Insulated Concrete Forms are rigid plastic foams that hold concrete in place during curing and remain in place afterward to serve as thermal insulation for concrete walls. The forms can be distinguished into three main divisions: Block, Panel, and Plank.
Building with Insulated Concrete Forms is gaining thrust over other building materials as ICFs offer energy efficiency, safety ratings, and exceptional comfort.
They (ICFs) offer owners and builders many advantages compared to wood or steel frame walls. Insulated Concrete Forms are used for walls in commercial and industrial, institutional and residential buildings.
Concrete walls built with Insulating Concrete Forms (ICFs) give a building enhanced comfort, durability, energy efficiency, quietness, solidity, and resistance to natural disasters.
ICFs are very strong structurally and they are an ideal choice for areas that are prone to wildfires, hurricanes, and tornadoes. Concrete buildings survive high force winds like hurricanes far better than wood or metal frame buildings. When properly reinforced they should also withstand earthquakes well.
ICFs are a great fit for regions prone to severe weather condition because of their strong impact resistance.
ICFs provide excellent simulating qualities. They act as a thermal barrier, making it possible for buildings and homes to retain heat more effectively. They offer well insulated, airtight, energy-efficient enclosures. About one-sixth as much sound gets through an ICF wall compared to any ordinary frame wall.
Hence ICFs allow the installation of smaller (generally less expensive) heating and cooling equipment. Thus ICF plays an important role in reducing the negative environmental impact associated with fossil fuel use.
The operating expense of a model building over its duration of life easily exceeds its construction cost – sometimes by a multiple. Thus building owners and operators need to minimize the total cost of the building instead of only the cost of construction. Insulated Concrete Forms are revolutionizing the construction industry.
The global ICF market is driven by a number of factors as augmenting demand for energy efficient buildings, progressing use in high-rise residential buildings, surging demand for better thermal performance and reduced construction time and burgeoning preparedness towards disasters.
The market has also been segmented by geography into the following regions- Asia-Pacific, Europe, Middle East and Africa, North America and South America. Canada dominated the global ICF market in 2017.
Some of the major companies dominating the global Insulated Concrete Forms market for its products and services are:
- Airlite Plastics Company (Fox Blocks)
- BuildBlock Building Systems
- Login Insulated Concrete Form Ltd.
- NUDURA Inc.
- Quad-Lock Building Systems Ltd to name a few