ICF Explained

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At Pringle Creek Community, we are all about providing sustainable and innovative home options. When it comes to building, we’d like to re-introduce you to ICF. ICF stands for insulated concrete forms. It’s composed of concrete, expanded polystyrene (EPS), and metal support structures to secure the inside. When you see a home made out of ICF being constructed, it almost looks like a gigantic Lego project!

ICF explained

Photo Credit: Better Builders of Oregon

What is EPS anyway? It almost sounds and looks like styrofoam, but it’s not!  EPS doesn’t release CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons) into the air, and can be re-used multiple times. You might remember hearing about the noxious CFCs that styrofoam and aerosol sprays give off in the 80’s and 90’s (It’s okay, we know some of you loved to have hair that matched the Flock of Seagulls lead singer or literally anyone from the musical Hair Spray). First, EPS isn’t filled with gases to expand, it’s expanded with steam. That means the chemical properties of EPS stay the same, which means zero off-gassing. Not only is it zero off-gassing, but the EPS we use is also 100% recycled. That’s right, using these materials means we get to breathe easier and leave a lighter foot print on the earth. A win-win for your family and the environment.  Another added benefit of using these materials is that it also saves trees and doesn’t mildew like other building materials might. That’s perfect for Pacific Northwest weather!

Photo Credit: Better Builders of Oregon

When the EPS is in place, then it’s time to pour the concrete into the forms. This creates a sealed envelope that increases the energy efficiency of the home,  and creates a sturdier structure that can better withstand the harshest of weather compared to other types of building. A home that’s built to last, and also healthier for you and the environment. Stay tuned for learning more about ICF in the future when we will talk about it’s flame retardant qualities and it’s superb job at stopping air infiltration. You’re probably thinking by now, are we talking about home building materials or a super hero?

Curious about what we’re building at Pringle Creek Community? We just broke ground on the Net Zero home, and you’ll have the opportunity to see ICF in full form in the future. It’s great to get in from the ground up, so if you’re interested in the Net Zero home, please contact us for more info on the homes we’re building and home designs we have available. We’d be glad to give you a tour of our little urban oasis.

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