What is ICH and Why Should I Use it?

Throughout most of our blog posts and content we tend to talk a lot about something called ICF/ICH, but exactly is it? ICF is an acronym for Insulated concrete forms or ICH for insulated concrete house. This building technique utilizes a system of expanded polystyrene (EPS) rigid insulation blocks separated by plastic webbing. Instead of using the traditional wood plank or plywood form, ICH is used to pour a concrete wall. In simple terms, ICF/ICH are molds filled with concrete which make up a buildings frame and foundation. Due to its higher thermal resistance and thermal mass ICH buildings are considered high-performing, and have less strict construction standards than traditional systems. In addition to this, ICH increases your home’s comfort, reduces energy bills, and minimizes your environmental footprint.

 How Are ICF Homes Built? 

The process is actually quite simple. The exterior walls are built using forms, which act like hollow molds that clip together just like Lego blocks. Steel poles are placed within the ICF blocks for added support, and then they are filled with concrete. Once the concrete solidifies, it becomes the wall’s foundation, and the forms remain as additional insulation. 

What Are The Benefits of ICF?

There are five main benefits of building with ICF: budget, customization, durability,  insulation, soundproof. ICH is much less labour-intensive and minimizes material costs during the construction process. Because of the increased lumber costs caused by the pandemic, ICFs are becoming more cost effective, resulting in a boost of home builders utilizing the craft. ICF is also extremely customizable. The form has higher plasticity and adaptability than traditional building materials. No matter the shape, ICH can fit the mold. It is also extremely durable! The service life of the insulated concrete building can exceed 100 years, and the wall reaches up to four hours of fire resistance pre-testing. It is also requires the least follow-up maintenance amongst other building materials. In addition, ICF improves insulation, energy efficiency and soundproof capacity. The two layers of insulation walls provide high, continuous insulation and low air infiltration. Without the heat conduction effect, heat loss is significantly reduced inside the building. With the 6” concrete core, the sound transmission class can be rated 50 to 55. Compared to traditional wood-framed walls, only 20% to 25% of the sound wave can travel through walls.

How Can I Get Started?

Give us a call or email today, and we are happy to give you a consultation! We always strive to provide our clients with the best building experience, and are happy to answer any other questions you might have.