ICF for Lakefront and Waterfront Home Construction

Total ICF is located in Sylvan Lake, Alberta, one of the top waterfront resort destinations in the country. The Central Alberta area is also peppered with other lakes and waterways that beckon individuals, couples, professionals and empty nesters alike to build homes along them. However, living around harbors, marinas, and beaches presents investors and residents with a unique set of challenges. The good news, is that when you build them boathouses and waterfront properties with insulated concrete forms (ICF) you provide a solution that will make ownership and occupancy an enjoyable one.

3 Reasons Why Insulated Concrete Forms Are a Preferred Method of Construction for Waterfront Homes in Alberta

1. Resilience Against the Lake Breeze of Lakefront Properties

While a lake breeze feels amazing from the patio in the warm summer months it sends shivers down the spines of homeowners, even on the interior when a home is built from traditional wood frame construction.

The lake-breeze phenomenon is born from the movement of cool air from across the surface of the lake toward the land and is responsible for drastically altering the temperature along the shore and beyond. Physics is the culprit here, as it mandates that air pressure must flow from high to low, so the relatively cooler air over the lake (high pressure) consequently flows toward the shore (low pressure). As soon as the cooler and denser air reaches land, it undermines the warm air over the shore and drops the air temperature while forcing it (warm air) up into the atmosphere. From there, a conveyor-belt like form of circulation occurs as the rising motion over land and sinking motion over the water allows the lake-breeze to persist through the day. Since science dictates that nothing can be done to prevent this natural process, action must be taken to prevent the phenomenon from impacting homeowners and the need to expend greater energy to heat the home.

This is why insulated concrete form construction is so important. With a tested thermal resistance rating of nearly R-24,  not only is cold air prevented from entering, the outward flow of heat through the walls is minimized, creating a perfect storm of, well, comfort. If ICF is tailor-made for winter cabins in Alberta, it can certainly keep lakefront homeowners cozy all year long too.

2. Rising Above the Flood Line

Homeowners’ insurers and brokers pay very close attention to this concern because the risk of flooding is high in some Central Alberta residential zones. For example, there are significant flood hazard areas that exist along the 18 kilometer stretch of the Red Deer River through Red Deer. Risk of a flood is in the nature of a waterfront property, which is why traditional wood frame construction makes little sense when there are far superior alternatives. Insulated concrete forms are being used to build flood proof homes, with NUDURA products leading the way. NUDURA ICF’s non-absorbent Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) is resistant to floodwater ingress and a waterproofing membraneis also available to add another layer of protection. View more on how ICF is the answer to concerns regarding rising lake/river levels and the floods that can follow.

3. Seasonal Soundproofing 

Waterfront homebuyers may have envisioned the sweet sounds of windblown waves lapping the shores of the lake but they may not have bargained for the hoopla that comes from living in a popular resort community in the summer months. Then, the sounds of jet ski and speedboat engines and assorted hijinks kick in, and can cause irritation to some. However, when the home is constructed with insulated concrete forms, owners will enjoy the inherent soundproofing qualities. NUDURA ICF has a soundproof rating of STC-50 which means that occupants will be blissfully unaware of the noises outside of their walls. Take a recent church construction project in Marble Falls,Texas as an example. NUDURA ICF products were used to construct the church, a space that requires more interior silence than a public library. The challenge, was that the place of worship was located next to the Colorado River where during the summer annual boat races are typically heard from miles away. But thanks to NUDURA ICF construction, the roaring engines were unheard of from inside the church.

Whether building along Sylvan Lake, Gull Lake, Pine Lake or beyond ICF homeowners will enjoy peace and quiet at any time of the year.


If you have any questions about using ICF to build homes along the lakes and waterways of Central Alberta, contact Total ICF today.