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Housebuilders to benefit from insulating concrete formwork

Published by
World Cement,

Insulating concrete formwork (ICF) is an innovative construction method consisting of twin-walled expanded polystyrene (ESP) or extruded polystyrene (XPS) blocks, panels or composites, connected by plastic or metal connectors, which are filled with ready-mixed concrete. This method combines the natural strength and performance properties of concrete with the thermal insulation properties of polystyrene.

ICF offers a number of benefits, including speed, minimum waste, adaptability, energy efficiency and low air infiltration.

  • Speed: up to 4 m2 per man-hour (an ICF structure of a five bedroom detached house can be built in approximately two weeks).
  • Minimum waste: off-cuts from ICF block and panel elements are collected onsite and recycled directly into the manufacture of new elements.
  • Adaptability: contemporary architectural and traditional vernacular designs are easily accommodated. Any form of external finish (masonry, brick-slips, render, tiles or weatherboarding) can be affixed.
  • Insulation and energy efficiency: ICF can provide U-values in the range of 0.11 to 0.35 W/m2K.
  • Low air infiltration rates: almost all air infiltration is accounted for by window and door openings, meaning that there is very little heat loss due to air leakage.

Adapted from press release by Rosalie Starling

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