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Old 02-22-2011, 01:55 PM   #16
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Anyone use ICF for their foundation?


I found this post and even though its old, I'll attempt a jump start

My new home, 2800 sq ft ranch was completely built with ICF's, walkout basement included, so another 2700'ish sq ft. Basement ceilings are 9'6". We also used Anderson 300 series, ( maybe 500, I cant remember ) windows. We used all Energy trusses, with extra blown insulation. We also have radiant floor heating in the basement and garage, not hooked up yet, am in the process of basement finishing. We also have the Bryant Evolution heating system. All high efficiency appliances, and every light is either CFL or LED.

My most expensive natural gas bill was $160 last month for January....and it was cold, real cold. My electric was another $65 for that month.

ICF's arent the end all be all of building materials, but combined with other energy efficient building materials the savings adds up over time, and will offset the initial up front cost. Provided that you will be staying in the home for some time.
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Old 03-28-2011, 01:26 PM   #17
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Anyone use ICF for their foundation?


I, too, would really like to see this thread resuscitated. Are any of you ICF guys still out there?

NCpaint1: I realize that this is a bizzare question to some, but did you do any of the ICF work yourself?

Thanks for your time,
Red
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Old 04-03-2011, 12:34 PM   #18
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Anyone use ICF for their foundation?


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Originally Posted by Red Oak View Post
I, too, would really like to see this thread resuscitated. Are any of you ICF guys still out there?

NCpaint1: I realize that this is a bizzare question to some, but did you do any of the ICF work yourself?

Thanks for your time,
Red
+1 May I too request to jump start as I'm in the Design /Plan Phase for my cottage .. I'd like to hear some DIY projects/ Photos...
I did my Home last year well not yet finished.... 4200 sqft including basement and my bills are max $200/pm ... I got really high ceilings 12 n 18 and basement 10 .....We had a regular foundation and I got lot of windows too...
and I'm an hour north of toronto...if that helps
'd Really appreciate we someone can add sth...
And sorry for requesting in the very first post ... I woudn't mind starting a new thread for my last house....have one going at the Cottagelife Forum if someone intrested...
http://forums.cottagelife.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=3491

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Old 04-03-2011, 03:49 PM   #19
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Anyone use ICF for their foundation?


Anecdotes. ICF's are not what anecdotes may crank them up to be. They are not bad, but this has been discussed here many times and some dissenting information should be provided as food for thought. ICF's do NOT have a great R value, unless you further insulate them. They are not cheap, and further insulating makes them even less cheap. They are not easy to build, for a diy cat, two stories up, or even one; they need a lot of bracing because you have a liquid wall 8' to 16' tall that is going to wiggle otherwise. As for the "thermal mass" argument, rethink that. The insulation for thermal mass should ALL be on the outside. Heat goes to cold, and Q = UA (delta T). Period. If you have a warm wall and the outside temp drops below the room temp at night, then guess where the heat is going to mostly go? It follows delta T, to the outside. They are airtight, but so are many other things, and they require meticulous air sealing at the breaks, just like any material (windows, doors, pipes, etc). There is no magic with them. Yes, they can withstand wind more than a stick house; if that is your big concern, then build with them or ThermoMass walls (which have some advantages over ICFs). As for fire, yes, the concrete won't burn, but the foam sure will, and it's fumes are toxic. I have no idea what the heat of a house fire will do to concrete, so one should investigate that before building. If a forest fire or internal fire guts your house, are you going to rebuild in smokey, heated concrete walls? That's your call; I don't have any data on that. Consider, too, how you are going to heat. If you have a lot of solar power, and your blocks will store and release sufficient solar-generated heat for night time, then go for it. In certain climates, ICFs may be good for heating bills. But if you are going to rely on fuel oil to reheat blocks, then good luck; Exxon will like you. For my situation, ICF's are not the product, above grade. I will likely be using them for a foundation wall, because they are great for that, IMO. I can't build forms and insulate as cheaply and as easily as I can stack styrofoam blocks. Research, and you won't find super-insulated houses using ICFs much; at least I don't see them. If you are a "greenie", then look into the embodied energy in concrete and foam; it is high. And ignore all the "my house..." anecdotes. They are nice, but you should look at the science. A cat up here who sells ICFs naturally espouses their merits, but his numbers are painfully low compared to other forms of building; not real bad, but hardly worth getting excited about. For ex, he mentioned the heat loss from a certain ICF house they built 2 yrs ago, and it was barely better than my 1980, double-wall house with fiberglass batt insulation (which is p poor insulation. Forgive me; I was ignorant then.) Anecdotes do not compare apples to apples; house A can keep the heat at 90, while house B keeps it at 60. Different shower habits; kids; and the list goes on. Study the studies. I know some of you die-hard ICF people won't like to read this, but that is that. Science is science, like it or not. No product is best for everyone.
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Old 04-03-2011, 07:23 PM   #20
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Anyone use ICF for their foundation?


Okay, jklingel, I'm all eyes.

What type of building system/method do you like? Obviously, you don't think very highly of using ICFs, above grade, and it would seem that you're not advocating stick built contruction, either. You seem to like ICFs for a foundation system, but what do you like above the ground level?

I, for one, haven't built my house yet. I'm still in the design phases, so I'm more than willing to learn.

Thanks for your time,
Red
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Old 04-03-2011, 08:18 PM   #21
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Anyone use ICF for their foundation?


