Lower Your Cost of Living with an ICF Home

| by David Morris
Lower Your Cost of Living with an ICF Home

Studies show that construction costs are relatively small compared to the operating cost of a home over a 30-year mortgage. Insulated concrete form (ICF) homes reduce those costs through energy efficiency and low maintenance living.

Research tells us that construction represents 15 to 20 percent of a family’s cost of owning a house over 20 years. Other things like maintenance, insurance and energy consumption dwarf the construction cost during that time.

Insulated concrete forms (ICFs) are double insulated reinforced concrete walls using expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam insulation forms. The foam blocks are stacked as interlocking blocks, connected with steel rebar. They offer well-insulated, airtight, quiet, energy-efficient building enclosures, replacing traditional wood-frame construction.

One of the biggest benefits of using an ICF building system is the continuous insulation on both sides of the wall that eliminates thermal bridging and energy loss. An ICF home can cut energy bills in half and can achieve a HERS index in the 40-50 range, which means they are outperforming existing building codes by 50 to 60 percent. 

Comparisons of similar ICF and wood-frame house constructions found that ICF wall construction can provide a substantial savings in annual heating and cooling costs.

To achieve a similar level of energy performance, a typical wood-frame home would require an “energy upgrade” that adds about $2,640 to an average home cost of $200,000 (or about $1.32 per square foot of living area). This amount is equivalent to about one-third of the cost difference between ICF and typical wood- frame house construction.

Many ICF homeowners are happy they were willing to pay a little extra on the front end for energy cost savings, not to mention the benefits of added safety, quiet and comfort for the entire time they lived in the home.

This blog was developed by Fox Blocks. All posts, sponsored and un-sponsored have been reviewed and approved by the Sustainable Community Media Editorial Team to ensure quality, relevance/usefulness and objectivity.

Topics: Building Green, Insulated Concrete Forms - ICF

Companies: Fox Blocks

David Morris
A Detroit native, David T. Morris, LEED® Green Associate, used his drive for entrepreneurship, innovation & new product development to develop a patented product and later took a new building product to market. In 2012, he became U.S. East Regional Manager with Fox Blocks, a division of Airlite Plastics Company, managing ICF sales in seven states. Since 2006, David has delivered more than 140 IFA/ICF training seminars to contractors, plus another 120 presentations to architects and engineers. He is a featured speaker and SME on High-Performance Buildings, and his efforts have resulted in environmentally friendly construction being specified for residential, commercial, and institutional buildings throughout the country.

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