ICF Sounds Great, But How Do I Start?
You’re a commercial contractor, architect, or developer/owner. You’re intrigued by the idea of ICF but don’t know where to start or what to expect. Today’s your lucky day because we’re going to lift the veil of mystery!
The information you’re going to learn here today is the first stage of a three-part program and applies only to Polycrete ICFs. Our product/system is unique in the industry and the services we provide are head and shoulders above industry standards.
In part one we talk about how we work with you during the design stage. Next, we’ll cover the pre-construction stage and then we deal with the construction process.
The first thing you need to know is that We Are Your Resource. We don’t sell a truckload of foam blocks and head for the exits. We’re here to hold your hand for the duration. Ask us questions. Ask for advice. This is your first big ICF job, right? Don’t expect to know what you’re doing. We’re the experts. Ask us. Then listen.
It all starts with the design. We are going to deliver to you a prefabricated building shell in 16 square foot pieces that will be assembled onsite -- unless you want us to panelize it for you. We can do that, too. We can deliver wall sections up to 8 feet tall and 40 feet long.
We can also build the entire structural shell for you. Turnkey. From digging the hole right up to the roof line. We can deliver to you a fully insulated, reinforced concrete shell ready for interior and exterior finishes. However many stories you need.
But back to the design stage. Let‘s sit down with the architect. Let’s talk about the use of the building, the energy efficiency requirements, acoustic requirements, and the site characteristics. Who’s going to live there? What are the residents’ needs? The Polycrete system has lots of flexibility and we produce on a mass-customization format, so the more we understand your needs, the more we can help.
Need CAD details? We have them and we make them available to your architect to simplify the process. Simplification is one of the great benefits of building with insulated concrete forms. Eliminate steps, eliminate subs, and simplify the job. PolycreteUSA understands that fast and easy falls right to the bottom line.
There are different ways to block out doors and windows. We can help you decide which technique fits your project best. How about floor systems? There are plenty of methods all have different impacts on construction speed, cost and the final experience of the occupant.
Let’s consider finishes. Is sheet rock the best way to go, or will a stucco/plaster be a better solution? You might be surprised. If you color the plaster you may not need to paint.
You can use just about any exterior finish on a Polycrete building that you would put on any other building, but there may be quirks to the finish that work better or worse on ICF. We’re happy to talk with your designer or vendor to help you make the right decision.
MEP systems are also affected by ICF design. It’s best to use an MEP engineer that has experience with ICF buildings. Don’t know one? We can recommend a few for you to choose from. We can even help if you’re shooting for net zero energy use.
Your structural engineer needs to know that ICF is not a weird new technology. It’s just a super-efficient way to form a cast in place concrete wall. That’s all. And don’t worry about the building inspector. Polycrete ICF system meets or exceeds all ICC standards.
Pretty much all building departments these days are familiar with ICFs, but if not, we have all the ICC test results available for download and ready for submission. Best of all, we’re happy to talk with your building department and brief them if necessary.
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