICF & Reinforced Concrete Home is Naturally Safer
Recent destructive hurricanes along the Atlantic Coast and Southern US have dramatically demonstrated to the conventional home building industry in North America that the technology for building houses according to contemporary codes and construction practices does not adequately protect such homes against the forces generated by hurricanes & tornadoes. Hurricanes' destructive nature continually poses a threat to and challenges home owners & building operators in Georgia, the Carolinas, Alabama, Florida and all the Southern states.
Although the uncomplicated engineering and architecture required to build houses that are safe is essentially ignored. It is not at all technically difficult to design and construct homes that will stand up to these devastating occurences. It has been effectively done for more than half a century, but not in North America. And contrary to popular opinion, they can be built for approximately the same cost as wood-framed or CMU houses... with lower ongoing costs too!
"If you are above ground and you get hit in a storm like that, no matter the type of construction unless it is a concrete-reinforced structure, you are probably not going to have anything left," Andrew Graettinger, Civil Engineer at the University of Alabama.
The tragedy in North America is that builders and building code bodies largely ignore the relatively simple construction methods available that are capable of resisting these natural disasters. Even more surprizing and unfortunate, most homebuilders have tended to rebuild their destroyed houses with the same vulnerable technology with which they were built originally - due to a combination of inexperienced builders and misinformation regarding the cost of building a better, more resistant home with ICF & Reinforced Concrete.
To see actual tests conducted on wood frame constructed homes vs. fortified homes, visit the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) or view the video below.
Why a Concrete Building is Safer:
- Increased strength and protection
- Walls built with concrete and Fox Blocks Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF) and Insul-Deck Suspended Concrete Slabs can withstand winds up to 250 mph
- Reinforced concrete structures can withstand the impact of most flying debris from extreme winds with little or no structural damage
- 4-hour fire rating (with Fox Blocks' 8" concrete walls)
- Inorganic composition makes it resistant to decay, insect infestation, mold and mildew
- Undamaged from exposure to water
- Rock solid walls - No hollow walls for rodents and insect to live in
“Tests conducted by the Texas Tech University have shown that structures built of insulated concrete forms can generally withstand winds up to 250 miles per hour.” Source FEMA News Release Number: R8-08-011
Building with ICFs is the Smart Choice:
- Drastically reduced energy consumption
- Considerably Lower insurance premiums
- Require smaller mechanical systems (HVAC)
- Qualify for Energy Efficient Mortgage
- A healthier and safer indoor environment
- A more air-tight structure
- Increased comfort
- Reduced noise
- Resale values are typically higher
- A concrete structure will Last for centuries, not decades
Find out why building with ICFs is the safe choice and how you can save money! Contact Green Harbor Building Systems to get an initial Free Consultation or Quote.
IBHS Research Center's Demonstration Video
This video by the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety shows the difference between a standard/traditionally built home and a Fortified Home.