Rebuilding Storm-Proof Homes with Insulated Concrete Forms

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Many homeowners that were affected by the devastation of Hurricane Sandy are looking for ways to build homes stronger and safer. Many are turning to Insulated Concrete Forms (ICFs) as the answer for rebuilding their homes. What is an ICF? ICFs are basically forms for poured concrete walls that stay in place as part of the permanent part of the wall assembly. The forms, made of expanded polystyrene insulation, are either preformed interlocking blocks or separate panels connected with plastic ties. This construction not only provides a continuous insulation and sound barrier, but also a backing for the drywall on the inside, and stucco, lap siding, or brick on the outside. An ICF wall is 10 times stronger than wood framed structures.

Insulated Concrete Form

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This FEMA approved building method has been widely used to build hurricane-resistant structures for over 50 years. In Harrison County, Mississippi, homes built with ICFs were the only structures to survive the onslaught of Hurricane Katrina.

ICF houses are also energy-efficient, requiring less energy to heat and cool compared to wood frame construction. ICF houses may marginally cost more in the onset, but they end up being less expensive over time, saving money through heating and cooling costs, maintenance, and insurance premiums often can be less.

To learn more, see Northeast Rebuilds Storm-Proof Houses with Insulated Concrete Forms.

You may also visit EPS Industry Alliance and our EPS page for more information.


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This article was posted on January 18, 2013, by Insulation Corporation of America (ICA) – a Women-Owned manufacturer of Geofoam and Expanded Polystyrene (EPS), which is commonly but mistakenly referred to as Styrofoam™. ICA is located in Allentown, PA and services the entire Mid-Atlantic Region from Virginia to Maine to Ohio.