Through the years, man has relied on many types of materials to build shelters – brick, wood, mud, straw, and yes – even concrete.
But while one might picture a cold and unwelcoming institutional dwelling when thinking of concrete construction, it might surprise you to know that not only is concrete versatile and when combined with other materials, is very warm and inviting. It is also on the cutting-edge of energy efficiency, and is a building material that is perfect for the weather we have here in the Tri-Cities.
I.C.F. – Insulated Concrete Forms – are a great match for our climate extremes here in the Tri-Cities because, as its name says, they are very insulating. This helps homeowners use less energy to heat their homes during our cold winters. It might surprise you to know that they also do a better job of keeping a home cool in the summer because the thick wall regulates the temperature more evenly.
An additional bonus? Because the walls are more air-tight than their wood-built counterparts, the dust that plagues most stick-built homes (and becomes very bad in the wind here in the Tri-Cities), is significantly less in an I.C.F. home. In fact, a resident of Mediterranean Villas (an I.C.F. community in Pasco) reported having left for six months and returned to a virtually dust-free home!
So how does it work? Basically I.C.F. Construction is a series of lego-type foam blocks that stack on top of each other and lock into place, allowing concrete to be filled in the center. Then stucco or siding can be applied to the outside and drywall applied to the inside, just like a regular house. I.C.F. offer space to run not only plumbing but also electrical conduit.
Not only do homeowners of I.C.F. homes report they are much more comfortable (and outside noise-free!) than a stick-built home, the energy savings are very dramatic. David and Carol Myers who own an I.C.F. home in Mediterranean Villas reported that when they owned a comparable-size traditionally-built home, their energy bills would be up to $175 in the winter. However, since they moved to a Devoted Builders-built I.C.F. home, their highest winter energy bill was $66. Watch the video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TYfIHiQ5egw
You’ll probably be hearing a lot about I.C.F.s in the years to come. If you’re considering a building project, you may want to consider insulated concrete form construction. For additional information and to learn more about this innovative, energy efficient way of building, please contact Jennifer Cowgill at (509) 947-5670 or Jessica Johnson at (509) 947-2230. You can also watch our videos here to learn more!