With growth in new construction in Alberta, the supply of building materials (and subsequent rising costs) continues to be an issue for builders. Then there’s the labour shortage. The province’s unfilled job rate currently sits at 2.4%, but for the construction sector that number is higher at 3.6 percent. With a labour shortage, construction companies and general contractors are faced with higher wage increases as a means to lure skilled workers into the fold, which can inflate their bid going into a prospective project, rendering said bid less competitive. This is of course a frustrating scenario, as there are all of these residential developments on the near horizon, and yet you may not be in a position to throw your hat in the ring for them. Traditionally, that scenario would indeed play out accordingly. However, when you adopt insulated concrete forms for residential construction, you eradicate this threat to your livelihood. Here’s why.

Why Insulated Concrete Forms Solve Labour and Material Shortage Concerns for Residential Construction in Alberta

ICF Requires Fewer Building Materials

Insulated concrete forms are being heralded as the solution to an industry stuck in a rut of tradition. Even though they continue to date, traditional wood frame (and hybrids) builds are already a thing of the past when it comes to residential construction. There are simply too many moving parts under this antiquated method, with the reliance on numerous building materials posing a financial risk to builders. Insulated concrete forms however, are literal building blocks and forms that can easily be customized and shaped to suit any project, and can even be cut and scribed to fit the contours of a bedrock foundation. Not only does the reduced requirement for building materials abate supply shortage stress, it equates a cleaner construction site and minimizes the need for frequent transport of building materials to the site.

ICF Requires Less Labour

The above mentioned reduction of building materials and overall “moving parts” significantly reduces your reliance on labour. Simply put, the DIY foundation behind ICF means that you can build more and build faster with fewer workers. And this fact provides implications for things to come for both those builders that do and do not add “ICF installer” to their resume. Architecture & Design recently delivered a quote that sums this up well:

“However, the day is not far off when a crew of ICF installers cross-trained in the required DIY trades will be able to complete 95 per cent of the work required on any residential or small commercial project independently.” (Architecture & Design)

Is there a catch or caveat? Well, if you and your workers have never used ICF before, an instruction manual and YouTube video alone won’t cut it when it comes to cruising through the learning curve. Without proper training, you could add unnecessary labour hours to a given project. But thankfully, there is a solution available to Central Alberta construction companies and contractors – Total ICF offers courses and training programs that lead to your certification as an ICF builder. When working closely with us, you will be on your way to being one of the top ICF builders in the province. Learn more about our training programs here.


By adopting ICF as a part of your general contracting business, you not only provide property owners with a more comfortable and energy efficient home, you provide yourself with peace of mind that you no longer need to be a victim to the economic concerns surrounding labour and material shortages. Contact Total ICF in Central Alberta today for ICF products and materials, and/or to learn more.