Monday, April 18, 2011

ICF Safety

I have told people for a long time: The only way to have a home safer and stronger than an ICF home is to live in a cave! I believe this is true and the pictures below illustrate this point very well.

I found these pictures while perusing the net and thought they were so incredible that I had to share them. I do not know who took these pictures or what ICF system was used in the construction of these homes (if the owner of these pictures objects to their use here, contact me and I will remove them).

Which ICF system used is somewhat irrelevant in regard to the strength of the finished home. All ICFs use some system of reinforced concrete as the structural wall. This makes all ICF wall systems very strong. Things you should consider as a consumer when selecting ICFs for your home are: quality of the ICF supplier, quality of the installer, location of the manufacturing plant, total insulation value of the ICF system, type and configuration of the ICF webs, compatibility with proposed finish systems, configuration of the structural system, and engineering data available.

The first picture shows an ICF home that had a very, very close brush with a tornado. You can see that two conventional homes in close proximity were leveled while the ICF home remained intact. I suspect that any conventional home located in the same place would have been leveled like the neighboring homes.

The other picture is of an ICF home that was hit by the storm surge from hurricane Katrina (as I understand it). You can see that the ICF home is still standing and relatively unscathed while every other home in the area has been swept away.

These pictures just illustrate the incredible strength of an ICF home. There is nothing quite like living in a home with solid reinforced concrete walls. I know it gives my wife peace of mind. Structural strength is just an additional benefit to the energy efficiency of an ICF wall system.

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