Questions and Answers Archive

7. How do I find a professionist “expert” of ICF system? [15/02/2018, Sara G., Ancona]

ICF systems have the characteristic of simplifying the whole design and executive process, therefore they do not require particular professional skills. However, as in every sector, the specific experience is very important and every manufacturing company usually has a list of “specialized” professionals.

6. What type of foundation is more compatible with ICF system? [15/02/2018, Sara G., Ancona]

Buildings made with ICF systems do not require a particular type of foundation, which can be superficial or deep.
It’s clear, however, that the load-bearing wall systems have the peculiar characteristic of distributing the pressures homogeneously and diffusely on the ground; the most recurrent condition is a rectangular grade beam.

5. Do an ICF structure need less maintainance? [20/02/2018, Roberto D., Roma]

Yes, no doubt, because the materials that constitute it are intimately linked together and they “protect” each other. The concrete that, as we all know, requires important maintenance interventions after a certain number of years, in this specific case it is contained within the polystyrene, which protects it from external agents and thermal excursions.
The polystyrene is supported by the concrete, which is firmly anchored and can’t deform, detach, crack, etc.
The external finishing layers help to keep the whole structure protected, drastically reducing the frequency of maintenance operations.

4. Can ICF walls can be used below grade? [22/02/2018, Daniele V., Perugia]

this answer can be easily traced in the book “Sistemi costruttivi a pareti a pareti portanti in c.a. – insulating concrete forms/ Constructive systems of loading bearing concrete walls – insulating concrete forms “, to which reference is made.

3. Is it possible to build a mixed structure (eg. Wooden roof, reinforced concrete and hollow tiles mixed floor)? [24/02/2018, Andrea T., Rimini]

Yes for sure. The buildings with load-bearing walls can interact with any other structure.

2. Has an ICF house higher value when resaling it? [25/02/2018, Massimo R., Rimini]

Yes for sure, as it differs for greater energy efficiency and structural safety from those that are built in the traditional way. Given the amount of “unsold” buildings, as a result of the building crisis, it is very important to have “topics” to differentiate one’s building from others.

1. Is it necessary to do stability checks for ICF walls? [01/03/2018, Franco F., Forlì]

It is not relevant if the walls are made with ICF systems or in the traditional way. In any case, the stability checks, although not necessarily required by the law, are at least appropriate for all those cases where the ratio H/t > 20 or where there are particularly heavy loading situations.
A spreadsheet is available on this website, to perform the stability check of reinforced concrete walls.