Green Term Defined: Insulated Concrete Form

Green Term Defined: Insulated Concrete Form

Insulated concrete form (ICF) is a wall building system made of reinforced concrete and most commonly rigid thermal insulation. The forms are stack and have the appropriate amount of steel reinforcing added vertically or horizontally. The ICF’s are then filled with concrete.


Insulated concrete form are similar to the concept of legos. Each manufacturer has a type of interconnected system so that allow the blocks to lock in place before the concrete is poured. Insulated concrete forms can be used for any building type.

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After the concrete is in place, the insulated concrete form has significant thermal properties, soundproofing, fire resistive characteristics, and durability. ICF blocks are made by many different companies and have different characteristics. Some fold for easy shipping or are put together on site and some are blocks when they arrive. There are blocks that have graphite in them to deter insects from destroying the foam layer. There are blocks that use concrete with wood fiber for the outer walls, some using rigid foam, and some use cellular concrete. Each insulated concrete form has pros and cons, but all offer a superior wall system for many building types.

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