Innovative ways to use ICF in home construction

ICF foundation – also known as Insulated Concrete Form foundation – is an incredible, versatile material.

Not sure how to use it to your home construction?

We have put together a variety of innovative ways to incorporate ICF into your build. Before we get to that though, we want to give you a bit more information about this one-of-a-kind material.



The roots of ICF foundation

Developed in post-World War II Europe, the ICF technique offered a way to rebuild structures damaged in the conflict. Initially, ICF was made out of recycled wood and cement. The material soon became popular because it was hardy and inexpensive.

Over the years, ICF was developed into its most common modern form, being made with foam plastics. In this form, the units are light and easy to move, only being filled with concrete once they are already in place. All ICF’s attributes have made it a popular contemporary building material. While most people only know ICF foundation, ICF also has a variety of other uses.

Ways to use ICF foundation

ICF foundation is always a top choice for builders. Not only is it strong, but it also provides excellent protection against moisture. On top of that, ICF foundation is highly energy efficient. Given all this, it should come to no surprise that ICF is used as a traditional foundation option.

At the same time, it is used in less traditional build situations.

For homes built in difficult to navigate areas – such as on a cliff face – ICF foundation is the perfect choice. The modular nature of the units allows them to be easily transported to even the most difficult build sites. Then, once the units are in place and filled, they provide all their strength, protection, and energy efficiency.

The protection ICF foundation provides makes it perfect for locations with unique demands, such as high levels of moisture or extreme temperatures. Dealing with large insect or vermin issues in your area? ICF foundation offers a better barrier, helping to protect your home. Finally, ICF foundation is often allowed in areas like Richmond, where traditional foundations are essentially banned due to the unstable ground.

Innovative uses for ICF beyond foundation

While ICF foundation has a lot to offer, there are more innovative ways to incorporate ICF in your build. Here are just a few options to consider…

  1. Walls

Builders and homeowners like the security ICF brings to their walls. Unlike other wall options, ICF has space for floor joists to be directly attached – instead of nailed or screwed in. This provides a new level of strength in the joint. As with the foundation, ICF walls will help protect against vermin and water damage. Best of all, ICF will save you on heating and energy for years to come.

  1. Floors

ICF is perfect for flooring. The modular units allow it to be laid in a variety of sizes and shapes. If you are in an area where a home’s weight is important, ICF is 40% lighter than concrete flooring. If you are using ICF for your walls and flooring, this will also help keep your home the perfect temperature all year long. Plus ICF walls and floors will help keep your home soundproof. No more issues with noisy neighbours!

  1. Roofs

ICF is light but strong, making it ideal roofing material. If you are in an area with disasters, ICF can help protect your home from damage. For the best possible protection, use ICF flooring, walls, and roofing. This will give you the most ideal soundproofing and energy efficiency too.

  1. Deck

A deck is the perfect way to enjoy the outdoors from the comfort of home. Decks can bring issues with them though. They can get water damage, cracks, or even become a home for rats and mice. Not top of all that, over time the weight of your deck can cause it to sink. Avoid all of these problems by creating your deck with ICF! Water resistant and hard to damage, it will keep your deck looking perfect for years to come. Plus, its lightness will prevent it from shifting or sinking.

  1. A safe room

If you do not want to use ICF throughout your home, consider creating a safe room with it. In the event of a disaster, gather your family in this room. Even if the rest of your home is damaged, your safe room should remain, protecting you from being injured or trapped by falling rubble.  


When you have a new build, that is the ideal time to add ICF foundation or use ICF throughout your project. Contact us today to discuss incorporating ICF in your upcoming build.

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