Embracing insulating concrete forms
HOME renovations often include large additions or finished basements. Many people are telling their contractor to build their basement, and even the upstairs walls, with insulating concrete forms (ICF), which exceed R-values recommended by the Manitoba Building Code. QuickTherm. “For example, if you invest an additional $7,000 in insulating your building and the investment saves you $40 per month on utility bills, then based on a 25-year mortgage at three per cent, the additional monthly mortgage payment would be $33.19, a saving of $6.81 per month on overall costs.” Another consideration is normal basements cost a lot of money to insulate and finish with studs, fibreglass, vapour barriers and drywall or other suitable materials. Even then, homeowners are faced with the likelihood their grottos will be damp, uncomfortable and perfect incubators for mould. “People have lived in this northern climate for centuries. Heating has always been a challenge,” Warkentin said. “Why have our governments not helped people to build energy-efficient buildings? In the 1950s, every community was busy building Californiastyle bungalows with two by four-inch walls and inadequate insulation. Today, we are building huge houses with 12foot ceilings and heated garages. Why? Aren’t we aware of climate change yet? We could scrap Bipole III and a few other dams if the government would encourage energy-efficient buildings with ICF basements.” It’s not too late to renovate with ICF products, which are becoming popular throughout the Great White North.
Insulating concrete forms not only make a home more comfortable, but also improve energy efficiency.