The demand for green homes that are environmentally friendly has resulted in the development of many new building technologies. One of the more environmentally responsible options that a homeowner can choose is a home that is built with insulated concrete forms.
What Are Insulated Concrete Forms?
This technology is essentially a shell that is made of a material like polystyrene foam that can be easily stacked to create a structural wall, roof, floor or other feature in a building. The forms are hollow and are filled with concrete to create the wall. The outer form is left in place even after the concrete has dried completely. The outer form and the inner concrete work together to create a wall that has unique properties when compared to walls that are built using more traditional methods.
How Does This Technology Make Building A Home More Environmentally Friendly?
While building a home, the insulated forms help to reduce the environmental impact of construction. Using the forms and concrete filler helps to reduce the need for resources like wood that can be difficult to renew. The forms can reduce the amount energy that is used by workers on a construction site so that construction of the home has less of an environmental impact. The amount of waste that is generated from the forms is also usually less than the waste created by other methods of creating structural walls and floors that require many temporary fixtures for installation.
How Does This Technology Make A Home More Efficient?
A finished home that uses insulated concrete forms has several advantages that can increase energy efficiency. The concrete and the forms form a solid envelope around a home that provides excellent protection from drafts and weather so that heating and cooling costs are reduced. Walls that are made in this style also have less of a chance to capture and release pollutants that can contribute to poor interior air quality. The concrete is much stronger than many other building materials and will allow a home to resist damaging weather so that less construction and repair is needed over time.
Does This Building Technique Have Other Benefits?
The cement that is used with insulated concrete forms is able to deflect sounds from the outside much more effectively than framed walls. The walls also create a very tightly sealed continuous barrier that is very difficult for insects or other pests to break through. The concrete is highly resistant to water damage and fire. The process of constructing a home from modular forms is also very easy and can allow a structure to be completed much quicker than some other building methods.
Are There Any Disadvantages?
The disadvantages of using insulated forms are largely based on specific conditions that exist in certain areas of the country or that are caused by certain construction techniques. The materials that the forms are made from can cause problems if certain types of foam are used in very wet areas. The aggregate that is poured into the forms can be made from environmentally unfriendly materials. A completed home can also be difficult to structurally change if all of the walls are made from concrete. This can make adding new windows or other fixtures more expensive that it would be with framed walls.
This article is provided by Durisol. We manufacture reinforced insulated concrete forms that do not use foam or polystyrene but instead a wood concrete material for even more environmental benefits.