ICF AND THE DEVELOPER
Once the preserve of self-builders, Insulating Concrete Formwork (ICF) is now being adopted by architects, housing associations, developers and local authorities for residential, education and healthcare projects. ICF can provide significant benefits for construction projects, including speed of construction, reduced storage requirement and reduced waste levels. Quick to construct with high levels of performance and durability.
Fast track construction
Speed of build is one of the unique selling points for considering an ICF solution. It is far faster to build than alternative methods of construction and lead times for materials are generally within three weeks.
Reduced labour costs
Labour costs are reduced as ICF systems require semi-skilled labour only and not highly paid scarce skills such as brick layers. Although there is a need for a certain amount of training, which is offered by all ICF suppliers on site, this can be learned quickly. A site based NVQ Level 2 is now available for operatives. Construction can proceed in most weather conditions including rain and frost.
Immediate follow-on trades
Insulating Concrete Formwork systems allows the watertight building shell to be erected in days. The follow-on trades can therefore enter the building and start putting utilities and finishes into place much quicker than traditional building methods.
Simple service installation
To save time on site the conduit, cabling, and ducting can be installed within the wall space of the empty forms prior to pouring the concrete. The inner wall of polystyrene can also be chased after the concrete wall has been poured and cured.
Less heavy plant and equipment
Due to the light-weight forms and the speed of the build, heavy plant and equipment normally found on the average building site is not required with ICF.
Good house keeping
Using ICF makes it very easy to keep the building site tidy and clean, the formwork is easy to stack, and waste is kept to a minimum.
Improved site safety
ICF systems are light to handle so there is less chance of injury. The workplace is easy to keep tidy thereby cutting down the possibility of trips and falls, and because the need for plant and other equipment is minimal, chances of accidents are also minimised.
When all the factors and benefits are taken into consideration, ICF becomes extremely competitive compared to both traditional building methods and lightweight framing.
If you are interested in building with ICF please contact one of our UK suppliers. All ICFA members offer training courses and won’t supply their products to site unless the self-builder or their chosen contractor has attended their course.
If you have a query or would like further information, please contact the ICFA here.
To speak on a specific matter with the chairman of the ICFA:
TEL: 01403 701167