ICF Retail

Retail business is on the tip of the commercial sector’s tongue at this time of the year, as retailers ring in holiday season sales while planning for the year ahead. Part of those plans is expansion, construction of new stores throughout the province into growing communities where new revenue streams await. In an effort to optimize their bottom line, retailers big and small are considering new ways to erect their brick and mortar, which may indeed involve getting rid of the ol’ brick and mortar, literally. As a builder in Alberta, you need to be there to offer them this optimized solution, which is why you’ve come to the right place. Insulated concrete forms are revolutionizing the commercial arena, with retail shops quite possibly benefiting better than any. Let’s find out how and why.

4 Reasons Why Insulated Concrete Forms Make Good Business Sense for Retail Store Construction

1. Lower Cost of Longterm Operations

The words retail and business are synonymous. It begins and ends with the bottom line and when it comes to construction, there is no better way to protect the bottom line than by building with insulated concrete forms. Why? ICF lowers the overall cost of longterm operations.

It starts with speedier construction, preventing delays in getting retail operations up and running and ready to earn revenue. ICF also equates higher safety ratings which can effectively reduce insurance claims and premiums. But the biggest cost benefit is found in the superior insulation and thermal resistant properties of ICF, ones that come with an R-Value of nearly 24 (NUDURA products from Total ICF). This R-Value is to credit for a reduction of energy and utility expenditure that provides a monthly cost savings ranging anywhere between 20-70%. Retailers will see an immediate and longterm ROI when investing in ICF construction, all the while abiding by updated building codes in Alberta. Now that’s just good business!

View more on how ICF provides a direct reduction in total operating costs of a building.

2. Providing a Better Customer Shopping Experience

Ambiance is extremely important to the customer shopping experience. Temperature is a key component in setting a tone conducive to consumer comfort, and spending. When a shop is constructed from ICF, there are fewer internal climate fluctuations and a reduced reliance on utilities (as per item #1 above) to manage interior temperatures. Retailers will therefore have an easier time maintaining the environment they want to provide.

In addition to being able to better control interior temperatures, retailers can also optimize the customer experience by managing sound. Studies have shown that the right in-store music can increase spending habits. If a retailer’s playlist is overshadowed by exterior noise (road traffic, etc.) the impact is diluted. Insulated concrete forms have inherent soundproofing qualities to make sure retailers can control what the customer does and doesn’t hear.

There is no denying the science behind the subtleties of a retail setting and the positive impact on consumer spending, and it is also clear that ICF better allows a retailer to control the ambiance that can effectively enhance the customer shopping experience.

3. Flexible Aesthetic Design

There are some retailers on the fence about adopting this modern commercial building method, because of aesthetic concerns. For instance, a boutique shop may prefer a traditional building exterior, one you may find standing along a quaint cobblestone walkway of a historic district. What they may not know, is that ICF walls can be finished with practically any type of siding, be it brick, natural stone, stucco, wood, or more. A retailer can enhance/protect their brand by building a storefront that conveys any image they want, from heritage or colonial to art deco or post-modern contemporary. View more on ICF’s flexible finishing options here.

4. Scalable Model of Future Expansion

All of the above leads to one inevitable conclusion – retailers building with ICF will have adopted a scalable model for business expansion. All that it takes is that first property to realize the direct benefits of an ICF building. From there, a cookie-cutter template (for a lack of better words) is in place for establishing future shops around Alberta, allowing a retail brand to pop-up and set up shop where demand for their products exists. When you consider the economic rebound occurring in Alberta at this very moment, the fact that ICF is there to help retailers capitalize on this opportunity in a sustainable manner is a very exciting prospect. Will you be the builder that affords this to them?


Offer your prospective retail clients a better way to build their proverbial brick and mortar by introducing them to the benefits of insulated concrete forms. But first, become more versed in this innovative form of commercial construction by contacting Total ICF to learn more.