“Green” is the way to be these days. Many desire to build this color of home – one that uses less energy.
There are many theories on how this is to be done ranging from generating your own energy (going off the grid) to having a super energy efficient exterior wall and using significantly less energy. Generating your own energy is still quite expensive to do so I lean more towards the “using less” philosophy.
The method that has really impressed me by creating an energy efficient exterior wall is called “insulated concrete forms” or “ICF” for short. Basically, hollow styrofoam forms are stacked up like legos to make the form that the concrete is poured into. The foam serves as the form while the concrete cures. After the curing process the foam remains and acts as the insulation for the home. Electrical can be embedded in the foam and drywall can be attached directly to it and siding or stucco can be applied directly to the exterior. The following are additional advantages to using this system:
Sustainable – Structures built using ICF will easily last 100+ years.
Secure – Provides superior resistance to deadly wind, fire and earthquakes.
Energy Savings – Superior thermal mass (it absorbs heat or cold but transfers it very slowly) and zero air infiltration.(air does not penetrate this system)
Healthy Building – No “off Gassing” or harmful fumes.
Quiet – Reduces outside sounds to a whisper.
Conservation – Requires smaller heating and cooling units.
Mold Resistant – Non-organic material.
Affordable – Lower energy and insurance costs
A concrete home may sound like a crazy idea to some, many wonder if their concrete home would look funny. Concrete homes can look identical to a conventional framed home. The thickness of the wall is the main difference between the 2 methods of construction. For those who are interested in saving a significant amount of money on energy bills, the small upfront investment is worth every penny.
*With this type of super efficient construction, indoor air quality is maintained by a heat recovery ventilator (HRV) that continuously brings in fresh air and collects the heat from exhausted air.
If you are interested in finding out more about ICF construction, click on the picture above.
I’m feeling greener already.