How Insulated Concrete Forms Create Resilient Buildings

Originally published by: Architecture & DesignSeptember 22, 2017

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This iconic photo of a home still standing after the devastating Hurricane Katrina ripped through the Mississippi USA in 2005 is testament to the structural integrity of Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF). Built using ICFs, the home survived the deadly storm and proved the ability of this construction system to withstand natural disasters.

Rebuilding will soon begin in the regions destroyed by the recent Hurricane Irma and reinforced concrete will be discussed as a construction option. When using the right product with a solid reinforced concrete core, the building will be able to withstand wind speeds of up to 402kph.

Insulated Concrete Forms from ZEGO Building Systems, for instance, can protect properties and people from the devastating effects of tornadoes, hurricanes, cyclones, strong winds and earthquakes.

But the advantages of the ICF system go beyond impact resistance. Extreme temperatures brought about by climatic events such as storms may not affect the building structure but can increase the discomfort of occupants through fluctuating hot and cold temperatures. The storm driven air infiltration is dramatically reduced by the continuous air barriers of the Insulated Concrete Form as the high thermal mass of the concrete and the insulation of the sacrificial foam panels help to regulate the temperature inside a dwelling.

Storms are also known to cause fires due to the impact of rainwater and wind on the electrical services in the home. ICFs offer a superior level of fire resistance with steel reinforced concrete and a non-toxic flame retardant EPS (expanded polystyrene) foam with self-extinguishing properties.

The ZEGO ICF building system is a structural reinforced concrete building system with stay-in-place foam for insulation. Insulated Concrete Formwork systems have been used in construction around the world for more than 60 years with reinforced concrete constructions at least 6-9 times stronger than traditional builds.