Frequently Asked Questions

What are ICFs?

Insulated Concrete Forms

What are ICFs made of?

ICFs are made of Expanded Polystyrene(EPS)

Why ICF?

Speed of Construction

An ICF structure typically costs less than other wall assemblies that have comparable energy efficiency and structural fire and noise performance. In addition, ICF structures take half the time to construct; therefore, help accelerate the project’s schedule.

Cost Effectiveness

Builders who use ICF report savings in the shell construction costs. This is attributable to the speed and ease of wall erection, reduced waste, ease and speed of mounting windows and doors, etc. No need for additional air or vapor barriers, so no additional labour or material costs. The larger the structure, the greater the savings could be!


An ICF structure is built to last and retain its value longer. The strength of ICF come from the solid concrete core. Of all construction materials, concrete is the most resistant to heat and fire. The foam in ICF is manufactured with flame-retardant additives. ICF has a fire protection rating of up to 4 hours. It requires less maintenance and repairs over its lifetime. ICF acts an effective sound barrier by dampening sound vibrations from unwanted outside noise, providing Sound Transmission Class (STC) rating as high as STC 50 and as high as STC 56 for a 6.25” ICF wall.

Skilled Workers

ICF technology is straightforward assembly. It is easy to learn, so it takes less time to train a worker on how to use and construct ICF wall systems than to train a worker to be a qualified mason. There is less need for heavy equipment therefore, less need for workers with heavy equipment training. Different kinds of structures could be built using ICF such as single- family homes, high-rise residences, commercial/institutional or multi-family residences among others.

What can be built using ICFs?

ICFs can be used in the construction of bungalows, 1 storey buildings, high rise buildings, buildings such as schools, hospitals, shopping malls/arcades, apartment complexes, church buildings, security walls, retainer walls etc.

Does ICF prevent termites from infecting the structure?

Insulated Concrete Forms are not constructed using any wood. ICF is comprised of foam insulation, concrete and rebar. ICF provides no food for termites so even if the termites can break through the cementations covering there is no food to sustain them. Fire Resistance

Is an ICF building kept cool on the inside at all times and why is that?

The combination of the ICF and the concrete core acts as a mass wall and blocks air infiltration, allowing building to save significantly on their cooling costs.

How long does it take to build a house using ICF rather than using traditional methods of block/brick and mortar?

A one-storey house takes approximately 3 months from foundation stage to move in stage.

Does one need training to build with ICFs?

Yes, it is important that an installer undergoes training.

What are some of the benefits of using ICF for building?

The following are some of the benefits of using ICFs in building (a) Provides Architects and Designers Versatility in Designing
(b) Time Efficiency
(c) Cost Effective
(d) Reduced Material Costs
(e) Reduced Labour Costs
(f) ECO Friendly
(g) Recyclable Materials
(h) Energy Efficiency
(i) Sound Resistancy
(j) Building Strength and Durability
(k) Termite Resistant
(l) Mold Resistant
(m) Pest Resistant
(n) Waterproof
(o) Superior Sound Insulation
(p) Fire Resistant

What is the long-term maintenance cost for ICF?

Insulated Concrete Form structures are built to last and retain its value long-term. Since ICF is formed by reinforced concrete, the maintenance to the building is less and has minimal repairs over time then other traditional building envelopes.

What is the fire rating on ICF material?

Experience shows that concrete structures are more likely to remain standing through fire than structures made of other materials. The foam in ICF is manufactured with flame-retardant additives. ICF fire rating is up to 4 hours.

What additions are needed in the construction of an ICF building?

Other additions such as steel framing, iron rods, concrete etc are needed in the construction process.