Red: It is not a matter of liking or disliking, it is a matter of whether or not someone feels they are appropriate for them. I just like to keep things balanced when that topic comes up, as I think there is a lot of knee-jerking and not studying. Study, and make a call. I really don't GAFRA what people spend their money on. Many people think ICFs are the cat's butt; great. I've run the numbers, and for me, they are a poor choice. I suggest to people to look into a double stud wall w/ dense packed cellulose if you want a cheaper, far more energy efficient wall (blow it loose in the lid). The stuff is fire and rodent resistant, green, and easy to diy. And, dig into how to capture passive solar. With some design considerations and proper windows, you can get a lot of free heat that is maintenance free. Dark mass, and retaining the heat, (ie, insulate; build air tight; use good windows and doors) are the keys. The fluff I got one day on an ICF-oriented forum about "wasting all that wood" is just noise. I asked the cat who mentioned that about the ability to regrow trees, saving tons of fuel and the embodied energy in concrete and foam, and he had nothing to say. It's all in the science. 2x4's are cheap and easy to diy. Variations of the double wall theme include Larsen and Riversong trusses, and others. Builditsolar.com has a section about Riversong's trusses, etc, and you can read a ton on the greenbuildingadvisor.com site, if you care to. While there, search for the "Sunrise home", which may give you some ideas. The amount of insulation is likely way overkill for most places, but the same idea can, of course, be applied anywhere, just thinner. There is also the REMOTE wall, which was "designed" at cchrc.org; a local, and very knowledgeable crowd. For me, it is a bit spendy, counter-green, and awkward to hang siding on; but it has its place and is a very energy efficient system. You asked, now you know. Dense packed cellulose is for me, because I just can't find anything "better", as defined by me. If planning, I hope you lay out the floor plan, etc, then do a heat loss analysis with various designs. It ain't rocket science, but it is science. Good luck w/ the build.
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Old 04-03-2011, 09:18 PM   #22
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Anyone use ICF for their foundation?


Thanks for the insights, jkingel. I hope you didn't take my post the wrong way, I research this type of forum in an effort to learn -- nothing more.

Thanks again,
Red
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Old 04-03-2011, 11:26 PM   #23
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Anyone use ICF for their foundation?


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Originally Posted by Red Oak View Post
Thanks for the insights, jkingel. I hope you didn't take my post the wrong way, I research this type of forum in an effort to learn -- nothing more.

Thanks again,
Red
You're welcome, and no sweat. I get flack every now and then, but I sometimes learn from my mistakes, too. No way in hell do I know it all, or even very much, nor do I know what is best for the next cat. I think a lot of us here feel the same way. Sometimes debates get heated, but that is life. You may read where I read, have different building experience, and interpret what you read differently than I do. So be it. Let us know what you decide to do.
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Old 04-04-2011, 08:04 PM   #24
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Anyone use ICF for their foundation?


klinger's an idiot & wears out-of-style dresses klingel, on the other hand, has done his homework & we still disagree,,, i'd pick icf's but, if it were up to me, we'd all drive 68 4dr impalas & not worry about air bags
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Old 04-04-2011, 10:14 PM   #25
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Anyone use ICF for their foundation?


klinger's an idiot & wears out-of-style dresses That is a lie. My boyfriend shops at Victoria's Secret.

klingel, on the other hand, has done his homework & we still disagree... And that is OK. Some people actually like liver, and they live through it. Exactly how, is a mystery to me.

... we'd all drive 68 4dr impalas... We owned a '63, and ran it till my lab partner (she was about 4' 8") was riding in it when the seat support dropped through the rusty floor. Talk about a gal with wide eyes! I shoved a 2x4 under it and we finished our lake sampling. She drove the rest of the time.
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Old 04-06-2011, 02:18 PM   #26
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Anyone use ICF for their foundation?


Quote:
Originally Posted by jklingel View Post
Red: It is not a matter of liking or disliking, it is a matter of whether or not someone feels they are appropriate for them. I just like to keep things balanced when that topic comes up, as I think there is a lot of knee-jerking and not studying. Study, and make a call. I really don't GAFRA what people spend their money on. Many people think ICFs are the cat's butt; great. I've run the numbers, and for me, they are a poor choice. I suggest to people to look into a double stud wall w/ dense packed cellulose if you want a cheaper, far more energy efficient wall (blow it loose in the lid). The stuff is fire and rodent resistant, green, and easy to diy. And, dig into how to capture passive solar. With some design considerations and proper windows, you can get a lot of free heat that is maintenance free. Dark mass, and retaining the heat, (ie, insulate; build air tight; use good windows and doors) are the keys. The fluff I got one day on an ICF-oriented forum about "wasting all that wood" is just noise. I asked the cat who mentioned that about the ability to regrow trees, saving tons of fuel and the embodied energy in concrete and foam, and he had nothing to say. It's all in the science. 2x4's are cheap and easy to diy. Variations of the double wall theme include Larsen and Riversong trusses, and others. Builditsolar.com has a section about Riversong's trusses, etc, and you can read a ton on the greenbuildingadvisor.com site, if you care to. While there, search for the "Sunrise home", which may give you some ideas. The amount of insulation is likely way overkill for most places, but the same idea can, of course, be applied anywhere, just thinner. There is also the REMOTE wall, which was "designed" at cchrc.org; a local, and very knowledgeable crowd. For me, it is a bit spendy, counter-green, and awkward to hang siding on; but it has its place and is a very energy efficient system. You asked, now you know. Dense packed cellulose is for me, because I just can't find anything "better", as defined by me. If planning, I hope you lay out the floor plan, etc, then do a heat loss analysis with various designs. It ain't rocket science, but it is science. Good luck w/ the build.

Thanks jkingel, Some good points to read appreciate the input
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