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Welcome to the Installation of ICFs and Benefits blog by NUDURA Insulated Concrete Forms. Here you will learn more about ICF installations and benefits. Be sure to check back regularly!

ICFs: A Key to Energy Efficiency, Noise Mitigation and… Bug Control?

by NUDURA Blogger | Apr 25, 2016

It’s an exciting time to be involved in the ICF industry, with so many things in motion that are helping move the industry forward. For example, the 2012 International Energy Conservation Code has been a catalyst for many modifications. That’s helped architects and builders better understand the impacts of ICF construction on energy efficiency and outside noise levels, among other factors.

RValuePlusInserts_installshot_smEnergy efficiency: The calculated R-value of an ICF wall, based on thickness of EPS foam, is R-23.6 with finishes applied both inside and outside. That can be improved simply by adding inserts that NUDURA has developed for going inside the form cavity. As an example, two-, four-, or six-inch thick inserts can be applied to the interior or exterior of the wall in order to increase the size of the cavity, all while maintaining a standard 6-inch core thickness.

If needed, that would enable a building to increase its R-value from R-23.6 to R-50. In addition, the thermal mass performance of an ICF wall enables the systems to perform much better than a stick built or concrete block built wall that would be insulated to the same level.

Noise mitigation: Code requirements in almost any building envelope separating hotel suites, apartment complexes or similar multi-unit residences requires the wall stop airborne noise to a minimum of Sound Transmission Class (STC) 50. ICFs do that with just a single wive of six-inch concrete, with drywall applied on both sides. For applications where noise mitigation is more important, architects can also specify a thicker concrete core. NUDURA headquarters, for example, uses an eight-inch thick core that achieves STC 53.

Bug control: According to the IECC, any foam plastic installation below grade must be protected from termite intrusion by an approved termite barrier. NUDURA offers two options for building owners in the Southeastern U.S., where termites are the essentially the only threat to the buildings in terms of potential animal damage.

1. Install a waterproofing membrane: NUDURA sells these membranes as part of our system to exceed the requirements of a termite barrier. The systems have been tested at Texas A&M University to the same standard as ICC-ES technical evaluations.

2. Use a pesticide: The EPS foam used for ICFs can be impregnated with preventol, a termiticide that prevents the foam from being chewed up.

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