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Welcome to the About ICFs blog by NUDURA Insulated Concrete Forms. Here you will learn more about how ICFs began, What ICFs are, how to use custom forms to meet design requirements, information about installation and more. Be sure to check back regularly!

What are ICFs?

by NUDURA Blogger | May 02, 2016

Insulated concrete forms (ICFs) offer energy efficiency, comfort, safety and faster construction, in addition to a number of other benefits that contribute to the bottom line for builders and homeowners. They’re becoming increasingly popular as architects around the globe recognize the windfalls of the technology.

In fact, according to market research conducted in 2015, the global market has been growing at between 25 and 30 percent annually, and the arrow is pointing up for future construction activity, especially in North America.

So what are ICFs?

At their most basic level, ICFs consist of two panels of EPS foam with a hollow core in 6' Standard ICF Blockbetween. The panels are held tightly and firmly in position at regular intervals by plastic webs, and can be stacked on top of each other in a fashion similar to Lego blocks.

Diving into more detail, panel sizes and core thicknesses vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. Standard NUDURA panels are eight feet long by 18 inches tall, and offered in core thicknesses of 4-, 6-, 8-, 10- and 12-inches. The common workhorse form, however, is more along the lines of four feet long with a 2 ½ to 2 5/8 -inch panel thickness and 6-inch core.

Using those standard numbers, typical wall thickness using ICFs is slightly more than 11 inches, which makes these buildings arguably the tightest in existence today. We’ve conducted blower door tests on many of our completed ICF buildings and found they allow fewer than .3 air changes per hour. Therefore, we often recommend using energy recovery ventilators to ensure safe air exchange, and that fresh air enters the building without losing heated or cooled air.

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