Polystyrene ICF or woodcrete ICF?

If you’ve been investigating insulated concrete formwork (ICF) as an option for you build project you’ve probably come across several suppliers that offer polystyrene ICF. Polystyrene or foam ICF is the most common form of ICF. However, the alternative and longer-standing version of ICF uses woodcrete (wood cement).

Woodcrete was developed in the 1930s and has been used since then to make the Durisol ICF units.

5 advantages of woodcrete ICF over polystyrene ICF

1.     Buildability

Woodcrete ICF units are heavier and more robust than polystyrene ICF units. Unlike polystyrene ICF they don’t require propping during construction as their weight holds them in place. Woodcrete ICF walls don’t bow and bend as easily as their polystyrene counterparts. Using woodcrete ICF instead of foam ICF makes the build process simpler and easier.

Fixing heavy objects to a polystyrene wall can be problematic. This is not an issue with woodcrete ICF walls which allow heavy objects to be attached using only wood screws.

2.     Insulation Performance

The insulation performance of woodcrete ICF is similar to that of polystyrene ICF. However, the inner face is thinner, which makes it better at releasing usable heat from the thermal mass of the concrete. Also, unlike most polystyrene ICFs the insulation is placed primarily on the exterior of the concrete mass which creates better insulating thermal mass/dynamic effects.

3.     Sustainability

Woodcrete ICF is not a petroleum based product and therefore has less of an overall environmental impact. It uses recycled waste wood which would otherwise go to landfill sites.

4.     Fire Resistance

Woodcrete is inherently fireproof. Woodcrete ICF will not burn due to the mineralisation process during its manufacture.

5.     Breathability

Woodcrete is waterproof but remains breathable to allow any moisture build up to evaporate harmlessly. These properties make it suitable for basement builds.

If you’d like to find out more about the advantages of building with woodcrete ICF or discuss using Durisol for your project, please call us on 01495 249 400 or email us.