What is ICF?
All of the homes that we build at Praesidium Homes are constructed using an advanced technology commonly known as ICF construction. Insulated Concrete Forms (ICFs) are interlocking blocks consisting of two panels of expanded polystyrene (looks like styrofoam, but far superior) connected by a series of polypropylene webs. The forms are stacked up much like giant Lego® blocks (to which they are commonly compared), then reinforced with vertical and horizontal rebar. The cavity is then pumped full of concrete to form the most durable, energy-efficient, safe and comfortable wall system possible.
Buildings that are constructed using ICFs are made to last for centuries... not just decades. The exterior walls are made of rock solid concrete available in 4-12” thicknesses. Logix ICF walls provide an unmatched wind rating of 200+mph winds (with standard rebar placement), making it great for coastal areas. By increasing the rebar, these structures can achieve wind ratings up to 300 mph. ICF walls also have up to a 4-hour fire rating! By default, all these qualities translate into a significantly lower insurance premium.
Another innate benefit of ICF walls is found in the window sills. After finishes are applied inside and out, typical wall thickness is just over 12". This means that the depth of window and door surroundings are substantially wider, resulting in deep window sills... a nice feature for homeowners.
Unlike traditional wood-framed wall systems, ICF wall systems prevent costly energy loss due to the superior R-factor of the continuous foam insulation. The thermal images to the right show considerable energy loss across the entire wall of a wood-frame and a concrete block home. The ICF home has only minimal loss at the windows. The exceptionally high R-value of an ICF form, coupled with the thermal mass contribution of the concrete and reduced air infiltration cut energy costs by almost 60%! As an added bonus, these walls also provide incredible sound resistance.
The expanded polysterene (EPS) foam insulation and concrete in the walls, which are partially made from recycled materials, are non-toxic and do not give off gas, reducing green house gas emissions by as much as one third that of a wood-framed home. They also significantly reduce the amount of wood and other precious natural resources used in the construction of the home. More than just green, this thermal envelope saves energy, preserves precious natural resources, uses recycled materials, produces minimal on-site waste during construction, and provides a quiet, healthy indoor environment free from mold, mildew or other toxins. There is no other construction method available today that provides all of the cost saving features, safety, quietness, comfort and peace of mind that ICF walls provide. That's more than just a "green" home... it's a far superior Praesidium home!
The standard ICF wall system is naturally termite resistant because there is no nutrition source for these pests inside of a concrete wall. Some ICFs go the extra mile by including Preventol, an optional termite preventative with a proven 100% kill rate.
Mold and mildew are also no match for an ICF wall because there is no space inside the wall system to foster their growth. This means you can rest assured the air quality inside of this air-tight home is far superior than that of traditionally built homes. As you can probably imagine, since the outside temperature, pests, wind and moisture can't penetrate these walls, neither does sound!
Net Zero Ready!
The energy efficient ICF shell is ready to partner with energy producing solar panels and sell power back to the grid!