Insulated Concrete Forms


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8.5" x 11"
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Insulated Concrete Forms

Use this 3 part specification template to specify permanent insulated concrete forms constructed of foam insulation faces with spacers between to provide voids for the placement of concrete.

What is it?

Insulating concrete forms are permanent wall forms that incorporate continuous rigid insulation on both sides of the wall. The form units are rectangular blocks formed from two layers of EPS insulation, typically with plastic connectors to hold the two faces together. The space between the faces provides for the placement of conduit, piping, reinforcing, and concrete. The thickness of the blocks can be varied to provide for different thermal insulation values.

These forms are intended to be left in place and covered with interior and exterior finish materials or soil.  Polystyrene foam cannot be left permanently exposed to ultraviolet rays.


The initial cost of using ICFs rather than conventional construction techniques is sensitive to the price of materials and labor.  The initial cost increase is 3 to 5 percent to the total purchase price overbuilding using a wood frame. In most cases, the will be 40% less than conventional (basement) construction because of the labor savings from combining multiple steps into one step.

Above grade, ICF construction is typically more expensive, but when adding large openings, it becomes very cost-effective. Large openings in conventional construction require large headers and supporting posts, whereas ICF construction reduces the cost, as only reinforcing steel is needed directly around the opening.

ICF Advantage

ICF buildings are less expensive over time.  They require less energy to heat and cool the same size space compared to a variety of other construction methods. Additionally, insurance costs can be much lower.  This construction method is less susceptible to damage from earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, fires, and other natural disasters. Maintenance and upkeep costs are also lessened, since this method does not contain wood, which can rot over time or be attacked by insects and rodents.

To learn more about insulated concrete forms, visit Wikipedia.

Related specification template:

Cast-In-Place Concrete

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