What is insulated concrete formwork?

What is insulated concrete formwork?

Insulated concrete formwork (ICF) is a simple construction system that uses hollow block components. These blocks are dry stacked together to provide a formwork system which is then filled with concrete to provide a solid wall.

Insulated concrete formwork is an alternative build method to traditional brick and block or timber frame construction. It can be used to construct external and internal walls.

ICF was first developed in Germany in the 1940s and has been successfully used all over the world. ICF was introduced to England in the 1970s.

There are a variety of different block and panel ICF systems, most are manufactured from polystyrene foam (most commonly expanded or extruded). The Durisol ICF system uses a mix of recycled wood and concrete (woodcrete) for the block construction. This results in a sturdy block which, unlike polystyrene ICFs, can be stacked several levels high without propping.

ICF is recognised as a standard form of construction by the Council of Mortgage Lenders for mortgage purposes and is accepted by the major warranty providers (including NHBC).

What are the benefits of ICF over traditional construction?

  • ICF allows design flexibility – curves, arches, and varying angles can be incorporated into the design
  • ICF outperforms the current Building Regulations
  • ICF systems are quick to assemble and require low labour input with a reduced need for skilled tradesmen
  • Less heavy plant and equipment is required on-site during construction
  • ICF can be erected in wet and freezing conditions
  • The high thermal resistance of ICF walls results in energy saving
  • ICF walls have much lower rates of acoustic transmission
  • ICF walls provide fire protection in excess of normal requirements
  • An ICF structure will have minimal air leakage as it is a monolithic structure creating a healthier indoor environment
  • ICF structures do not rot and are unaffected by vermin and termites

If you are interested in using insulated concrete formwork for your build project and would like to find out more, please contact us on 01495 249400.