Blog – Total ICF Insulated Concrete Forms Alberta

Building a Man Cave in the Backyard? Why ICF Makes Sense

There’s nothing barbaric about the whole “man cave” concept, even here in 2019. All it is, is an oasis for husbands and common law counterparts, a place to escape and enjoy a setting that would otherwise render the design and decor of a home downright ludicrous. However, dedicating...Read More »

Building Homes More Resilient to Snowmelt in Alberta

Springtime snowmelt is a natural phenomenon that Central Alberta knows all too well.  Rain may have been to blame for the Great Alberta Flood of 2013, but the snowpack and subsequent melt was a significant contributing factor. And while it is a mixed blessing for farmers, ranchers, and agricultural producers...Read More »

ICF for Wrap Around House Extension Construction

Residential wrap around extensions are perfect for homeowners who don’t want to move but need more square footage. It allows them to maximize the space available on their property, typically incorporating both a rear and side return extension to create an L-shaped expanse that wraps around the house....Read More »

Does Size Matter? Comparing Most Commonly Used ICF Sizes

NUDURA Insulated Concrete Forms come in five different core sizes. Standard thickness are 4-inch, 6-inch, 8-inch, 10-inch, and 12-inch, with NUDURA reporting that as of 2019 the two most commonly used ICF sizes are the six-inch and eight-inch core. These two will serve as the subject of our comparison to...Read More »

2019 ICF Builder Awards Recap – NUDURA Wins Big

Here we are nearing the end of January and you know what that means – the 2019 ICF Builder Awards have concluded. Once again NUDURA saw great success in key residential categories, which instills confidence that their building products (supplied in Alberta by Total ICF) will more than...Read More »

ICF Building and Construction News - Winter 2019

The new year is here and this gives us a great opportunity to share the latest news about insulated concrete form construction. Not only is the industry growing even stronger, mainstream media is picking up on the benefits of ICF at a greater pace than ever before. If...Read More »

How ICF Can Make You a Better Home Builder in 2019

The new year is upon us and on the same token that you’re presumably making resolutions to become a better person you are likely doing the same for your residential construction business too. The pledge to become a better builder and gain new business because of it is...Read More »

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,...Read More »

Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF) for Winter Cabin Construction

One thing draws vacation home investment to Alberta from all over Canada and the United States – the vision of a quintessential winter cabin. It’s the subject of computer screen-savers and smartphone wallpapers that people from all walks of life want to make a reality when equity allows....Read More »

Why ICF for Building Winter Proof Homes in Alberta

Forget GoT lore, winter is here in Central Alberta. In fact, that’s a statement that can be made more often that not. For seven months out of the year, the average daily low is significantly below 0°C. In the month of December, the average HIGH is -4°C. As...Read More »

5 Scary Things That Can Happen to Traditional Wood Frame Homes

In the spirit of All Hallow’s Eve we’re here to address one of the scariest things prospective homeowners face in modern times – a wood frame house. We know, we shudder when we think of it too.

Unfortunately, there are residents and residential builders alike who have not been given...Read More »

Building a House Extension? Why ICF Makes Sense

Instead of packing up and going though the pains of moving to a new home out of necessity for more square footage, many homeowners in Alberta are seeking to add an extension (a new room or wing, etc.) to their house. This can be a viable and financially...Read More »

NUDURA Connects to Dryvit and Cements Status as Top ICF

Expect to see more sites like this across Alberta (and Canada)

An exciting announcement came down the pipe last week as RPM International’s Dryvit Systems expanded its portfolio of highly energy efficient building solutions for residential (and commercial) applications by acquiring NUDURA Corporation, the top manufacturer and...Read More »

Building a Vacation Home? Why ICF Makes Sense

After news hit that Albertans are to be hit hard by a new tax on vacation properties in the neighboring province of B.C., residents from Calgary to Edmonton are looking within, seeking custom second homes in Central Alberta where cities, towns, and resort communities such as...Read More »

