Insulating concrete form (ICF) systems have been available in the UK and Ireland for over 20 years and worldwide for approximately 50 years.
These types of systems are based on large hollow lightweight block components, generally manufactured from expanded polystyrene, that lock together like pieces of a puzzle, to provide a rigid formwork system.
Concrete is then poured into the hollow chambers of the blocks and once set, the concrete becomes a high strength structure. The formwork permanently remains in place as the thermal insulant, and can offer u-values ranging from 0.30 W/m²K to 0.11 W/m²K – ideal for zero-carbon buildings.
ICF systems offers excellent thermal, acoustic and wind resistant properties along with fantastic design flexibility, so much so that after the blocks have been initially assembled, it is possible to verify the design before any concrete is poured, enabling any preferred or beneficial modifications to be made with minimum disruption. This would not be possible with alternative building methods.
All service cables and pipes are easily concealed within channels that can simply be cut into the foam walls, eliminating the need for specific service ducts, and thereby increasing the internal dimensions of a structure.
Wetherby have long existing business partnerships with numerous ICF manufacturers in the UK who offer a wide range of component widths, shapes, integral ties and reinforcement options that achieve different levels of performance.
Wetherby’s renders are ideal for use with ICF systems and can be applied directly to the formwork.
Thin-coat silicone & acrylic and brick slip cladding systems, all offer a perfect finish that will give any ICF building a seamless, attractive finish.
Although silicone and acrylic render systems are reinforced using alkali resistant scrim cloth as standard, areas that may be at risk from high levels of impact damage, such as through traffic areas, are often reinforced using ‘armour mesh’.
Some of the benefits of ICF Construction …
- Rapid on-site assembly time
- Low labour and equipment requirement
- High strength structure is achieved
- Fantastic design flexibility
- Ideal new build construction method for coastal areas
- Good thermal, acoustic and wind resistant properties
- A wide range of external finishes that can be applied directly to the formwork
- The AMVIC ICF System now has a 60 year IAB life expectancy – the first of it’s kind in Europe.