ICF Building Applications

Chances are, you’ve heard more than a few discussions and rumblings about insulated concrete forms over the last year. It’s unavoidable in the construction and architectural design industries at this point. With global growth projections nearing one billion dollars you’re now considering how you can use ICF for your projects. But as a residential, commercial, industrial, or municipal builder, you’re wondering which applications ICF may be best for. Do insulated concrete forms make sense for your up and coming build/s? Let’s find out.

7 Types of Building Projects Where Insulated Concrete Form Construction is Highly Recommended

Single-Detached Family Homes

There is nary a better use for ICF than in the field of residential construction. It is now heralded as the answer to antiquated home-building practices. The reason? Homeowners love the immediate reduction in their monthly utility bill, thanks to the high thermal resistance of insulated concrete forms. ICF’s physical properties also equate a quieter and more secure home that requires minimal upkeep while providing a healthier living environment that inhibits the growth of mold, mildew, and rot. Read more on why ICF is better for building homes.

Residential Complexes

The same benefits prescribed to single detached family homes apply to residential complexes, including condominiums, townhouse communities, and other multi-residential properties. Property owners/managers greatly appreciate the reduction in monthly energy expenditure, regardless of whether or not the unit by unit expense is passed on to renters. A residential complex development is all about recouping ROI and because of the ongoing utility savings and speed of construction (amoung other benefits) ICF delivers revenue sooner and in greater sums.

Educational Facilities

With Alberta slated to spend $3.5 billion over the next five years to build and modernize educational institutions (public and private), this type of project is on the tip of many builder tongues. Is ICF appropriate to this sensitive industry? Definitely. In fact, NUDURA ICF (available in Central Alberta throughTotal ICF) has made major headway in this segment, beginning with the award winning Alvaton Elementary School project across the border in Kentucky. The reasons why ICF is becoming so sought after by educational institution planners are as clear as the ABC’s. The speed of construction means that ICF-constructed schools can meet enrollment demands faster. ICF schools also set sustainability (green-building) standards, and provide a quieter, more comfortable, and safer learning environment for students, teachers, and administrators alike. Study this more in-depth article on why ICF is better for schools.

Health & Medical Centres

Because ICF dramatical lowers operating costs, it makes great sense for medial facilities running on a careful budget. But it goes beyond the bottom line. The demand for more health care facilities and centres is on the rise as the Baby Boomer generation ages, and ICF allows for quicker turnaround time on the build. ICF also provides better patient comfort (warm in the winter, cool in the summer), improved indoor air quality, and creates a safe-haven for long term patients, resident caregivers, and sensitive medical records. View more details on why ICF is the ultimate solution for medical buildings.

Commercial Properties

Your commercial clients will applaud your use of ICF in constructing the brick and mortar (or should we say insulated concrete forms) source of their ongoing revenue stream. The retail shop or office will be built faster and will provide a more comfortable environment for staff, customers, and clients. An ICF-constructed commercial property will allow it to weather the literal storms and stay open no matter what Mother Nature throws in its path. ICF commercial builds also allow businesses to wear an eco-conscious badge of honour, which is great for public, municipal, and federal relations. And last but not least, ICF allows commercial businesses a lower operating cost thanks to a significant reduction in monthly expenses. Read more about how ICF is good for a commercial enterprise’s bottom line (and beyond).


All of the above speaks to how ICF is also appropriate for industrial applications, including the energy sector, agriculture, warehousing operations, and more. But we really want to stress security here. Industrial operations have a lot at stake on-site. Hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars worth of equipment on the premises (in addition to commodities, products, and materials) are at risk. The security that ICF offers is unparalleled. The properties of insulated concrete forms (Expanded Polystyrene and reinforced concrete) make it resilient. It can withstand liquid concrete pressure, can accommodate reinforcement bars, and contains a flame retardant. NUDURA ICF (via Total ICF) even has a 6-foot blast radius that can take up to 50 lbs of TNT! Investigate further how ICF is best suited for security, industrial settings included.

Hospitality Accommodations

Another area where the use of ICF is seeing a surge, is in the hospitality industry. ICF is well suited to boutique accommodations, motels, hotels, and resorts alike. Guests are kept in absolute comfort no matter the season while hotel owners and franchisees enjoy the benefits of longterm operating cost reductions. The latter is a big benefit given the topsy-turvy trends and seasonality of the hospitality industry. Find out why Hilton Hotels and others are looking to ICF when it comes to future accommodations.

The conclusion is clear. Insulated concrete forms are not just appropriate, but optimal for practically ever form of construction. If you’re ready to move forward on this forward-thinking building concept and you build in the Central Alberta area, contact Total ICF today.