Concrete Block / ICF House Plans offer a number of advantages. These home plans are recognized for their thermal efficiency – meaning energy savings. Concrete block house designs use CMUs (concrete masonry units) as the primary material for construction. ICF house designs use insulated concrete forms (ICFs). Every year more and more homeowners who are looking for a green construction method that is also versatile enough to accommodate virtually any style are turning to ICF house plans. Unlike traditional builds, which involve creating the frame for the house out of wood beams and which rely on foam or fiberglass insulation, an ICF design utilizes interlocking forms with a lightweight foam exterior. These forms are available in many sizes and styles, enabling their use in every aspect of a home seamlessly and efficiently. The key is the hollow space in between the foam walls of the forms. As the forms are placed in the appropriate configuration to create the walls of the home, concrete is poured inside and left to set. This bonds the forms together and creates contiguous walls throughout the structure.
The benefits of a Concrete Block / ICF House Plan are numerous:
• Chief among the advantages is the impressive strength and reliability that comes from concrete construction. As the house has solid concrete walls with no discernable seams or breaks, it is able to withstand the effects of natural disasters such as earthquakes and storms with ease.
• Another benefit of ICF house plans in particular is that they feature supreme insulation and temperature control. By combining the sturdiness of uninterrupted concrete with the thickness of foam, the structure built the home plan can withstand extreme levels of heat or cold without causing discomfort to the occupants. In turn, this helps to lower energy bills and decrease demand on a central heating or cooling system.
• As concrete and foam do not come from scarce natural resources, they also create a significantly smaller impact on local and national ecosystems.
• The energy efficiency of the design also helps to further reduce effects on the environment.
• Because Concrete Block / ICF House Plans rely on the concrete simply for the structural material and have no bearing on the final form, they lend themselves seamlessly to a wide range of design aesthetics. Once completed, Concrete Block / ICF House Plans are indistinguishable from those using other construction methods, and are significantly more soundproof as well.