Insulated Concrete Forms for Agriculture

While there is plenty of talk about the revived Keystone Pipeline, analysts are reporting that something else will spark sustainable recovery of the Alberta economy this year (and beyond). The agriculture and agri-food sector is projected to deliver the healthy financial injection the province needs. This growth is already happening. For instance, there is currently billions of dollars worth of investment in Alberta’s grain handling industry, with new facilities being constructed near Red Deer this year. Domestic and international companies are set to enter the market, looking to capitalize on this projected growth in the world’s most important commodity. As an industrial builder, you will want to show your competitive advantage so that when they come knocking, you have something to offer that traditional builders may not. And that advantage, is found in the use of insulated concrete forms.

What Makes ICF Better for Building Agricultural Facilities

Thermal Resistance for Better Produce and Agri-Food Storage

NUDURA forms (supplied by Total ICF) are made from expanded polystyrene, a Type II closed-cell form that provides a higher R-value per inch than that of competing building materials. The heralded thermal resistant properties of insulated concrete forms is more than beneficial for homeowners, commercial businesses, medical facilities, hotels, schools, and even unexpected applications. This feature creates a controlled-temperature environment that is essential to the storage of produce and all forms of agri-food, through all of Alberta’s seasons. Of course, the very significant cost savings on monthly energy expenditure looks great on the longterm bottom line of your agricultural operator.

Meets Agricultural Sector Sustainability Demands

Insulated concrete forms contain no chlorofluorocarbons (CFC’s), Hydrofluorocarbons (HFC’s), or formaldehyde (chemicals, gases, and compounds commonly found in traditional building materials). ICF is recyclable and the thermal properties also equate a reduction in energy consumption (as noted above). The world that demands sustainability in agri-food production also demands that facilities and operations exercise the same responsibilities. By constructing agricultural buildings with ICF, this demand is met. It also provides your client with a great public relations advantage, and thus an advantage to you, their builder.

Averse to Moisture, Mold and Rot that Can Ruin Crops and Impact Livestock

Insulated concrete forms are moisture resistant, non-absorbent, and inert (chemically inactive). This means that the construct, no matter the climate or time of the year, will resist mold, mildew and rot. When it comes to agri-food manufacturing and storage, such a characteristic is invaluable.

It is also a major selling point for any client that seeks to build a facility to house livestock. Optimal feed storage for livestock is essential in climates such as Alberta where a winter environment may prevail for a great portion of the year. Storing feed and keeping it in prime condition can be a challenge, especially in wetter conditions. Feed spoilage is the result of the growth of undesirable molds and bacteria. This can cause the heating of feed, reducing key nutrients such as Vitamins A, D, E, K and thiamine. Livestock depends upon these nutrients. A moldy environment can also make the feed less palatable and keep animals from consuming the required amounts for optimal health.

Who knew ICF could have such a positive impact on the health of crops and livestock? Now you (and your clients) do.

Reduces Risk of Weather and Other External Threats

Agricultural facilities are often located in high-risk areas. From open prairie plains to denser orchard environments the constructs are at the mercy of storms, strong winds, hurricanes, tornadoes, and brush fires born from lightening strikes or human interference. Millions of dollars in annual returns are at risk. By using ICF, your clients are able to reduce this risk, thanks to the storm-proof and fire resistant (ICF is non-combustible and contains a flame retardant) properties of insulated concrete forms.

Whether you need to build a facility for produce and agri-food storage, an animal barn, or any other agricultural construct, insulated concrete forms are the clear front-runner for building material of choice. Contact Total ICF today to start the conversation on how we can help you (and your clients) build a better future for agriculture in Alberta.