ECO-Block Insulated Concrete Form
Greater Comfort & Lower Energy Bills
Energy savings and comfort are built into every ECO-Block ICF system. An ECO-Block ICF structure starts with 65 mm of polystyrene foam insulation on either side, of a minimum of 102 mm concrete core providing are R value rating of 3.78 or more. A thicker concrete core can provide an even higher R-Value.
Air infiltration in an ICF Home is minimal due to the continuous air barriers provided by the foam insulation and the concrete. Likewise, there are no convection currents within wall cavities.
The concrete walls of an ICF home have high thermal mass, which buffers the interior of a home from the extremes of outdoor temperature during every 24-hour cycle. This reduces both peak and total heating and cooling loads. This combination of high R-values, low air infiltration, and high thermal mass is believed to account for the amazing 25% to 50% energy savings of ICF versus wood or steel-framed homes.
Peace & Quiet
New ICF homeowners almost always remark on how unbelievably quiet their new house is, compared with their old stick-built home. They expect the new-found comfort and energy efficiency, but the peace and quiet -the protection from outside noise - never fails to surprise and delight them.
In sound transmission tests, ICF walls allowed less than one-third as much sound to pass through as do ordinary frame walls filled with fibreglass. With double-glazed windows in ICF walls and beefed-up roof insulation, you will rarely hear street noises or airport traffic.
Solid & Lasting Security
The high-mass walls of an ICF home not only give it a remarkably solid feel, but they also make it safer for the family. They create a remarkably solid and secure investment, too. Concrete homes have a proven track record of withstanding the ravages of hurricanes, tornadoes and fires, when all the stick-built houses around them are in ruins.
In fire wall tests, ICFs stood exposure to intense flame without structural failure longer than did common frame walls.
The polystyrene foam used in most ICF forms is treated so it will not support combustion. Also, tests show that its tendency to transmit an outside flame source is less than that of most wood products. (BRANZ approved)
Note* (Many insurance carriers in North America are now offering a discount on a home owner's policy for an ICF home.)
Less Repair & Maintenance
With ICF homes, the equation is simple:
No Rot, shrinking or warping of timber = Less Repair and Maintenance.
Neither polystyrene nor concrete will ever rot or rust. Concrete can even be exposed to the elements for centuries with few ill effects. Reinforcing steel, buried deep inside and protected by concrete's alkalinity, does not corrode.