ICF HOMES ///// Geothermal Homes

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

How does the homeowner benefit from ICF construction?
Homes built with ICFs offer resistance to natural disasters such as tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, fires and floods. An ICF home can dramatically reduce heating and cooling bills, plus provide an exceptionally comfortable and quiet indoor environment.
Back to Top
What are the design possibilities and/or limitations with ICF?
Today’s concrete homes can be created with virtually any design or architectural feature. The ICF forms used by ICF have furring strips every 8” imbedded in the panel to allow attachment of any finish — such as wood or aluminum siding, brick, stucco and stone on the exterior, and drywall or plaster on the interior. The result is a home that looks like any other structure in the neighborhood but has all the benefits of solid concrete construction.
Back to Top
Does it cost more to build this way?
Typically, a home built with ICFs will cost slightly more than a comparable wood-frame home. However, much or all of this cost can be recouped through significantly lower utility and energy bills, insurance savings and downsizing of heating and cooling equipment. An experienced ICF contractor may be able to further reduce the costs of construction.
Back to Top
How much money can I expect to save on my utility bills?
A study commissioned by the Portland Cement Association concluded that homes built with ICF exterior walls offer up to a 50 percent savings for heating and cooling costs over comparable wood-frame houses. This means that a typical 2,450-square-foot home in the United States can save approximately $200 in heating costs and $65 in air conditioning each year. The larger the house, the larger the potential savings. Some homes are realizing $1,000s per year in savings!
Back to Top
What is the average R-value of ICF walls?
Walls made of ICFs perform, on average, like a wood-frame wall constructed with R-30 insulation. But that’s not the whole story. The equivalent R-value performance of ICFs consists of three factors. First is the R-value of the expanded polystyrene. Second, the thermal stability of massive concrete walls reduces the temperature fluctuations and, consequently, the heat load requirements that are common to wood-frame buildings. Finally, air leakage (infiltration) can account for 20 to 40 percent of the heat load requirements of a wood-frame building. ICFs eliminate this air infiltration through the wall assembly. As a result, with the combined performance of the R-value of the expanded polystyrene, the stabilizing effects of the thermal mass of the concrete, and the reduced air infiltration, ICF walls actually perform as high as R-40 — or more in some areas of the country.
Back to Top
What about comfort?
Concrete walls built with ICFs effectively buffer a house’s interior from the outdoors. The thick ICF sandwich of a massive material (concrete) with a light one (foam) sharply cuts fluctuations in temperature, air infiltration and noise. ICFs keep the inside more comfortable and less drafty than ordinary wood-frame walls. With regard to noise, studies have shown that compared to a typical wood-frame house, only about one-third as much sound penetrates an ICF wall.
Back to Top
How do ICF homes resist tornado and hurricane-force winds?
Debris driven by high winds presents the greatest hazard to homeowners and their property during tornadoes and hurricanes. Recent laboratory testing at Texas Tech University compared the impact resistance of residential concrete wall construction to conventionally framed walls. Only concrete wall systems, such as ICFs and concrete masonry, successfully demonstrated the strength and mass to resist the impact of wind-driven debris. The wood-frame walls failed to stop the penetration of airborne hazards.
Back to Top
How popular is the ICF building technique?
ICF construction continues to grow at an impressive rate. It is estimated that in 1998, nearly 20,000 homes in the U.S. were constructed with ICFs. It is anticipated that soon more than 100,000 homes will be built annually with ICF exterior walls.
Back to Top
Who can build ICF homes in my area?
As you have no doubt determined by now, Innovative Property Developers, LLC (ICF) is the homebuilder of choice for ICF homes in the Fredericskburg area.
Back to Top
Is the ICF building technique approved by code organizations?
Yes. Every major code organization in the United States and Canada has accepted this construction technique. ICF homebuilding has proven successful in every region and climate. The 2000 and 2003 International Residential Codes have a section on ICF construction.
Back to Top
Can ICF homes be built in earthquake areas?
Yes. If properly reinforced, an ICF home can provide significant protection during earthquakes. If you live in an earthquake zone, you should consult a structural engineer to determine what the reinforcement requirements are in your area.
Back to Top
Why is ICF construction considered an environmentally friendly method of building?
In a building’s life cycle (from construction to demolition), the greatest ecological impact is the amount of fuel needed to heat and cool the home. Insulating Concrete Homes are a preferred environmental choice because of significant savings in natural resources needed to maintain a comfortable temperature.
Back to Top
Will it take longer to build my ICF home?
Experienced ICF crews report that building ICF homes can actually take less time than using wood-frame construction. The ICF construction method eliminates several steps — such as sheathing and insulating the exterior walls — that are necessary with wood-frame construction.
Back to Top
Can radius and angled walls be constructed in ICF homes?
Pre-formed 90 and 45-degree corners are available to speed construction since they are the most commonly used corner angles. Radius walls are easily constructed by miter-cutting the form at the proper angle and using foam to join the edges. Please contact ICF for more information.
Back to Top
>How do ICFs decrease mold and mildew in my new home?
ICFs can significantly contribute to a mold-free environment due to the inorganic nature of the material. They also create a very tight building envelope, reducing unintentional air infiltration. In high-humidity environments, interior moisture should then be controlled through the use of spot removal (e.g., bathroom fans) and properly sized air conditioning units that will cycle on long enough to dehumidify the air.
Back to Top
How can I obtain more information on ICF building system?
Simply call Innovative Property Developers, LLC at 540-891-0882, or e-mail us at sales@icfhomesofva.com. You can also submit a question via our Contact Us page
Back to Top
ICF HOMES ///// Let's Begin Your

Project