Insulated Concrete Forms and Fire Resistance

Fresh off the heels (relatively) of the Fort McMurray fire of 2016, wildfires remain to be a hot topic in Alberta. While the the last two years have been more kind to the province, we’re seeing the direct impact that the forest fires in neighboring BC are having...Read More »

How ICF is Being Used to Rebuild Homes and Communities

With global weather being the wonkiest it has ever been, you can no longer turn on the news without hearing about how some natural disaster has destroyed homes and displaced households and entire communities. This trend is not isolated to lesser developed nations or those located smack dab...Read More »

4 Things You Didn't Know About ICF for Basement Wall Construction

ICF provides for a more energy efficient home and is the future of green building, you say? OK, fair enough. By now, you’ve been inundated with these facts, and if you hear the phrase “tested R-Value of 23.59” one more time you may seal yourself into a concrete...Read More »

Insulated Concrete Form Homes Attract Investment

The residential insulated concrete form industry continues to make headlines across the country, continent and planet. Over the past two weeks, Architecture & Design Magazine dropped article after article on ICF, singing praises of both the energy efficiency and acoustic advantages of a home built from the superior building...Read More »

ICF the Answer to Labour and Material Shortage Concerns in Alberta

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....Read More »

Recent Insulated Concrete Form Testing Exceeds Expectations

Another successful NUDURA home

We’re certainly not the only one singing the praises of insulated concrete forms for residential construction. Over the past five years the growth and corresponding accolades, raves, and reviews have been making headlines across the world. And when this happens in any industry,...Read More »

Insulated Concrete Forms for Basement Walls

As Central Alberta’s supplier of NUDURA insulated concrete forms, we receive inquiries from contractors about the benefits of ICF for all sorts of applications (and there are many). The most common? Builders want to know whether or not all of the press about ICF being so superior for...Read More »

Refresher on Why to Use ICF for Green Building in Alberta

image: edited from NUDURA ICF

We haven’t been shy in heralding insulated concrete forms as the energy-efficient building method of choice for homes in Alberta. We’ve posted numerous articles on how ICF applies to everything from LEED certification to Net Zero properties. But after a season...Read More »

2018 ICF Builder Awards Winner - NUDURA 1st Place Recap

Total ICF, Central Alberta’s supplier of industry leading NUDURA products, is proud to announce some very important results from the 2018 ICF Builder Awards. The annual event which celebrates the meteoric rise of insulated concrete forms in the world of construction ran on January 24, in Las Vegas...Read More »

Why ICF Gets Rave Reviews for Home Theatre Room Construction

One popular addition for many custom homes in Alberta, is a space for a home theatre. Whether included in the original architectural plans, or an add-on for an existing build, a dedicated room for a true home theatre experience is an exciting prospect for a homeowner and builder...Read More »

3 New Year Resolutions ICF Can Help Home Builders, Designers, and Architects Achieve

2018 has arrived and just like most individuals, businesses are setting resolutions to be better in the year ahead. This includes the home construction industry, as residential architects, designers, and builders are looking for ways to innovate and improve their offering in order to gain a competitive advantage....Read More »

Why an ICF Foundation on Bedrock is Your Best Bet

Alberta has a geology unlike any other region in Canada. There are thousands of metres of bedrock formations that underlie the expanse of the province, and while digging, blasting, and jackhammering through the rock hard element can be a challenge, it is often worth the...Read More »

Why Choose ICF for Building Custom Homes

As the technology surrounding insulated concrete forms grows, so do the applications. We’re seeing ICF being expertly applied to all sorts of industrial, municipal, agricultural, commercial, and multifamily dwelling projects in Alberta, the country, continent, and the world. But for all of this progression, ICF continues to find...Read More »

Why Use ICF for Retail Shop Construction

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...Read More »

ICF and the Tiny House Movement in Alberta - Building Better Small Houses

The tiny house movement (also known as the “tiny home movement” and “small house movement”) is both an architectural and societal trend that advocates simple living, a lifestyle that begins with taking up residence in a small single detached home. While there is no hard requirement as to what constitutes a tiny home, the structures typically...Read More »

