Insulating Concrete Forms (ICFs) vs Concrete Masonry Units (CMUs): Which is Better?

ICF walls are monolithic, concrete walls without joints, and are significantly stronger than those built with concrete blocks. BuildBlock ICF technology combines strong and long-lasting concrete and steel reinforcement with the superior insulation of expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam. This creates ICF structures that are more energy efficient, comfortable, durable, and safer than conventional construction methods.

ICF walls are very strong and can be engineered to bear substantially greater loads than concrete block walls both vertical and horizontal. ICF walls can support weights and spans distances that would otherwise require large steel or concrete columns.

BuildBlock ICFs are 16 inches tall and 48 inches long. A single ICF form creates the same size at 6 CMU blocks, is lightweight (7lbs), faster to stack, already insulated and furred. All in a single step. Not only does the light-weight nature of ICFs help speed construction time, it also creates a much safer environment for workers. This will result in fewer jobsite related injuries and lower workers compensation premiums.

Commercial Construction

The benefits of ICFs extend far from just residential construction. ICFs deliver a fully formed wall system that is insulated, framed, and furred in one step. Just a few days after pouring the ICF wall, it is ready for floor or roofing truss installation. In multi-story ICF construction, ICF walls can be erected and poured at the rate of a one floor per week. Take your commercial construction to the next level with ICF and build a structure that has a 4-hour fire rating and is disaster resilient, energy efficient, and soundproof with low air infiltration. 

The “way it’s always been done” is a nice, straight, comfortable path to the predictable. The slight learning curve you see with ICF construction is the avenue to more projects and greater profits.

See ICFs in action & learn more about building with icfs!

ICF vs CMU Brochure
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