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What is Insulated Concrete Formwork (ICF)

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What is Insulated Concrete Formwork (ICF)

Published: 3rd September 2020

What actually is ICF?

Insulated concrete formwork (ICF) is defined by the ICFA as an in-situ concrete building system that offers much higher performance over traditional alternative building methods.

ICF construction, in a nutshell, is a block component that locks together without the need for mortar or other bedding materials. The blocks provide a formwork for which concrete can then be poured into – laying the foundations for your dream home.

Izodom 2000 Polska

Econekt is extremely proud to be the exclusive partner for Izodom 2000 products in the UK and Ireland. With production and manufacturing facilities the world over, Izodom is known for producing one of the most advanced ICF based systems on today’s market.

Established in 1991, Izodom 2000 Polska has been leading in the way in the production of low energy & Passivhaus building products and can also take credit for the formation of the certified (PHI 2018) Passivhaus building system. Izodom is proud to stock over 140 components for individual systems so, through their three energy performance levels, you will find an Izodom product for every project imaginable.

History of ICF

Insulated concrete forms date back to the Second World War with countries who were looking to rebuild their beloved towns and cities as a result of the conflicts. The first known people to develop the first iteration of an ICF building style were Alex Bosshard and August Schnell. They decided to cast a wooden fibre cement material into blocks which allowed for a hollow centre, reinforced with steel and concrete.

Fast forward to the 1960s and Werner Gregori had just filed the first patent of the foam concrete form that we know today. Apparently, he came up with the idea after observing how a foam cooler kept a soft drink cold, realising that if a concrete block could be formed using foam plastic, then the need for excessive concrete construction overheads could be eliminated.

Benefits of using ICF?

There are some very important benefits of using ICF over a more traditional means of formwork:

  • Thermal insulation – because ICF blocks themselves are so well insulated, you will often find that this completely eradicates the necessity for more traditional means of thermal insulation, efficiently keeping the cold out and heat in.
  • Efficiency – alongside the obvious newfound energy efficiency due to ICF formwork, builders can also enjoy the perks of higher efficiency due to the ease ICF brings to the building site. Its ease of installation ensures that you will require less labour, fewer materials and time for your dream home’s project
  • Structural integrity – ICF blocks are far superior to other materials used in structural construction such as wood. They are resistant to infestations, moisture, rotting and mould, while also remaining resistant to adverse weather conditions.
  • Acoustic insulation – alongside ICF’s thermal insulation, you will also find that it is perfect for providing significant acoustic insulation between the walls of your dream home.

ICF for businesses

While many self-build project leads are touting the benefits of ICF in residential construction, it has many uses in the commercial world too.

An example of this can be businesses that require a very precise and controlled temperature, food growers are found the world over to have ICF built factories. Allowing them to precisely fix an indoor temperature, warm or cold, whilst reducing the energy costs at the same time.

Alongside these, you will often find swimming pools are constructed using ICF forms. Without ICF insulation, a traditional swimming pool can lose up to 80% of its heat through the sides and bottom of the pool. Installing these formworks can help to considerably reduce energy bills for many businesses that utilise pools such as hotels and fitness centres.

Econekt’s ICF products

Econekt pride themselves on the fact that they are able to simply offer a solution from the Izodom ICF product’s only all the way through to complete Econekt structural system.

Having taken Izodom’s foundation and ICF wall forms and extensively detailed them as part of a complete structural solution to provide a watertight low energy or Passuvhaus solution, Econekt are one of the only suppliers and contractors on the market who can provide such a range of products and services. And to a range of end users.

If you would like to discuss how Econekt can lay the foundations of your dream home please do not hesitate to get in touch.

E: info@econekt.co.uk

T: +44 (0) 844 225 1680