Insulated Concrete Forms in the News – ICF News Update Autumn 2017

It has been a few months since our last industry news update, but that doesn’t mean the world has stopped talking about ICF – quite the contrary. While we’ve been busy as Alberta’s primary supplier of NUDURA insulated concrete forms, builders all over the continent and across the...Read More »

ICF Soundproofing and Building Applications

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...Read More »

Increase the Resale Value of Homes with ICF

A few months ago we published an article on why Alberta REALTORS®, agents, and agencies are excited about the rise in popularity of ICF homes. We touched on how insulated concrete form construction adds to the longterm value of a home, and thus becomes a more lucrative option...Read More »

Why Invite ICF in for Guest House Construction

Today’s new homeowner demands conveniences that will make their home a better place for themselves and those they invite onto their property. Between family and friends households require room to host guests, but they don’t always want to do so by squeezing them into the same space (especially...Read More »

Why ICF Makes Sense for Luxury Homes

Last month, online luxury lifestyle magazine Pursuitist featured an upscale home in the southern U.S., along with images of the home that conveyed an elegance akin to a Victorian palace. What made this abode different from the onslaught of dream homes featured on a daily...Read More »

Real ICF Examples to Apply to Your Own Construction Bids

As an Alberta contractor who has been following news on how insulated concrete forms have changed the way we all look at residential, commercial, industrial, and municipal construction, you know that ICF is a superior building method. However, the challenging part can be client adoption. Some continue to...Read More »

Why ICF Makes Sense for Municipal Construction Projects

It is now well understood that insulated concrete form construction is an optimal building method for residentialindustrial, and commercial projects. What’s left? Municipal of course.

Municipal projects come with a whole other set of variables to account for. There are more than traditional and residential type of...Read More »

Why ICF is the Answer for Affordable Housing

One of the myths surrounding insulated concrete forms is in regards to the buy-in. Purported as being an expensive means to build a home by traditionalist builders stuck in a rut, it has (in the past) been overlooked by some as a clear solution to affordable housing...Read More »

Insulated Concrete Forms for Banks and Financial Institutions

We recently released an article naming the top types of commercial buildings well suited for insulated concrete forms. Banks were on that list.

Building demand for this type of commercial property is relatively inelastic in Alberta, as banks are called upon during strong economic times and uncertain ones...Read More »

Which Types of Industrial Buildings Are Well Suited to ICF?

Insulated concrete form construction is a perfect match for single detached family homes, for multifamily complexes, and as per last week’s article, commercial businesses too. Within the latter we addressed certain types of commercial enterprises that especially enjoy the benefits of ICF construction. Today, we...Read More »

Which Types of Commercial Buildings Are Well Suited to ICF?

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...Read More »

Why You Need ICF to Flood Proof Homes in Central Alberta

Today’s homeowner is more conscious than ever before when it comes to the construction of their abode. It has gone beyond aesthetics and function, as they prepare for natural disasters both common and uncommon to their locale. What are these impending threats? Tornados, windstorms, and wildfires get a...Read More »

Who Needs ICF Anyways?

Who needs ICF? You do! OK, perhaps that’s a bit general. But we’re assuming that you came upon this article because you’ve been presented with the option or have heard about it in recent news. If it’s something you consider a point of interest as a professional...Read More »

Why Use Insulated Concrete Forms for Decks, Porches, and Solariums

With the summer on the way (year in and out) many Alberta homeowners are considering residential add-ons to improve their quality of life, at home. These additions include decks, porches, and solariums. Contractors are being called upon to provide the most efficient means to work these into the...Read More »

Why Use an ICF Foundation for Garage Construction

Garage construction for homes has come a long way. It was once considered nothing more than a necessity for homeowners to their park car/s. Little thought was given to design and efficiency. But as homeowners seek to add value to their properties, developers and residential architectural designers alike are...Read More »

