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ICF home-building technique comes to Danbury

Nov 09, 2015

DANBURY — It’s made of packing foam — the same material used in coolers and take-out containers — and it’s snapped together like Legos.

And an increasing number of builders are using it instead of traditional wooden frames.

“It’s all over this country now,” said Leigh Overland, of Danbury-based Leigh Overland Architect.

The technique, known as ICF, or insulated concrete forms, makes use of polystyrene foam blocks with teeth on the top and slits on the bottom. The blocks are fit together much like Legos along parallel lines 8 to 10 inches apart, and concrete is poured in the middle.

The polystyrene insulation completely seals out the elements, making ICF one of the most energy-efficient construction techniques available today.

Overland has just designed Danbury’s first ICF project: a two-story building on Main Street that will house a pediatrics office on the first floor.

The 3,200-square-foot building will add to an increasing list of ICF projects in Connecticut. Overland’s largest such building is a Scottish-style castle that was built in New Canaan last year.

The polystyrene material is fireproof and can outlast severe weather, Overland said. The ICF material has been around for many decades, used mostly in Europe and Canada.

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