In construction, safety and efficiency are always paramount on any building site. Whether you are using traditional methods like brick and mortar or constructing with more modern techniques such as ICF, this never changes.
ICF has sometimes been touted as ‘LEGO for adults’. This innovative building system has long been known for the structural integrity which it offers, and it all starts with constructing a shell with ICF blocks that are made out of polystyrene. These are dry-stacked and interlocked together to define the initial shell of the home, and this is then where ICF bracing systems would come in.
As ICF gets its structural integrity from the concrete poured inside the blocks themselves, these must be properly aligned before the all-important pour(s). The way in which we always do this is by using an ICF bracing system. These are attached with ease to the ICF itself, then anchored to the ground, creating a safe and easy means to align your blocks. Once unfolded, the bracing systems allow for wood or steel walking platforms to be installed the whole way around your structure. This ensures that concrete pours can be completed with ease, negating the requirement for additional access systems and in turn reducing initial plant or hire costs for your project.
How are ICF bracing systems installed?
Installation of an ICF bracing system couldn’t be any simpler. First, like any ICF focused self-build, you would need to construct your structural shell using the blocks. After this has been done, one side of the brace would be fixed into the wall itself ensuring this area is completely secure. You would then secure the base or horizontal support to your foundation, footing or slab.
After the bracing system is attached at both focal points, access battens would then be installed around the perimeter of your self-build, with the addition of steel or wooden safety rails around them too for fall protection. The walking platforms are a godsend on concrete pour days as it allows our build teams to work directly at the ICF face ensuring safe and proper access for pouring, in turn reducing possible site and build risks.
ICF bracing systems are extremely versatile for any self-build. At Econekt we carry two different types of bracers dependent on pour heights – we have the ability to pour up 5m in height with the braces we hold and rent out.
A key benefit of using ICF bracing systems is the efficiency and ease of use when both installing and using said system. Econekt’s supplies braces can quickly be installed by just one person using no more than a cordless drill. Walls can easily be adjusted from the walking platform itself, taking what would usually be a three-person project, to a one-person job over a few hours, significantly increasing site productivity.
Interested in constructing your self-build home with our innovative building system? Get in touch today to see how we can help!