Insulating concrete formwork (ICF) otherwise known as permanently insulated formwork (PIF) is an insulated concrete system of building that is quick to construct and offers significantly better levels of performance than traditional building techniques.Born and received popularity in Germany in the early 50’s, ICF has grown rapidly in North America starting as a basement construction and now has approximately 8% share of the low rise housing market in Canada and the USA.
Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF) are revolutionizing the global building industries for residential, commercial, and institutional developments. Building with Insulating Concrete Forms is gaining momentum over other building methods because of its unparalleled comfort, energy efficiency, and safety ratings at comparable costs.
ICF is based on hollow lightweight block components that lock together without intermediate bedding materials, such as mortar, to provide a formwork system into which concrete is poured. The block is formed of sheets of insulation materials normally expanded polystyrene tied together with plastic or steel ties or an integral web of the same insulation. The later is manufactured as a complete block whereas the forms with ties are formed from sheet material. Some systems are delivered complete and some with ties which are clipped together on site to make the ‘forms’. These latter have the panels delivered flat packed. Some of the systems which are complete with hinged ties are also delivered flatpacked.