We may be making assumptions with the title here. You may be a “thinking outside of the box” (blocks?) builder who has already imagined the endless possibilities of insulated concrete forms. But considering that many residential, commercial, industrial, and municipal contractors are surprised by the list of traditional ICF building applications, we thought it would be a good idea to expand those horizons. You see, as insulated concrete forms are growing from trend to the norm, the industry is beginning to see uses and applications that were never before considered. So, before you plan your next project, or as you reposition your marketing plan as a cutting-edge builder (or designer), take a look at the new possibilities of ICF.
3 Examples of Creative Projects That You Can Build Using Insulated Concrete Forms
Swimming Pool Waterfalls and Grottos
By now, you probably know that NUDURA products (supplied by Total ICF) are commonly used for residential swimming pools. Given that approximately 80% of a pool’s heat is lost through the bottom and sides of the pool, ICF’s thermal properties make great sense. However, you may not have realized that you can extend your use of ICF to complete the custom structures surrounding the pool, creating an impressive aesthetic to rival a tropical resort. They very same ICF products that we supply were used to take first place in the 2017 ICF Builder Awards in the category of Specialty Project Construction. A groundbreaking 200-square-foot cascading waterfall was constructed using insulated concrete forms. But it doesn’t need to stop there. Thanks to the diverse selection of NUDURA component blocks, you can design curves, integrate stone ledges and adapt features which may otherwise be deemed impossible using other ICF brands. That means you can create a cozy grotto setting, complete with a barrel-vault roof and many other features your imagination can conjure.
This is a dramatic one but not as uncommon as a request as you may think, given that a new Cold War seems to be stirring in the news. All exaggerations aside, residential and municipal interests are indeed inquiring about “safe zones” which include bomb shelters and panic rooms. Whether to protect from manmade or Mother Nature’s threats, security facilities are a growing market for builders. When it comes to building for security, insulated concrete forms are superior. Their impressive blast radius and ability to withstand that brunt of harsh storms make it the building method of choice in this unique category.
Central Alberta communities such as Sylvan Lake, Gull Lake, and Pine Lake (the list goes on) are rich with access to bodies of water. Boat house construction in these communities ebbs and flows with the local economy, so residents (and vacation property owners) continue to look for longterm cost-efficient ways to build. You may not have considered ICF for building boat houses, but it makes perfect sense. The thermal resistant properties of ICF keeps the structure comfortable for those that enjoy the lakes in all-seasons. The ability of ICF to withstand on and off-shore winds is another big benefit, as is its ability to keep moisture-caused rot at bay. Anyone living near coastal communities will also appreciate the ability of ICF to minimize saltwater corrosion so common to traditional concrete. ICF provides a building envelope that can better resist the highly corrosive effects of wind-blown seawater.
Do you have an up and coming project in mind for Central Alberta, but are not sure if ICF can provide the solution you need? Contact Total ICF today to see if you can apply our (via NUDURA) insulated concrete forms to your build. We have a feeling that you most certainly can.