ICFs and the Net Zero Design Push

The Building Science community continues to push for more stringent energy codes. Increases in insulation requirements and airtightness have become the primary mechanism to achieve higher performance. Buildings are required to use less overall energy, and where they require energy are asked to supply it themselves. Net-zero compliance is a hot topic in many North American markets. British Columbia has developed some of the strictest building code standards in the world and is leading the push towards net zero with the BC step code. The Canadian National Code is not far behind and is seeking to accomplish many of the BC step code requirements in a similar timeline. Interior During Blower Door Test The BC step code asks builders to increase the energy efficiency of buildings by a set percentage every few years. The code has a ten-year (10) target goal of every new construction project or retrofit meeting net-zero compliancy. The metric to track compliance is measured using blower door tests and specific product energy usage tests. The data from a blower door test along with utility usage from other appliances and fixtures allow for a complete calculation of energy used by the building. Each structure is then appointed [...]

By |2020-10-14T15:30:43-05:00October 14, 2020|Technical|

ICF construction provides eco-friendly, sustainable development

With the present generations' increasing focus on saving planet earth, several key initiatives are being adopted to reduce our negative impact on the environment. One of the leading movements today is the focus on sustainable development. The expression might sound complex, but in fact, simply applies to any kind of development that meets today's needs without compromising those of tomorrow. In that spirit, construction with Insulated Concrete Forms - commonly referred to as ICF - follows the principles of sustainability to promote a better quality of life for present and future generations. ICF constructed buildings are sustainable, qualify for LEED certifications, and allow architects and engineers to come up with longer-lasting structures that use up less natural resources. In other words, ICF is synonymous with ecological efficiency. ICFs help reduce waste and emissions Not only do NUDURA ICFs allow for less waste and wastage on any given construction site, said Rector, but they also make for waste that is 100 percent recyclable. Indeed, the blocks require fewer natural resources such as gas, electricity, and wood. ICFs can generate as little as just 1 percent construction waste, and given they are produced without any CFC's, HCFC's, or chemicals, the blocks considerably [...]

By |2019-07-24T17:24:07-05:00August 22, 2019|Design|

Concrete making a comeback and for good reasons

Concrete has been used for construction since the ancient Egyptians. After World War II, it was used as a staple material for rapid reconstruction. But in the 1980s, builders and architects grew tired of the concrete jungles and it simply went out of style. However, today, it’s making a comeback in an even better and more durable form as insulated concrete forms (ICF). Designed with polystyrene and concrete, they make one of the most solid, durable and energy-efficient building envelope materials for homes and commercial buildings. Insulated concrete walls offer an array of advantages over wood: Unlimited design ICFs can be constructed in any shape or design. They can also be used for gables up to 47 degrees and can be achieved with ease. Since they can be built with minimum resources, they also represent an ideal solution for remote constructions. Homes made of ICFs can look just like any other houses or very different depending on the desired designs. Generally, the exterior surfaces can be finished with brick, stone, vinyl or wood siding or in more modern concrete styles while the inside can feature unique designs and creative architectural shapes for attractive doors, arches and bay windows. Structural strength [...]

By |2019-07-23T15:57:31-05:00August 8, 2019|Design|

Concrete walls emerging as green trend in new construction

With today’s mandate of building tighter, more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly homes, builders are constantly looking for durable and energy-efficient materials for the construction of their new building projects.The combination of these rising energy requirements and fuel costs mean that they need to make the most of the latest advances in building technology.With the continuous decline in the quality of framing lumber and unpredictable price fluctuations, Insulating Concrete Form (ICF) building systems have emerged as an innovative building material in the construction industry over the past decade. What are Insulating Concrete Forms? “Insulated Concrete Forms are made of two panels of EPS (expanded polystyrene) joined together by plastic webs. During construction, they are assembled to form the foundations and walls of a building,” explained KevenRector at NUDURA, a leading name in building with insulated concrete forms. “Concrete is then poured inside the gap between the foam panels to form a solid, continuous insulated structure. ICFs are an efficient alternative to conventional wood framing techniques that is solving energy costs, storm security and interior air quality as well as occupant conservation priorities all at the same time.” ICFs can withstand extreme weather conditions ICFs are designed to stay in place as [...]

By |2019-07-23T15:54:50-05:00August 6, 2019|Design|

Looking to save on high energy costs? Build a new concrete home

The latest home-building technology is finally putting a major dent in the high cost of heating and cooling. If you are in the market to build the most energy efficient new home possible, experts recommend you should consider the many benefits of concrete. Concrete houses made using the latest advanced system of pre-fabricated, interlocking insulated concrete forms (ICFs) can help you save on energy consumption and cut your energy bills by more than half. “Our ICF system creates an envelope of superior strength, continuous insulation, conservation and energy efficiency,” explained Keven Rector at NUDURA, a leading name in building with insulated concrete forms. “They provide tighter construction and stronger insulation as the walls conserve heating and cooling energy in a muchmore efficient manner than traditional wooden-frame walls. Subsequently, monthly energy consumption bills are considerably reduced.” Concrete houses lead to an array of savings The Insulating Concrete Forms Manufacturers Association (ICFMA) recently conducted third-party testing from CLEB Laboratories which highlights the energy savings of ICF when compared to conventional wood framing. The thermal study proves an ICF wall can achieve up to 60% energy savings and 58% greater R-value for home and building owners. How does it work? At the building [...]

By |2019-07-23T15:52:48-05:00July 30, 2019|Design|
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