BUILDING PROCESS FAQ's
WHAT IS THE ICF BUILDING PROCESS?
Building an ICF home is very similar to other types of construction. However, your building plans will need to contain a few additional details. We recommend that you consult with an architect or home designer that is familiar with ICF construction. Once you have your blueprints and a builder, we will estimate the cost of your ICF walls.
The next step is to acquire your building permit. You will also need a load calculation from Gulf Power. This is a heat loss/gain analysis on the structure which takes into account the high thermal mass and high energy efficiency of the ICF wall. The results of this analysis are used by the HVAC contractor to design the A/C system.
Once the foundation is completed, the ICF walls are built. Next, the exterior walls are poured, the interior walls are framed, and the roof is put in place. If your project is more than one story, a floor system is installed and the next level of ICF is built. After the building is “dried-in,” the utility subcontractors install the HVAC, plumbing, mechanical, and electrical systems. Any utility penetrations through the walls are sleeved-in prior to the wall pour.
After these steps are complete, we can begin pouring the concrete walls. This usually takes only a few hours, and we use a boom pump to place the concrete. Once the wall is filled up, anchor bolts and/or hurricane straps are set in place, and the walls are straightened using our bracing and alignment system. The next day the bracing is removed and the project is ready for the framer to build the interior walls. Trusses are attached to the top of the wall using individual hurricane straps for each truss. A truss strapped to a concrete wall will resist hurricane-force winds much better than those attached to a wood framed wall.
WHICH ICF BLOCK IS USED?
There are many different brands of ICF forms available, but not all blocks are created equal or approved for use in the state of Florida. Over the years we have installed many different brands of block, but we trust the folks at NUDURA for the bet NUDURA is user friendly to transport, store, and install, and we guarantee our walls with NUDURA. technical and logistical support is outstanding.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO BUILD AN ICF PROJECT?
An ICF home can usually be built in the same amount of time as any other type of home. Commercial structures can often be built quicker, due to the combined steps of framing and insulating. Large sections of wall with few offsets and openings also contribute to the speed of building with ICF’s.
WHAT KIND OF FOUNDATIONS CAN BE USED WITH ICF?
Any type of foundation (Stem-wall, monolithic, off-grade, piling, hollow core, etc.) can be used with ICF walls. The only requirement is that rebar must extend out of the slab or footer to connect the ICF wall to the foundation.
CAN AN ICF HOME BE BUILT ON PILINGS?
Yes. We form and pour an elevated beam that connects the pilings, and supports the ICF wall. The other method is to form and pour an entire elevated slab before we go up with the ICF walls. The floor can be formed conventionally, with “Lite-deck”, or with hollow core panels.