Our autumn edition of insulated concrete forms “in the news” has arrived. A follow up to the end of summer article, a lot has happened in the industry that has contractors along with residential, commercial, industrial, and municipal developers talking. Without further adieu, let’s take a look at this season’s hot topics in ICF.
Fall 2016 Headlines About ICF Construction and How it Can Benefit Your Next Build
The Near 1 Billion Dollar Projection Maintains
Given the volatile economy, optimistic projections in the construction industry seem to take a nosedive more often that not. What was stated three month ago can be rendered meaningless with a sweeping change in oil prices. When we reported on the 970 million dollar growth projection for the ICF industry back in August, did we think it would stand? You bet! This week, highly reputable Digital Journal shared the same promising outlook. In fact, it is in-part because of the current state of the economy that ICF is expected to thrive more than ever before.
Never before has concrete been so flexible. It turns out that economically and ecologically conscious advocates are turning to ICF for innovative new residential building projects. An architect and design instructor in Ottawa, together with his students, has devised a way to incorporate a straw, clay, and concrete mixture to build a home. The concept is fascinating. As the mixture dries, the straw, which contains seeds, sprouts fresh green shoots. The shoots flourish (within the mix) for about three weeks and then die. At that point, the mixture has completely dried and the next stage of construction can proceed. In addition to being economically sound, the principle goal is to negate the use of a plastic vapour barrier, which can trap mould-causing moisture in the walls. The project ultimately seeks to minimize the use of synthetic content, with approximately 85% of the home to be built from unprocessed materials. The prime ingredient for this foundation? You guessed it! A low string of insulated concrete blocks on which the wall panels sit are made of wood chips, clay and cement with a layer of added insulation.
The Future of Building for Cold Climates (or Cold Seasons)
AZoBuild, a leading online platform for the construction industry, has put its researches out in the field to find solutions to better combat building foundation problems caused by extremely low temperatures. In their October 28 release, they addressed the three main components in protecting a property from the cold – foundation, exterior, and insulation. For the foundation, ICF was positioned as the solution, noted for its superior insulation rating, rigidity, labour savings, and longterm cost efficiency. Industry leaders have taken notice, and put the rest on alert – insulated concrete forms are the future for any region battered by cold autumn, winter, or year-round weather.
Providing the Digital World the Opportunity to Build a Net-Zero Facility
We live in a revolutionary new age. Genius has grown from the chem and bio lab to the digital production studio, with leaders in the digital field setting trends in all industries, construction included. These leaders seek to build not just a better virtual world, but a real one too. A big part of this, is found in the construction of net-zero facilities. By definition, a Net Zero Energy (NZE) building is one that produces at least as much energy as it consumes on an annual basis. The mandate is being actioned not solely by Silicon Valley, but by a multitude of others in the tech sector. For example, renowned digital artist Kendra Fleischman is in the midst of building a net-zero home/studio that uses solar energy to offset most, if not all, power usage. The primary building block for this home/facility of the future? Insulated concrete forms, of course. There’s no denying it, when we enter the matrix one day, it most certainly will be built from ICF. Swallow the pill accordingly.