Insulated concrete homes use significantly less energy to heat and cool—an estimated 40 percent less for heating and 30 percent less for air conditioning. This translates into monthly savings, an indoor environment with ambient temperatures and fewer drafts, prevention of airborne contaminants, and a green building that is friendlier to the environment. An insulated concrete home is a pleasure for you and a benefit to the planet.
Building a home using (ICF) saves energy and money. The higher insulation value, tighter construction, and temperature-evening thermal mass of the walls conserve heating and cooling energy much better than conventional wood-frame walls. This greatly reduces monthly fuel bills. It also allows the use of smaller heating and cooling equipment, saving money in construction costs.
The walls of an insulated concrete home are steel-reinforced concrete. Their strength far exceeds conventional construction. The insulated concrete home stands up much better to disasters like high winds. The walls won’t settle, creak, warp, rot, mildew, rust or even vibrate when you slam a door. The materials are not a food source for insects, mold or rodents. Insulated concrete home walls are so dense they cut the amount of sound that comes in from outside by over half.
Houses using Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF) to build exterior walls require an estimated 44% less energy to heat and 32% less energy to cool than comparable wood-frame houses. A typical 2000 square foot home in the middle section of the U.S. will save approximately $1500 in heating and air conditioning costs each year.
In colder areas of the U.S. and Canada, heating savings will be more and cooling savings less. In hotter areas, heating savings will be less and cooling savings more.
Based upon a 2268 sq. ft. home located in Minneapolis, MN. Based upon data from Energy Wise Guaranteed Energy Saving Building Solutions, A division of Bayer Material Science. Assuming that energy costs are $.90 per kwh and Natural gas cost are at $.85 per 100 cubic feet.Based upon 6% annual energy inflation.
The smaller heating and cooling equipment needed for such an energy-efficient house can cut construction costs by an estimated $500 to $2000. The biggest equipment savings come with the houses that have the most energy savings.
Based on research performed by Energy Wise Structures, houses built with ICF exterior walls require an estimated 44% less energy to heat and 32% less energy to cool than comparable wood-frame houses. A typical 2000 square foot home in the middle section of the U.S. will save approximately $1500 each year in heating and cooling costs. The bigger the house, the bigger the savings. In colder areas of the U.S. and Canada, heating savings will be more and cooling savings less. In hotter areas, heating savings will be less and cooling savings more. The energy efficient performance comes in large part from the polystyrene foam insulation on the interior and exterior of ICF walls, which range from R-17 to R-26 of insulation, compared to wood frame’s R-9 to R-15 walls. Also, ICF walls are tighter, reducing infiltration (air leakage) by 50% over wood-frame homes.
ICF walls can utilize varying insulating values for its walls using polystyrene foam from an R-value of 17 to 40, compared to wood frame’s R-9 to R-15. ICF walls are expected to cut the conduction losses through foundation and above-grade walls by about half, plus the walls are tighter. In industry tests, ICF houses averaged about 1/2 as much infiltration (air leakage) as wood-frame.
ICF walls do more than cut down on the biggest types of energy loss. The concrete gives them the heat-absorbing property, “thermal mass.”. This is the ability to even out large swings in temperature. It keeps the walls of the house warmer when the outdoor temperature hits its coldest extreme, and keeps the house cooler when the outdoor temperature is hottest. The walls themselves “add back” heat or cooling energy to the interior living space of the house when it needs them most. This contributes about 6% of the needed energy to the house for free.
Reduced equipment costs result from the expected energy savings. Since the total energy needed will be less, the furnaces and compressors that heat and cool can be smaller. And the more the energy savings, the greater the possible reduction in equipment size—and the equipment cost.
In planning a new house, you can estimate that building the walls out of concrete will save you hundreds of dollars per year in energy costs. As shown in the graphs, the savings are greater as the size of the house increases. Heating savings are highest in cold climates, and cooling savings highest in warm climates.
You may also save hundreds or thousands of dollars in construction costs for heating and cooling equipment.