Here we are at the onset of May and the Central Alberta weather midday forecast has us tipping into the mid-twenties. Summer is coming and it is not uncommon for the central part of the province to experience a hot one. Residential developers continue to be faced with a unique conundrum. Your build needs to consider our infamously harsh winters, yet must accommodate especially hot summer months too.
By now, you know that insulated concrete forms are a superior building method for moderate to extremely cold climates. But what about the calendar days on the opposite side of the annum? Is ICF optimal for those all-important three to four months out of the year? Let’s find out.
How ICF Will Make Alberta Homes More Comfortable and Efficient in Summer Months
Thermal Resistance Has a Cooling Effect Too
NUDRA products (supplied by Total ICF) have an estimated R-Value of nearly 24. This feature is directly responsible for keeping homes warmer in the cold winter months. There’s no debating that. But this thermal resistant property is just as effective in keeping occupants comfortable in the summertime when they need to keep cool. Unsure? Consider this. NUDURA insulated concrete forms have become commonplace in residential construction in West Africa, through Africa Leading Edge who states that homes are 40% cooler than houses that are not built with ICF. Consider this for a moment. We’re talking about a place that exhibits an average annual temperature of approximately 28°C (in the central part of the region). The lowest recorded temperature in Nigeria is 26 °C. Confident that NUDURA ICF will accommodate your residential cooling needs in Central Alberta through the summer? We are too!
Reduces the Cost of A/C
Comfort is one thing. The bottom line, is another. Coming off of a dramatic couple of years in the economy, new homeowners and property managers are looking to cut longterm costs all season long. You can’t go without heating in Alberta during the winter (ICF helps bring that cost down), but all too often homeowners will suffer the heat and avoid air-conditioning in the summer to reduce that expenditure. Should homeowners be robbed of this option?
Central air conditioning works best when occupants want to have the entire home cooled, though it means that you have less control over the temperature of each room individually. When a home’s envelope is built with ICF, the summer temperature is both cooler and better balanced from room to room. That means you may not even need to tap into your air conditioning system. But if you do (during VERY hot summers), the balancing lets you use a more efficient central (versus window or ductless mini-split) air conditioning system while allowing you to keep overall cooling costs significantly down.
Summertime Insect Repellant
Pests of the home-invasion variety love the warm summer months in Alberta. Last year, pea leaf weevils ran rampant along the Highway 2 corridor and the surrounding area. They move around easily in the summer and can make their way from the fields to homes. Wood boring insects known as saperda are also an anticipated problem, especially if we have a dry summer. Then there is the most destructive of them all, termites, the greedy bunch that will make a feast of your home. Termites LOVE the summer. There’s only one way to keep them all at bay through the season, and it’s got nothing to do with your local pest control guy. Instead, homes are being built with ICF, not only for the thermal resistant benefits, but for its ability to stop pests in their tracks. The concrete barrier, waterproof membrane, optional (low toxicity) termiticide, and mold/mildew resistance of NURUDA forms keeps unwanted summer guests (in-laws not included) from coming over.
Are you building for all-seasons in Alberta? Help homeowners enjoy an endless summer by incorporating ICF into your next residential project. Contact Total ICF today.