Structural Engineering for Insulated Concrete Form Buildings
Insulated Concrete Form (ICF) construction is becoming increasingly popular as energy prices rise. A typical 2x6 wood framed exterior wall for a house built today will typical have an R-value of about R-19. Most ICF exterior walls provide double that, or even more. Some ICF brands can easily achieve R-40 for an exterior wall.
While the particular details vary between the different ICF brands, the basic idea is Styrofoam forms are held a specific distance apart with either steel or plastic ties to create a cavity between the forms.
These forms create "blocks" of Styrofoam forms which are stacked to create the walls of a structure. When enough Styrofoam blocks are stacked and all of the steel reinforcing bar (rebar) is tied in the forms, concrete is placed in the forms creating an insulated concrete wall. The Styrofoam forms are left in place in the finished building.
Building with ICF can have a lot of advantages; along with the added insulation value, because a building made of concrete is inherently stronger than one made of wood framing, more things are possible with the structure. For example, if a floor or roof system is built with an ICF suspended slab system, longer spans are possible with concrete that will create larger open areas uninterrupted by columns.
Ogren Engineering has provided the structural design for numerous ICF buildings and has the experience to understand these systems. Contact Ogren Engineering when you are ready to have a set of structural drawings made for your ICF building.