Richard Fitzmaurice, Managing Director and Marcus Fitzmaurice, Commercial Director of B&G Construction, recently shared their thoughts on Insulated Concrete Framework (ICF) construction and its use on B&G Construction’s recent housing development in Malahide, Cuan Buí.
What is ICF?
ICF is a cost-effective and energy-efficient form of construction; it involves interlocking polystyrene blocks that are reinforced by a steel frame, and are then filled with concrete after assembly. ICF construction has been steadily growing in popularity in recent years due to the ease of use and manageability of the construction process.
The benefits of ICF construction
Richard outlined the core benefits of ICF construction which led to his decision to adopt this method. In the development phase of Cuan Buí, the team at B&G Construction explored multiple methods of construction, weighing up availability of materials, feasibility, and cost of labour, among other factors. ICF construction emerged as the most effective method available.
ICF construction combines the structural integrity of concrete with the insulating properties of polystyrene. In essence, the polystyrene frame of the ICF blocks acts as an insulator, which stops heat from escaping from your home.
Green Building Solutions explains how the concrete core also has the ability to absorb excess heat and delay the transfer of heat into the external environment. This heat is then dispersed back into the home at night when the temperature drops.
This translates to lower heating costs and a reduction in energy consumption.
ICF construction is also less affected by weather conditions. Standard block work can be halted by poor weather whereas in the same conditions, ICF blocks can still be assembled and pumped with concrete. Additional benefits of ICF construction include soundproofing and fire resistance.
ICF construction is ultimately a more cost-effective and sustainable method than traditional blockwork that benefits the future homeowner and the construction team itself.
The use of ICF construction at Cuan Buí
By implementing ICF construction, the team at B&G Construction hope to scale back the project’s build time by 20-30%, compared to that of traditional building methods.
Marcus explained that by using ICF construction the productivity levels of the project goes up. This then reduces the overall construction time, in turn reducing costs, not only on materials but labour as well. This makes ICF construction a more controllable form of construction for B&G.
Richard explained that it is important to ‘keep eyes open to everything’, noting how ICF construction had gained popularity among contractors in Ireland. Utilising the most modern methods of construction ensure that they deliver the best results while also being cost-effective and time efficient.
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