Build different. Build better.
During the last 15 years, Gammon Construction has specialized in building energy-efficient homes, with over 90% of those projects using ICFs (insulated concrete forms). Insulated concrete form (ICF) construction is an affordable, low-maintenance option for homeowners focused on energy-efficiency, safety, and healthy living.
Dennis is an advocate for building the most energy-efficient home possible and continues to explore new methods. Once you become aware of the many benefits of building with ICFs, you, too, will become an fan.
What are ICFs?
ICFs are hollow polyfoam blocks that are stacked together (like LEGOs) forming the external walls of a home. The interior of the blocks is then filled with steel-reinforced concrete to create an incredibly strong and energy-efficient exterior, providing insulation that a plain concrete wall does not have. Insulating concrete form wall technology offers a significant solution for the protection of lives and property by providing a steel reinforced concrete wall that can be designed to withstand winds in excess of 250 miles per hour. The ability for a building to maintain its structural integrity during a natural or man-made disaster can have a dramatic and positive impact on the safety of the occupants and, of course, the building itself. These forms also can be used to build tornado-tough safe rooms or storm shelters, which can withstand even stronger winds.
When building using ICFs, the homeowner benefits from year-round comfort and livability in a home that is just not possible with traditional wood-frame building methods, creating a healthier, more comfortable living environment as well as the added value of energy efficiency and safety.
One of the many benefits of building with ICFs is the improved energy efficiency. Between the thermal mass of the concrete and the built-in insulation, ICF walls are better able to maintain the temperature inside your home by absorbing and storing heat. Drafts and cold spots are virtually eliminated and a room’s temperature remains consistent from floor to ceiling. With traditional wood-frame walls, there are gaps and openings where heat can escape. ICF walls are solid and have no such openings, so there is less heat loss. As a result, ICF walls can reduce your heating and cooling costs by anywhere from 50% to 70% when compared to traditional wood-frame walls.
There are many advantages to building with ICFs, most involving saving money, but to Dennis the most important advantage is safety. If you drove through Joplin after the devastation of the 2011 tornado, you remember the twisted ruins of too many homes and businesses. Natural disasters are becoming more and more commonplace. The destructive impact (human lives and property) from tornadoes, hurricanes, storm surges, etc. has never been more evident. In the Midwest and other areas prone to natural disasters, homes built using ICFs are better structurally equipped to withstand damage as they are more resistant to high winds and flying debris. Click link for disaster resistant ICF pictures
In addition to storm resistant qualities, ICFs also withstand fire up to 4 hours and ensure excellent earthquake performance.
Use any floor plan, any finish, any feature. ICFs are easily adaptable to every plan — custom or spec. Homeowners have virtually unlimited flexibility in choosing the design and finishing touches: any size or shape windows, curved walls and archways, any finish, including stucco, lap siding, stone or brick exteriors.
Homeowners begin saving from the moment they move into an ICF home. First of all, the cost to build a home using ICFs rather than wood-frame construction is comparable, and in most cases less. The homeowner also benefits from 50% to 70% savings in heating and cooling costs and lower insurance rates, as well as fewer maintenance costs. These homes also benefit from greater resale values and more comfortable living space below grade.
An ICF wall provides exceptional sound deadening properties, providing a reduction in over 2/3 of transmitted noise.
Because ICF walls do no contain wood, they are resistant to rot and decay, are not susceptible to termite damage, and do not provide openings for insects or pests to enter. Concrete holds up better than wood, so ICF homes last longer than those built using traditional construction materials, and will remain solid, strong, and quiet over time.
Excellent Indoor Air Quality.
Building with ICFs results in creating a superior airtight envelope that locks out mold and moisture,eliminates outside allergens, and blocks outside noise.
Green. Environmentally Friendly.
Good for you, good for the environment, ICFs use less of our precious natural resources in construction and even enable homeowners to heat and cool their homes using fewer fossil fuels.
Gammon Construction has built with ICFs from several different manufacturers, some of which are listed above.
Any house plan can be easily adapted to ICFs. Any floor plan, any finish, any feature. Gammon Construction can use your plan or work with you to come up with your ideal individualized plan. So, bring in your dreams and we’ll help you make it into your perfect home.