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|

Busting common myths about insulated concrete forms (ICFs)

The use of insulated concrete forms (ICFs) is gaining momentum in the building industry. Boasting a variety of advantages, it is being adopted as the new standard for the construction of various types of buildings from single family homes to hotels and commercial structures. Builders, designers and architects are embracing this technology to keep their buildings as energy-efficient as possible while saving on construction time and costs. Nonetheless, several myths and misconceptions persist even today. Common myths regarding ICF construction No, ICFs are not only used for basements. Just like this misconception, there are several other myths that persist. Following are the most common that rapidly need to be busted: Too complicated Just like with any other construction techniques, ICFs should be installed by professionals. The truth is they are even easier for DIY than wood. According to Keven Rector at NUDURA, the manufacturers of an advanced version of the insulated concrete form (ICF), builders receive many workplace benefits using their system. “Built like Lego, the pre-assembled, interlocking blocks assure adherence to recent building code requirements; the ICFs require less shipping space and manpower than other methods; and the construction time is much faster than building with wood. Time-strapped builders [...]

By |2019-07-24T17:22:58-05:00August 13, 2019|Design|
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