ICF Soundproofing

One of the big benefits of ICF construction that is often overlooked is the ability of insulated concrete forms to soundproof a property.

Insulated concrete form construction creates a barrier that buffers a building’s interior from outdoor noise. The combination of concrete and Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) blocks cut fluctuations in air infiltration and other sounds. One recent study (also referenced here) found that over 60 percent of ICF homeowners applauded quietness as being a benefit, versus a mere 2 percent of traditional wood-frame homeowners.

Sound Transmission Class (or STC) is an integer based rating system that measures how well a wall (or other partition) attenuates airborne sound. A well-constructed but traditional wood frame home has an STC of approximately 33. That’s about as good as it gets when building with gypsum board, lumber studs, and fiberglass insulation. But when building with NUDURA products (supplied in Central Alberta by Total ICF) buildings are afforded an STC rating as high as STC 50!

With this information, it’s clear how ICF can be applied to buildings that normally face the challenges of noise pollution. But just in case you can’t quite envision how ICF can solve projects with post-construction audible concerns, we’ve provided a list below.

5 Types of Building Projects That Benefit from Insulated Concrete Form Soundproofing Properties

Residential Developments Near Airports and Highways

Homes near airports and highways are often far more affordable than their local community counterparts. However, REALTORS and agency offices still have a heck of a time unloading these digs, even with a bargain price tag. For this reason, developers may shy away from building around these locales, which is a shame given that the sprawling landscape is often prime for residential construction. This barrier to development no longer needs to exist, thanks to insulated concrete forms. By using ICF in all future residential developments near airports and major highways, you are able to capitalize on lucrative land while offering prospective homeowners an affordable option that no longer comes with noisy strings attached.

Downtown Condos

Many people would love to buy a condo in the downtown core of their city. The access to work, leisure, and assorted amenities is valuable, but not as priceless as a quiet night’s sleep. Developers and investors hoping to maximize condominium sales and occupancy in dense metropolitan areas can now breathe a sigh of relief. By adopting ICF for condo construction, they put an offering on the market that not only offers the convenience that urban professionals, young couples, and small family units demand, but one wrapped in a package that excludes noises common to the downtown scene.

Manufacturing Facilities

Builders looking for a solution for industrial and commercial manufacturing facilities located in more densified areas, including industrial parks close to retail and residences, will appreciate the soundproofing of ICF too. This is because in addition to keeping noise out, ICF keeps noise in. That’s a big plus for those hoping to keep in good graces with neighboring buildings. All in all, insulated concrete form construction presents a solution for manufacturers seeking to take advantage of the benefits of being located closer to transportation routes and end-user clients, without the burden of being known as local noise polluter.

Theatres, Concert Halls, and Music Studios

Insulated concrete forms support the arts! It’s true if you think about it. As with manufacturing facilities noted above, the ability of ICF constructed walls to keep noise from escaping makes it the perfect solution for construction projects that include a theatre, concert hall, music studio and the like. Performers, producers, and musicians will have fewer concerns about violating noise ordinances when they are singing to the tune of ICF.

Nightclubs and Bars

Carrying on from theaters, concert halls, and performance studios noted above, ICF construction makes sense for nightclubs, bars, and restaurants that have live music or DJs on the rotation. And when the Oilers, Flames, Eskimos, and/or Stampeders make the playoffs sports bar owners won’t have to worry about loud cheers or boos (depending upon the watering hole) disturbing the peace.


Do you have any further questions about the soundproofing properties of insulated concrete forms? We’re ready to listen. Simply contact Total ICF to start the conversation.