Quiet and Comfortable
When planning a new house, consider the greater well-being that comes from living with more even temperatures, sharply reduced drafts, noticeably more quiet, and healthier air. No matter the environment, ICF homes remain quiet and comfortable.
That’s what you get with an insulating concrete form home. When surveyed, over 80% of ICF homeowners mentioned the great comfort of their home, compared with just 22% of wood-frame homeowners.*
Indoor air quality is often something that people don’t think about until it goes bad. Maintaining a healthy and comfortable environment is essential in any indoor space and ICFs provide a wall system that greatly assists in this effort.
BuildBlock ICF walls provide a tight exterior building envelope. Walls that are “tight” (meaning they have low air infiltration) is the first step in controlling the indoor air environment. Due to the dense foam insulation that makes up ICFs, BuildBlock buildings have high R-values and low air infiltration rates. The solid concrete core provides superior thermal mass, meaning a lot of energy is required to change its temperature and eliminates the potential for outside air leakage. Now, compare that to a traditional wood-framed home with loose cellulose or fiberglass insulation. Despite best practices and skilled labor, a wood home will almost always have voids in the wall especially around doors, windows, plumbing, and electrical outlets.
- ICF walls reduce air infiltration by 75%.
- Eliminate dust mites.
- Prevent dangerous and costly mold.
- The effects of hay fever, asthma, and other airborne allergies can be greatly alleviated as a direct result of the reduced leakage of outside air, which brings dust, pollen, and other pollutants.
- Indoor air pollution is a great health concern today. ICF walls are non-toxic. The measurement of air contents of actual ICF houses shows an almost complete absence of any emissions.
The STC rating of a wall assembly refers to its resistance to sound transmission. Sound is measured in decibels, (db) and is on a logarithmic scale. This means that the values are not linear in nature, and a 50db sound is not twice as loud as a 25db sound. A doubling of volume would correspond approximately to a 10db change.
In construction, it is important to limit noise and sound transmission through walls. This is especially important in certain venues, such as movie theaters, concert halls, and hotels. Airports and other areas may also benefit from substantial noise reduction. Homes built on noisy streets or near interstate highways can also benefit from the reduced sound transmission. With the advent of more home theatre rooms, many builders are turning to complicated assemblies to achieve the soundproofing that their customers desire.
Insulating Concrete Forms, (ICFs) can be used to construct nearly any type of building, and offer a wealth of benefits to the builder and the buyer. ICFs offer a substantial reduction in sound transmission and can quiet the noisiest environments. BuildBlock forms, with 5/8” drywall on both sides, can exhibit an STC rating of 54. The list below describes the sound abatement capacities of various STC ratings. These values, like R-values can vary due to the number of openings and the efficiency of windows and doors at mitigating sound transmission.
Quiet and Comfortable
Before building his ICF home, Fred lived in a wood-framed townhouse in Texas. His energy bills were high even after adding additional insulation and a new heat pump. Fred complained that noise was also an issue, so when he moved back to Indiana he was excited to remedy many of these issues with a new custom home.
During several conversations, we asked lots of questions and really wanted to know what really stood out over the years. The first thing he wanted to make sure we knew was that he was very satisfied with the finished product and the home has performed even better than he hoped. Very pleased with the end result and thoroughly impressed with ICFs ability to dampen sound, he went on to say:
“One major thing I’ve noticed is that the home is so quiet, the noise from outside is greatly diminished. I would say if I had an ICF roof I wouldn’t hear any noise.”