ICF Energy Savings
Energy efficiency is the core feature of insulating concrete form construction because so many owner/occupant benefits stem from it.

Actual studies show that homes built with ICF exterior walls require an estimated 44% less energy to heat and 32% less energy to cool than comparable wood frame houses.* However, homes and structures built with the proper complement of windows, doors, HVAC systems, and methods, generally accomplish at least a 50% savings. And in some cases, depending on the area and climate, homeowners experience as much as an 80% decrease in energy use and costs.

At a time when energy costs are soaring, many building owners are deciding it makes more sense to spend money on a safer, longer lasting, and more energy efficient structure than to spend that same money on utility bills.

Monthly Operating Cost for the Homeowner

Standard Wood Frame Concrete Home Comments
Purchase Price $200,000 $208,000 4.0% more
P & I $1,167 $1,214 5.75% interest
Taxes $333 $347 .02% tax rate
Insurance $80 $68 15-20% savings
Energy $240 $144 40 - 50% savings
Monthly Cost $1,820 $1,773 $47/month less
*Portland Concrete Association, Technology Brief 1

Effective R-Value
The Total Effective R-Value performance of ICFs consists of three factors:
(1) the R-Value of the expanded polystyrene,
(2) the thermal mass of the concrete, and
(3) the enormous reduction in air leakage (infiltration).

Insulating Value
First, the R-Value of BuildBlock's polystyrene alone is R-20, compared to wood frame's R-9 to R-15. So ICF walls are expected to cut the conduction losses through foundation and above-grade walls by about half.

Air Infiltration
Air leakage accounts for as much as 40% of the heat load requirements of a wood framed structure. Nothing blows through solid concrete! ICF walls reduce air infiltration by about half, compared to wood frame.

Thermal Mass
But ICF walls do more than cut down on the biggest types of energy loss. The concrete gives them the heat-absorbing property "thermal mass." This is the ability to smooth out large swings in temperature. It keeps the walls of the house a little warmer when the outdoor temperature hits its coldest extreme, and keeps the house a little cooler when the outdoor temperature is hottest.*
As a result, with the combined performance of these three factors, ICF walls actually perform as high as R-50 in some areas of the country.

*Energy loss graphs and thermal mass information from Portland Concrete Association, Technology Brief 1

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ICH High Performance Homes and Commercial Structures
400 W. Wilshire Blvd.
Oklahoma City, OK 73116

Phone: 405-848-9026
Toll-Free: (866) 612-6842

FAX: 405-848-9703

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