Would you like to build a disasterresilient house?
The icy winds from last year’s Polar Vortex are back in mind again as we head towards winter. The plummeting temperatures are one thing, but of more concern is the destruction that these extreme weather events can bring, including winds that last year gusted up to 100 kilometres per hour, threatening our personal safety, as well as the very foundation of our homes.
The building industry does have a proven solution however. For more than a decade now, construction tech nology has given us the energysaving option to replace standard wood framing with an interlocking concrete system known as ICFs, or insulated concrete forms.
“ICFs lock together, a bit like Lego, to deliver walls that are disaster-resilient to storm winds as high as 402 kilometers per hour,” says Todd Blyth at Nudura, a leading name in this field. “As compared to wood, concrete walls are also a lot more fire-resistant with a 4-hour fire-protection factor—and the superior insulation property of the building envelope gives homeowners up to 70 per cent savings on energy bills. This is due to vastly reduced air infi ltration and to the thermal mass of the concrete, allowing energy-effi ciency ratings as high as R-50, compared to an average R20 in wood structures. You can also add optional inserts to the ICF forms to improve this efficiency even more.”
Specifically, the walls are constructed with pre-assembled, interlocking units so they’re easily transported to any building site. Each form consists of two panels of thick foam (expanded polystyrene) connected with a patented web system. Guided by the architectural design and beauty aspects you want, the ICFs are stacked, steel reinforced, and filled with concrete until the entire building envelope is complete.
Inside the home, all of the creative architectural shapes like arches, bay windows, and high ceilings can be achieved—and on the outside, the walls can be fi nished with attractive brick, or with stone, stucco, wood, or vinyl siding. Occupant comfort Who would have thought that concrete was comfortable? For example, even with less energy use, the indoor temperature is more easily controlled. In a standard wood-framed home, outside drafts often travel right through the walls creating chilly spots in various rooms. This is eliminated in a house with a solid concrete core.
“Superior sound-proofing is another bonus of the ICF system,” Blyth continues, “and if comfort is equated to peace-of-mind, why not add ‘investment security’ to the list? It is generally expected that a stronger, safer, greener home – and one that is more durable, more cost efficient, and needs less maintenance and repair – will steadily increase in resale value.”
Additional information for you and your builder is available online at www. nudura.com.