Insulated Concrete Forms in the News - ICF News Update Spring 2017

It’s getting hard to contain our enthusiasm. Insulated concrete forms are receiving more attention than ever, being touted as the answer to traditional woes in the residential building industry. And it’s not just ICF authorities pumping out press releases anymore. Mainstream media has caught on, with today’s building...Read More »

Why Insulated Concrete Forms Make Sense for Hot Alberta Summers

Here we are at the onset of May and the Central Alberta weather midday forecast has us tipping into the mid-twenties. Summer is coming and it is not uncommon for the central part of the province to experience a hot one. Residential developers continue to be faced with...Read More »

Why New Home Buyers in Alberta Demand ICF Homes

REALTORS® and real estate agents are excited about insulated concrete form homes. Multifamily residential developers are too. None of this would be the case if the demand wasn’t driving it. And that demand, is coming from households looking for a more efficient home with a better...Read More »

Why Use ICF for Multifamily and Condo Construction

The residential real estate industry is excited about the use of insulated concrete forms when it comes to single detached family homes. This enthusiasm is not exclusive to single dwelling properties. Multi-unit property ownership groups and managers are also applauding applications of ICF. All over Canada, North...Read More »

ICF and Real Estate - Why Alberta REALTORS and Agents Are Excited About ICF Homes

No industry has been positively impacted by the rise of insulated concrete forms quite like that of residential development. While ICF is a superior building material for all common applications (including commercial, industrial, and municipal) home construction has really reaped the benefits. It’s because of this that REALTORS®...Read More »

Insulated Concrete Form Finishes - What You Need to Know About Finishing ICF Exterior Walls

Can you apply any siding to insulated concrete forms? This is a frequently asked question in the industry. It’s an understandable one, given that on the surface, EPS foam panels and ICF block construction may not sound all that conducive to traditional exterior finishes. But that’s just one of the...Read More »

Insulated Concrete Forms for Outdoor Swimming Pools - Dive in with ICF Pool Construction

With the summer on the way, many builders and pool installation experts are receiving inquiries from residential developers, property managers, homeowners, and even commercial/municipal interests about outdoor swimming pools. It is becoming more and more common for them to follow-up with ICF experts and suppliers. This comes as no surprise.

Amoung the common...Read More »

Insulated Concrete Forms for Self-Storage Facility Construction - Why ICF is Good for Safe Keeping

We’ve been talking a lot about ICF applications over the past couple of months. People (contractors) have been asking. Some possibilities are unique, others are more typical. But one type of building we have yet to touch on, is a self-storage facility.

The demand for self-storage is...Read More »

Insulated Concrete Forms for Agriculture - ICF Agricultural Applications

While there is plenty of talk about the revived Keystone Pipeline, analysts are reporting that something else will spark sustainable recovery of the Alberta economy this year (and beyond). The agriculture and agri-food sector is projected to deliver the healthy financial injection the province needs. This growth is already happening....Read More »

Unique ICF Applications You Didn't Know Were Possible

We may be making assumptions with the title here. You may be a “thinking outside of the box” (blocks?) builder who has already imagined the endless possibilities of insulated concrete forms. But considering that many residential, commercial, industrial, and municipal contractors are surprised by the list of...Read More »

2017 ICF Builder Awards Winner - NUDURA 1st Place Recap

Total ICF, Central Alberta’s supplier of industry leading NUDURA products, is proud to announce the results of the 2017 ICF Builder Awards. Taking place at the onset of February in Las Vegas, the annual award show isn’t just a great excuse to converge upon Sin City for a...Read More »

ICF Applications - Types of Buildings Perfectly Suited to Insulated Concrete Form Construction

Chances are, you’ve heard more than a few discussions and rumblings about insulated concrete forms over the last year. It’s unavoidable in the construction and architectural design industries at this point. With global growth projections nearing one billion dollars you’re now considering how you can use ICF...Read More »

Insulated Concrete Form Costs - How ICF Lowers the Total Cost of Construction

For all of the altruistic (i.e. green building), design, and aesthetic considerations of construction in today’s market, one thing remains to be the priority for developers and property owners – cost. The bottom line is the foundation of the industry, especially here in Alberta.

