IntegraSpec® is an Insulated Concrete Form (ICF) consisting of 2 panels of expanded polystyrene (EPS) married with high impact polystyrene inserts used to hold patented webs/spacers designed to secure rebar as needed.
Once stacked together, these forms represent a mold ready for concrete placement, similar to a traditionally poured concrete wall; however, ICF forms never leave the concrete providing a multitude of tasks: 1. Structural Support: (Concrete & Steel) 2. Super Insulation: (EPS panels & Thermal Mass, 40+ R- Performance) 3. Strapping/Furring: (1 5/8" Spacers at 8" on center) 4. Air/Vapor Barrier: (Low permeate EPS in continuous contact with concrete) 5. Finishing Substrate: (Single material EPS Type II)
With the combination of a solid concrete core in full contact with an interior and exterior insulation panel, a super energy efficient wall is created protecting the indoor air temperature. A “heat sink” is created from the thermal mass of the concrete which is now very difficult to penetrate. The total wall system is greater than the sum of its parts, reducing air leakage and increasing the “R” Performance to 40+. Owners enjoy energy savings up to 70%.
An ICF wall is also a superior structural combination of concrete and steel. When compared to stick framed buildings, an ICF wall offers greater protection from high winds in hurricane and tornado areas and from the often dangerous projectiles hurled during these storms. The strong “bond beams” created within the walls from the steel rebar protect in earthquake and mudslide prone areas stabilizing the structure when the ground has shifted or fallen.
ICF walls provide an STC rating of 50 or greater when combined with other sound reduction materials. This creates a quiet environment from external noise in high traffic areas, high wind areas or other noisy neighborhoods dealing with trains, airports, etc. Conversely, ICF walls also offer sound protection from within, as is necessary in music and sound studios.
One of the great concerns in older homes today is mold and mildew found growing behind drywall, in the attic and in basements. ICF walls eliminate the moisture commonly experienced seeping through concrete block or conventional poured concrete walls and condensation commonly found in stick framed homes. Expanded Polystyrene is a safe material without glues and does not off-gas Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) commonly found in material such as form oil release agents, plywood and chip board. Persons suffering from such allergies can feel relief.
When using an ICF, you are getting 5 steps in one; structural superior walls, super insulation, strapping/studs, air and moisture barrier, completed professionally. This replaces concrete block, conventional poured concrete, stick framing, exterior sheathing, house wrap, plastic wrap and insulation. Depend on one crew including a certified contractor to quickly perform all these tasks in one step. For your peace of mind, IntegraSpec® demands that any installation of their product include supervision by a certified installer.
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