Use ICFs for log home foundations

| by David Morris
Use ICFs for log home foundations

If you're thinking about building a log home, or other pre-fab or systems-built home, start with a strong foundation.

Insulated concrete forms are an energy-efficient option for basements and crawlspaces. Traditional poured walls require additional interior and exterior finishing compared to ICFs that take steps out of the construction process while delivering better performance.

Rather than setting up traditional forms, pouring the concrete, then removing the form boards later, ICF foundation walls rely on interlocking foam blocks that not only provide the form to fill with concrete, but also provide insulation that significantly outperforms the thermal resistance of solid concrete alone.

With an ICF foundation, your home has full-height continuous EPS foam insulation that eliminates cold spots and thermal bridging for both above- and below-grade walls.

That means your basement will be comfortable year around because it's insulated from the ground. The even temperature below grade helps control moisture, which is essential for the life of the logs in a log home. The EPS foam prohibits mold, mildew, or rot, making the air smell better and less likely to cause respiratory problems for the people who live there.

ICFs help save energy, too. Fox Blocks walls exceed current IECC energy codes by 20 percent for below grade walls. The double insulation layers dramatically reduce the thermal transfer rate across the wall, saving energy. The foam-and-concrete walls are airtight, sealing conditioned air inside and eliminating drafts and hot or cold spots.

The construction schedule should be shorter because ICFs provide a five-in-one construction solution: structure, continuous insulation, furring attachments, air barrier, and vapor barrier. Once the ICF walls are complete, all these steps are done.

If you're building your dream log cabin, talk to your builder about insulated concrete forms for the foundation. You'll be glad you did.

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: Foundations, 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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