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1. What is the R-Value of ICF blocks?


Walls made of ICF perform, on an average, like a stick frame wall constructed for R-30 insulation. But that's not the whole story. The effective R-Value performance of ICF consists of three factors:

1) the R-Value of the expanded polystyrene;

2) the thermal stability of massive concrete walls reduces the temperature fluctuations, and, consequently, the heat load requirements, so common to stick-frame buildings;

3) air leakage (infiltration) can account for 20% to 40% of the heat load requirements of a stick-framed building.

ICF reduces this air infiltration by 75%! As a result, with the combined performance of the R-Value of the expanded polystyrene, the stabilizing effects of the thermal mass of the concrete, and the reduced air infiltration, PolySteel walls actually perform as high as R-50, or more, in some areas of the country.

2. How much does it cost to build with ICF blocks?

An ICF home will cost, on average 10% to 15% more than building the exterior walls of a home with 2 X 6 frame construction.

An ICF basement will cost about the same, or even less, than a poured wall or concrete block basement that is insulated and finished with equivalent insulation.

In comparing costs, it is important to remember that an ICF wall is far superior in strength, comfort, and energy efficiency than even the best insulated stick-framed or masonry wall. In all cases, you will get more than you pay for in energy savings alone!


3. What kind of footings are required for ICF walls?

Footings are generally determined by local building codes and specific soil conditions. You may use a standard size footing for a PolySteel wall, however, if you build all the way to the roof, you might need to build your footing about two inches wider than the standard for your area.

4. How do I attach stucco, siding or brick to ICF walls?

ICF features recessed steel furring strips (attachment studs) every 12" on center. New PolyPro features composite studs every 6" on center with the largest attachment area in the industry. These attachment studs are designed to receive self-tapping screws for the attachment of stucco lath, brick ties, and/or siding. PolySteel and PolyPro's attachment studs provide an excellent, uniform anchor for virtually any interior or exterior wall covering you desire.

5. What is the longevity of a home built using ICF blocks.

The wall system combines solid, reinforced concrete with high density expanded polystyrene and welded steel to create structures that are more structurally secure than those built with traditional construction methods. Longevity of a traditional home is about 50 years, however an ICF home can stand for centuries.

6. What kind of interior and exterior finishes are available?

All conventional interior and exterior finishes are easily applied to ICF walls.

7. Do I have to use a special home design/ plan?

No. You do not need to use a special home design/ plan, you can use any project that you already have or we can help you design a custom project that will meet your and your family needs.

8. Would the house feel cold or breezy because it is made of concrete?

No. It is just the opposite. The house is easily maintained at a constant temperature that you like. Because the concrete is insulated on both sides with polystyrene the walls don't cool down in the winter and don't heat up in the summer. You can save up to 80% on your energy bill.

9. How many stories can be built using this technology?

You can build up to 10 stories using this technology.

10. What is the thickness of the walls and what type of windows do you have to use?

An average thickness of the walls in a residential home is 12 inches. You can use any kind of windows that you chose.