Buildings today demand reliable, energy-efficient envelopes that provide superior performance benefits in order to minimize energy costs and carbon emissions while maximizing property value. We offer commercial building solutions from tenant improvements and renovations to design builds and new construction. The quality of our commercial projects is the same high level as you would expect with your own residential home.
Commercial building owners need their buildings to add value to their businesses and ICF is the ideal solution. Insulated Concrete Forms (ICFs) are reinforced concrete forms that offer a fast build while creating a tough and durable structure. They are usually dry-stacked and then filled with concrete for better insulation and a firmer foundation. ICF forms can be used in a variety of capacities – walls, floors, and roofs – and they can also be used as permanent interior or exterior substrate.
ICF stands for Insulated Concrete Forms, which you may associate with giant Lego.
Insulated Concrete Forms is a construction system where lightweight foam blocks, made of expanded polystyrene are stacked together to make up walls which are then filled with concrete. The foam blocks act as insulation, which makes ICF blocks stay-in-place forming system, which complete four steps of the construction process into one! (Foundation, framing, insulation, and vapour barrier).
Commercial projects showcase how flexible the Insulated Concrete Forms (ICFs) system can be. The ICF system enables a wide range of architectural possibilities in terms of design, from curved walls to suspended slabs, retaining malls to rake walls, really anything the mind can conceive of. And the system does it all while meeting structural requirements and insulation values – ICF easily meets the National Energy Code for Buildings in Canada (NECB).
ICF can add significant value to a wide range of businesses, such as: Theatres that are sound proof; Agricultural Storage Warehouses that have precise temperature and climate control; or retail sites that are both comfortable and durable.
How it Works
ICF wall systems are assembled by placing blocks on top of each other. Steel rebar is used every 16” on the horizontal plane and every 16”-24” on the vertical. Rebar is used to keep concrete in a tensile state because on it’s own concrete has low tensile characteristics. In other words rebar holds the concrete together. Different sizes of steel are used over windows to create headers within the wall. Once completed, an ICF structure is a monolithic wall that takes advantage of thermal mass.
Why do we ONLY build with ICF?
Comfort: Nothing blows through reinforced concrete. There will be absolutely no drafts or cold spots. ICF homeowners have commented how temperatures stay constant in their homes. This is thanks to a layer of continuous insulation on the inside and the outside, with concrete in the centre.
Safe + Healthy: There are no CFCs, HCFCs or formaldehydes as well as no wood to rot or mold in the foundation of the house. This makes ICF Homes the answer for allergy and asthma sufferers. The foundation is also termite and pest resistant. Most importantly the structure can withstand a severe storm and is said to be 800% stronger than a 2×6 wall.
Quiet: Whether you are building near train tracks, airports, highways or even a busy road, your outside noises are eliminated.
Energy Efficiency: Structures built with ICF Exterior walls require an estimated 44% less energy to heat and 32% less energy to cool than comparable framed houses. This means reduced energy costs. As well, every ICF home saves approximately 8.5 trees.
Up To Kode’s Experience with ICF
Up to Kode first starting working with Insulated Concrete Forms in 2008, and introduced complete ICF homes in 2012, taking the concrete to the underside of trusses. To date, we have personally built 5 basements (2 with walk-outs) and 3 complete homes with Insulated Concrete Forms (2 of which were walk-out basements).