What are the advantages of ICF?
There are many benefits of ICF (Insulated Concrete Forms). Today we’re going to talk about how ICF blocks will give you a safer home.
Advantages of ICF #7: A safer, fire-resistant home
The last thing you want when building your home is to feel like it isn’t as safe as it could be.
In a traditional wood-framed wall, there is a fire-resistance rating of only 15-30 minutes.
The fire-resistance rating indicates the amount of time it takes for a fire to burn through a wall system. Having a higher fire-resistance rating provides more safety for the inhabitants of the building to escape and allows the fire department more time to put out the blaze and save the structure.
ICF homes provide 6-8 times more fire-resistant walls compared to wood-framed walls.
A 6” ICF concrete core provides a 3-hour fire-resistant rating and an 8” ICF concrete core provides a 4 hour fire-resistant rating. Both concrete ICF wall systems are drastically more fire-resistant compared to a traditional wood-framed wall.
Why is it advantageous to build with ICF?
The short answer is that ICF protects the building from burning as quickly.
An ICF wall provides hours longer compared to wood walls if a fire is burning from outside the wall. Having this extra time is extremely valuable, as it can provide the necessary time to get you and your family out safely.
You can’t put a price tag on the safety of your loved ones!
It can also help prevent fires from spreading to other adjacent homes. Often, when a fire starts in one home, it can quickly travel to nearby homes. If more homes are built with ICF, and thus have higher fire-resistance ratings, then the overall damage caused will decrease.
ICF Homes and ICF Walls are Valuable in a Variety of Situations
Building codes require higher fire ratings on certain buildings and wall assemblies.
Some examples of these are:
- Commercial builds and
- Divider walls on duplexes or townhouses.
Slower, more labour-intensive methods, such as concrete cinder blocks, or double studded walls with several layers of fire resistant drywall are often used.
Although these may meet the building code requirements, they are often inferior to ICF when compared to building speed and overall fire-resistance rating and thus result in inefficiencies and higher costs compared to ICF.
If you want to keep your home and family as safe as possible, choose ICF for your build.
Choosing to build with ICF will ensure a higher fire-resistance rating and protects you and your loved ones in the case of a fire originating outside of your home.