Concrete Structures

Commercial Building with ICFs take on a New Form!


Wall system offers energy efficiency, durability, safety—and sustainability ICFs are ideally suited for commercial structures, like CineMagic Theater in Burnsville,MN. Insulating concrete forms (ICFs) have been gaining steam in the residential market during the last 10 years: concrete homes currently account for about 16 percent of single family construction. Lately, more architects and builders are also exploring ICFs as an option for commercial construction, capitalizing on the system’s energy efficiency, durability and ease of construction. Commercial structures built with ICFs are poised to reap the environmental benefits of the building system on a grand scale, creating longer-lasting, more comfortable businesses that will provide healthy environments for employees.

ICFs are stay-in-place forms for casting concrete walls. The foam forms are available in a variety of sizes and configurations, which are placed in the shape of the structure and connected with plastic ties. As the forms are placed, reinforcing steel is installed to provide additional support. Concrete is pumped into the forms and allowed to harden. The resulting wall typically has two inches of foam insulation on each side, sandwiching approximately four to six inches of concrete. The interior and exterior of these walls can be easily clad with many traditional materials.