ICF Advantages

The Primary ICF Advantages are:

• Safety
• Energy Efficiency
• Comfort
• Sustainability

Safety

An ICF wall is a superior structural combination of concrete and steel. The concrete thickness is typically 6” or 8” but can be more if necessary. When compared to common walls, an ICF wall offers superior protection from tornados and from the debris launched by these storms. An ICF wall can stop a 2×4 flying at 150 mph (or even a bullet). ICF homes are able to withstand the worst of storms. Tornadoes that completely level standard homes blow by with very little damage to the ICF home. With ICF homes from The Hybrid Group Inc, every roof rafter is secured by an anchor embedded in concrete.

ICF walls protect from fire. The concrete can’t burn and all insulation used in IntegraSpec ICF contains a flame retardant. A 6” IntegraSpec ICF wall has a 3 hour fire rating, with 4 hours for 8” walls.

A saferoom with steel door and a concrete cap can be easily included in our buildings.

Energy Efficiency

As part of the building system we employ, ICF Homes regularly save 50% or more on heating and cooling costs over ordinary homes.

With the combination of a solid concrete core in full contact with interior and exterior EPS insulation panels, a super energy efficient wall is created protecting the indoor environment.

As a solid barrier of concrete , the core of the ICF walls prevent air infiltration . As the temperature outside rises in the day and falls at night, it takes many hours for these changes to penetrate the ICF’s 5” of EPS insulation and 6” (or more) of concrete. The inside temperature does not fluctuate, so heating and cooling costs are dramatically reduced.

These benefits are permanent. Unlike some other insulation systems, Integraspec’s performance does not downgrade over time. No other ICF system utilizes EPS “Bucks” around doors and windows, meaning there is no break in the insulation around openings. Other systems require pressure treated wood or plastic around openings which can cause thermal bridging.

Comfort

In an ICF home built by The Hybrid Group Inc, there are no drafts, cold spots, or cold rooms. The house stays the temperature you set and every room is comfortable. The insulation combined with the thermal mass of the concrete walls isolates the living space form outdoor temperature swings.

Indoor air quality is greatly improved in a properly built ICF home. Because there is no outside air movement through the walls, all of the fresh air brought into the house is properly filtered. This maintains cleaner indoor air, and aids in reducing dust, pollen, mold, and other allergens.

Integraspec’s EPS (expanded polystyrene) insulation is a safe material without glues or formaldehyde and does not off-gas VOCs or other toxic gases.

The concrete and insulation of ICF walls also block outside noise. Whether it’s traffic noise, mowers, or the neighbor kid’s band practicing next door, you will enjoy peace and quiet inside. Storms that wake the neighbors will not disturb you in an ICF home.

Sustainability

Using Integraspec ICF’s to construct the exterior walls of a 2,000 square foot home will save almost 30 trees. When using Integraspec ICF’s, you are completing: structurally superior walls, super insulation, wall studs, and air/moisture barrier, all in one product. This replaces concrete block, conventional poured concrete, stick framing, exterior sheathing, house wrap, plastic wrap and insulation. That means less trucks

delivering products to the construction site. Also, Integraspec ICF’s are manufactured in nearby Decatur, Alabama.

Because a solid concrete ICF house will last much longer than a conventional house, the cycle of build/demolish, build/demolish is interrupted. The concrete will not rot or decay, and termites can’t eat concrete. An ICF home built by The Hybrid Group Inc should be here for centuries.

In 2014, 41% of all energy used in the US was consumed by buildings. 50% of that energy was used for heating and cooling. Building with ICF’s dramatically reduces energy consumption and saves energy for the entire life of the building.

IntegraSpec’s furring strip inserts and web-spacers are manufactured from recycled high impact polystyrene. EPS waste from an IntegraSpec worksite can be recycled, but because Integraspec’s independent panels are bi-directional and reversible, almost every scrap can be used in the wall assembly. There is much less waste generated from building with ICF as compared to a wood frame.

What is the Construction Process?

The Insulated Form Panels are stacked in place to form the wall
Steel rebar is installed as the panels are placed
Concrete is placed inside the forms
Drywall is installed directly onto the forms (studs are 8” on center) inside
Brick, Stucco, Siding, or other finish is installed outside

More Frequently Asked Questions