"Building with ICFs decreases your utility bills 40%-60% each month
and makes your home quiet, comfortable and disaster resistant."
BuildBlock ICFs are the strongest and most energy-efficient building material available today. ICFs are used to build homes, schools, churches, and other commercial buildings. Choosing ICFs for your next construction project means saving money every month and feeling secure in your home.
How ICF Energy Efficiency Works
ICFs deliver extremely high energy-efficiency in several ways. The most basic is that ICFs create an air-tight wall that prevents precious heating and cooling from leaking out through the wall. In cavity framed structures air passes in and out of the home through the walls to keep moisture from building up in the walls. This unfortunately means heated and cooled air is also lost costing energy to keep the home at a standard temperature. ICFs eliminate air infiltration through the walls and don’t have to compensate for heat loss or gain through the wall.
ICFs are also doubly insulated with continuous insulation. BuildBlock ICFs have 2.5″ of dense foam insulation on both the interior and exterior of the home. Why? This has to do with protecting the structural concrete core from any changes in temperature. It takes so much energy to change the temperature of concrete, that once changed it will radiate heat or cold back into the environment for a long time.
Think about the streets and sidewalks after a hot summer’s day and the heat you still feel from the pavement. By protecting the concrete core and never allowing major change sin temperature it keeps the wall neutral.
The walls, ceilings and floors are the larges surface areas for temperature change in a building. By preventing leaking heat or cold through those surfaces, the building has less of a change in temperature to manage in keeping the structure constant.
The high thermal mass and minimal air infiltration of insulating concrete form walls create a more uniform and stable temperature throughout your home. ICF walls offer better energy efficiency to reduce your monthly energy bill and create a solid barrier to eliminate hot or cold spots giving greater comfort.
Where does my home lose efficiency the most?
Every home is different based on the design, materials ,and techniques used to build it. In general, the are several areas that commonly affect energy loss the most: walls, windows, doors, ceilings, floors, ducts, infiltration, and internal gain. Many of these are pretty simple to understand.
Exterior walls change the most based on the weather outside. ICF walls do not rapidly change back and forth between the heating and cooling day and night.
Windows don’t have the same thickness, insulation, or thermal mass of ICF or even wood walls. The natural heating and cooling cycle does affect windows more than walls and is one area where any structure will lose or gain heat.
Keeping the door closed, like your mom always told you, is a great defense against heating or cooling the outdoors. Heating or cooling is lost when you enter and exit your building.
The ceiling borders non-climate controlled space, otherwise known as the attic. Insulated attics still heat and cool based on the weather outside and conduct those changes through to the interior of your home.
You can lose as much as 15% of the heat or cooling in your home through your floors. Energy can leech from the ground and into your home.
Whether overhead or in the ground, air ducts in the attic or in the walls can be a source of energy loss. Ensure that your ducts are well-sealed, clear of debris and dust, and insulated for better energy-efficiency.
Air infiltration is better known as drafts. Electrical plugs, doors, poorly sealed windows, and plumbing can all lead to drafts. ICFs eliminate most of the infiltration because the electrical chases and plumbing are cut into the foam and are not exposed to the outside.
Usually, the largest sources of internal heat gain come from appliances. This heat isn’t such a bad thing in the winter, but during the summer it adds to our cooling bills. ICFs are much better because you’re maintaining such a standard temperature, the internal gains are fairly constant.
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