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Welcome to the Frequently Asked Questions blog by NUDURA Insulated Concrete Forms. Here is a great spot to review and be part of the conversations on FAQs about NUDURA ICFs. Be sure to check back regularly!

Designing with NUDURA in Mind (PLUS: Lift Heights, Stepped Footings and Consolidating Concrete)

by NUDURA Blogger | Oct 03, 2016

We often receive questions about whether or not building designs must be done with NUDURA forms in mind, as opposed to others.NUDURA ICF Install

While your design plans do not have to be done specifically for our forms, it helps accelerate the construction process if the modular dimensions of the form unit are considered. However, NUDURA ICFs are flexible enough to adapt to an existing design.

Should you want to design using NUDURA’s most optimal dimensions, ask your local distributor for the Dimension Layout Guidelines, click here to contact us, or call 866-468-6299.

In the meantime, read on for our responses to other frequently asked questions about consolidating concrete, lift heights and stepped footings:

How do I properly consolidate concrete?

For builders, an in-depth understanding of how to properly consolidate concrete is one of the cornerstones of an effective concrete pour. Consistently dipping the vibrator, or ‘stinger’ into the concrete every second web over the total height of the ‘lift’ will ensure the best results.

What is a lift height?

Lift height is simply a measurement of how high you pour your concrete in one pass around the perimeter of your wall. According to ACI 318 standard practice, your lift heights should be 4 feet (1200mm) per hour.

What is the total height of a pour?

Concrete is typically poured in 10 to 12 foot (3050-3658mm) levels. Therefore, a typical pour consists of 2-3 lifts.

What are the best increments to use for stepped footings?

When using NUDURA ICFs for a foundation wall, and you have stepped footing, it is best to use 18-inch (450mm) increments for stepped footings. Because the height of our form unit is 18 inches, you can easily rip a standard form unit in half for a 9-inch (225mm) increment.

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  1. Nathan | Oct 05, 2018
    I typically pour almost 14’ tall walls because of walk out basements what is the max height I should pour at once?

    Regardless of where you are regionally, (USA, Canada, Europe, or elsewhere), the governing Code specified Standards for concrete placement differ very little. Using the USA’s ACI 318/ACI 332 and Canada’s CSA A23.1 as references, the general rule of thumb is to place the concrete into the wall at the rate of approximately 4 feet (1.2 meters) per hour in successive lifts of this height to the anticipated final required height of the wall. This rate will vary by ambient air temperature. Colder air will demand slower placement, hotter weather will permit a faster rate of placement. Each lift should be mechanically/internally vibrated and when placing successive lifts, the vibrator should be inserted 1 foot (305mm) into the top of the previously placed lift to eliminate cold joints from forming between the lifts. The 1 foot limit also prevents disturbing the base of the lift which is already set. This practice also avoids increasing the form pressure at the base of the wall.  In many commercial jobs, NUDURA Installers have commonly placed succcessive lifts of concrete using this technique to heights as high as 16 feet. The practical limit is of course determined by the length of vibrator that can be extended downward into the wall cavity.

    More information on this subject can be provided via email by contacting us at

    - NUDURA Blogger October 5, 2018

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