But cost is so much...Read More »

Residential ICF Construction - Solution to an Industry Stuck in the Rut of Tradition

They don’t manufacture your grandfather’s car anymore. So, why are you building his home?

Excuse the blunt analogy, but it’s apt. You see, the residential construction industry has been stuck in a rut for quite some time. A very long time. There’s something to be said for the tried and true...Read More »

5 New Year Resolutions that Building with ICF Can Help You Keep

The new year is here, and many construction companies are rethinking the way they will conduct business (build) in 2017. These new year resolutions will vary for many, but they’re not that far off from the goals everyone has. It all comes down to growth, and finding a better...Read More »

ICF for Building Security - Why Insulated Concrete Forms Can Hedge Your Security Risk

A recent article on the effectiveness of insulated concrete forms for building safe/panic rooms sparked interest in ICF for all around building security. With this construction concept being used for schools, medical facilities, and hotels, the conclusion that ICF serves as a property security measure adds up....Read More »

ICF Buildings and Winter Preparedness - What You Need to Know

We’re deep in the middle of winter weather here in Alberta, even though the season doesn’t officially start until the solstice. Our traditionally downright freezing run between December and February is what makes the use of insulated concrete forms (ICF) so prominent in the province. The rest of...Read More »

5 Reasons Why Architectural Designers are Embracing Insulated Concrete Form (ICF) Construction

Contractors have embraced the use of insulated concrete forms as one of the most efficient ways to build and maintain the life of a home. It has revolutionized the entire residential building industry. In fact, based on this year’s Global Market Insights report, the international ICF market is expected to...Read More »

2017 Trends in Home Design Construction and How ICF is the Key

The new year is around the corner. Residential builders are watching trends in order to keep up with the new demand that is soon to follow. Regardless the city, province, or region these trends in home construction reverberate near you. Some occur sooner than later, others vice versa....Read More »

ICF for Net Zero Homes and Buildings in Alberta

The Government of Canada website’s Natural Resources section defines Net Zero Energy (NZE), or a Net Zero Home, as a property that produces at least as much energy as it consumes on an annual basis. The idea of a home, or any building for that matter, with no...Read More »

Insulated Concrete Form News Updates from Around the World - November 2016

Our autumn edition of insulated concrete forms “in the news” has arrived. A follow up to the end of summer article, a lot has happened in the industry that has contractors along with residential, commercial, industrial, and municipal developers talking. Without further adieu, let’s take a look...Read More »

Why Use Insulated Concrete Forms for Medical Buildings in Alberta

Total ICF continues to deliver articles on how the use of insulated concrete forms is superior to traditional building methods for a wide variety of construction projects in Alberta. We’ve touched on residential homeshotelsretail businesses, schools, and even panic rooms. That list continues to...Read More »

Common ICF Myths and Disadvantages Debunked

Whenever something breaks from tradition those stuck in the dark ages attempt to dispel it. They don’t look at the big picture benefits, only how it impacts them. While the use of insulated concrete forms has revolutionized the construction industry, and made the lives and businesses of those...Read More »

ICF Hotels - Why ICF is Better for New Hotel Construction in Alberta

Hilton Hotels Use (NUDURA) ICF

Amidst the economic struggles in Alberta is a breath of fresh air, the tourism industry. The boost is the result of two things. First, hospitality businesses are luring in travelers with great deals while flight prices to the region are low. Second, the stay-cation trend...Read More »

Why ICF Makes Sense in the Current Alberta Economy

The Alberta economy is facing its fair share of challenges at the moment. But the province remains resilient, with residents and businesses adjusting to conditions. Everything is being optimized for efficiency, and this is especially true of the residential and commercial construction industry. Traditional concepts are being bucked...Read More »

