ICF for Commercial Buildings

Insulated concrete forms are everywhere. ICF has been making mainstream media news all season and the momentum isn’t expected to subside any time soon. The applications for residential projects and industrial properties (i.e. agricultural) make sense but did you know that ICF is a perfect match for commercial constructs too? The reasons to use ICF for commercial property construction are numerous, with energy efficiency, speed, longterm ROI, structural integrity, and customer/staff comfort being the highlights.

Last week, yet another business joined the global ICF family, with a winery (agricultural) in Oregon adopting the building concept for their tasting room and hospitality area (commercial). If you’re considering a more efficient way to build commercial properties for your current and prospective clients, you do them a huge service by switching to ICF. To help you better envision the opportunities, we have put together a list of everyday commercial businesses that would be extremely well suited for the world’s (Alberta included) new standard in commercial construction.

5 Types of Commercial Businesses That Would Benefit from Insulated Concrete Form Construction

Commercial Office Space

There was a time when it was thought that ICF could not be well applied to large commercial office developments. However, NUDURA (supplied in Central Alberta by Total ICF) nipped that in the bud over 10 years ago when their products were used too erect the first ever ICF-constructed 10-storey residential building. All of a sudden, the possibilities for commercial office space unfolded. With commercial space having to abide by Central Alberta city and township regulations regarding building height in commercial districts you wouldn’t need more than that anyways. The use of insulated concrete forms will let you build the space quickly, allow quicker occupancy, garner positive feedback from executives and staff within the comforts of an ICF building, and help deliver a quicker ROI to all involved.

Retail Developments

Standalone boutique stores, department stores, outdoor shopping plazas, strip malls, and large scale shopping malls alike are great candidates for ICF construction. The lower longterm cost of construction is the biggest factor, but after that all of the common benefits addressed in the introduction apply equally.

Hospitality – Hotels and Resorts

The hospitality industry has welcomed ICF construction with wide open arms, especially hotels and resorts which include Hilton Hotel properties. The materials deliver guests a more comfortable experience, provides off-season travelers (and year-round staff) with better protection from harsh weather, keeps monthly utility expenditure down, and even offers an eco-friendly alternative for the eco-conscious guests of the new millennia. View more on why ICF works so well for hotels.

Leisure – Restaurants and Theatre

For some commercial enterprises, comfort is everything. By placing patron comfort first, it ensures a more enjoyable experience, builds a loyal following, generates positive word-of-mouth, and in the end equates a longterm revenue stream. This devotion to customer/patron comfort is found with many successful dining establishments and those catering to the arts and culture community. ICF and its insulating properties create an environment that is warmer during cold winter months and cool and comfortable during hot summer days and evenings.

Aesthetics are also essential in this industry, which is why ICF is once again a popular choice. Any type of exterior and interior wall finishing can be applied to the property, whether you’re going for a post-modern contemporary look, or something colonial or cottage in theme.

Restaurants also have health concerns to contend with. One bad visit from the health inspector can shut down an otherwise successful eatery or franchise. ICF not only protects the property from mold and mildew growth, it is superior in the prevention of pest infestation – something that EVERY eatery (and theatre) can appreciate.

Commercial Banks

What is the biggest building concern for commercial banks? Security. Nothing else comes close. And when it comes to building security, nothing comes as close to being as effective as insulated concrete form construction. The physical properties alone make ICF resistant to intrusion, which is comforting to know when banks are closed or on lock down. But how about the fact that military conducted tests using 50 lbs of TNT evidence a blast radius of just 6 feet? Impressive stuff indeed. View more on the security benefits of insulated concrete forms.


The above details just some of the more common commercial applications for ICF, however there is practically no business that it cannot accommodate. Ready to break ground on commercial construction with insulated concrete forms? If you’re building in the Central Alberta area, contact Total ICF to learn more.