- Concrete forms home
- Concrete forms types: Slab, wall, insulated, and decorative
- Concrete form liners: Textured form liners for cast-in-place concrete
- Types of insulating concrete forming systems
- Concrete forming product reviews
- How-To Tips for Using Forms and Form Liners
- How to use architectural form liners
- Concrete forming tips
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Insulated Concrete Forms
The trend toward energy-efficient home construction has led to the rapid growth of insulated concrete forms (ICFs). ICF systems are comprised of hollow blocks of insulating material (usually expanded Styrofoam) that fit together similar to children's building blocks. ICF systems are constructed on the foundation slab and remain in place to become the foundation and exterior wall system. A network of metal reinforcing bars is placed inside the block wall structure, and then the walls are filled with a high-slump concrete. The foam and concrete sandwich that is created is extremely energy efficient, and the foam becomes both the interior and exterior construction surface (see How Do ICFS Work?). Using ICFs eliminates the need to remove forms, since the hollow block walls remain in place once filled with concrete.
The cost to construct an ICF home is only slightly higher than for a comparable wood-frame home (about 0.5% to 4% on average), and the added upfront expense is quickly recouped through the savings in monthly heating and cooling costs. (See Do Concrete Homes Cost More?). This type of forming system and construction is more popular in high-energy-use regions where heating and cooling are required for much of the year.
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