ICF Safe Rooms - The New Trend in the Panic Room Concept

The term “panic room” certainly has dramatic connotations. Its synonymic cousin “safe room” is more practical, and the concept makes sense for homes in urban, suburban, and rural areas alike. Safe rooms are being built for communities across North America to help weather the storm during tornados and hurricanes. They’re even...Read More »

Why Choose ICF for Commercial Construction in Alberta

Many people associate insulated concrete forms with residential projects. Makes sense, given the reputation for building superior homes around the world, Alberta included. But when it comes to commercial properties, be they retail stores or offices, ICF is also heralded as being the new construction method of...Read More »

Insulated Concrete Form News Updates from Around the World - September 2016

ICF is heating up at the tail end of the summer of 2016. Don’t worry, your favourite construction blocks are maintaining their thermal resistance. When we say “heating up”, we’re talking about ICF claiming headlines in the news from around the world. The wave of use of insulated...Read More »

Why Insulated Concrete Forms Equal Cleaner Construction Sites

There are many benefits to using insulated concrete forms (ICF) in construction. From being a superior green-building alternative to a residential pest control solution ICF is leading the way in Alberta construction for residential, commercial, and municipal properties alike. Another big plus to using ICF...Read More »

How Insulated Concrete Forms Help You Build a Home Fast

There is no virtually no scenario where buyers and stakeholders don’t want a property built as fast as possible. Real estate investors want to open the tap to their monthly revenue stream. Municipal bodies don’t want a perpetual construction site upsetting residents and commercial interests. Homeowners want to...Read More »

Is ICF the Solution for Tornado, Hurricane, and Storm-Proof Home Construction?

This recent article delivered a very clear call-to-action for builders and federal/municipal interests alike – it’s time to build disaster-proof homes before storms strike, not afterward. In our own post citing the benefits of ICF for homes, we noted that Alberta averages approximately 15 tornadoes and hurricanes per year. Storm...Read More »

ICF for Residential Pest Control? Why an ICF Foundation Kicks Termites, Insects, and Pests to the Curb

Using insulated concrete forms in the construction of your residential development comes with numerous benefits. One that doesn’t receive as much press as the rest (as there are many) is its role in pest control. Nothing strikes fear in the minds and hearts of owners/developers of traditionally-built...Read More »

Why ICF Construction is Well Suited to Alberta Schools

There is nary a more important construction project than a school. In Alberta, that picture is about to get a whole lot bigger. The province is about to spend $3.5 billion over the next five years to build and modernize educational institutions of all types, from public...Read More »

Why ICF Construction for Basement Foundations Makes Sense

Insulated concrete forms (ICF) are being used for a wide variety of building projects. One of the most common applications where ICF is considered is with respect to basements. Property owners (on the verge of a build) and developers alike are asking about the viability of this construction method....Read More »

Why ICF for Green Building - The Future of Eco-Friendly Construction in Alberta

Canada’s largest green building conference just concluded over a week ago, and on the tip of many tongues was the concept of insulated concrete form (ICF) based construction. With each passing year federal and provincial governing bodies, local municipalities, construction companies and general contractors alike are searching for...Read More »

Benefits of Insulated Concrete Forms for Homes in Alberta (or anywhere for that matter)

In a recent article we detailed the benefits of insulated concrete forms (IFC) from a builder’s perspective. Today we look to answer a question that prospective home and property owners (the end consumer) are asking. Why would a buyer want an ICF constructed home? Better yet, why would...Read More »

Why Use Insulated Concrete Forms - Why ICF Construction for Builders?

Insulated concrete form (ICF) is a formwork system (temporary or permanent molds into which concrete is poured) for reinforced concrete. Made from panels of Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) foam insulation, ICF serves as a permanent interior and exterior foundation for walls, floors, and roofing. Learn more about the definition of ICF here.

As...Read More »

What can Total ICF Inc do for the ICF professional?

Total ICF is Nudura’s authorized distributor for the Central Alberta area and is dedicated to helping you build easier and faster. By providing both supply and service for the ICF Professional, Total ICF delivers sustainable building solutions directly to your work site.

  1. Supply of materials allowing you to build faster and...Read More »