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Saturday, March 30, 2013

ICF (Insulated Concrete Form) Construction - Hurricane Proof - Bug Proof - Rot Proof - and Green

We visited this house east of town. 

This house's owner happily invited us inside to show off their new home.

Lulu and I have been interviewing builders and are considering both traditional and progressive construction methods. One of the systems that we are examining is called ICF (Insulated Concrete Form). Basically - they use polystyrene forms that fit together like Lego blocks. The blocks also include plastic nailing strips and a lattice for strength. After the forms are all set up - they pour concrete down into the cavities to make a solid concrete sandwich wall. The wall is 4/4/4 construction - 4 inches of foam/4 inches of concrete/4 inches of foam. The forms remain in place and are used as permanent insulation. 

After the concrete sets - drywall can be attached directly to the forms on the inside. The outside wall can be finished with siding - brick - or any other conventional material. No need for furring strips or studs - a nailing surface is included in the ICF. A conventional roof attaches to metal straps placed in the concrete wall during pouring. 

Rock Solid Builders in Crawfordville Florida builds this type of home exclusively. We have examined some of their finished products. You can see their web page here -

The Lego-like blocks are stacked and squared. Then concrete is poured into the lattice.

This shows a typical corner form - notice the polystyrene nailing strips embedded in the form.

This home is being build on the lake at Southwood.

The metal framework is removed when the concrete is cured.

This is the front of the Southwood home facing west to the lake and sunset.

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