In recent years, the residential building community has seen a noticeable trend towards creating strong, cost-efficient and environmentally friendly homes with the help of green construction technology. Safety is the main consideration, but so are the costs associated with destruction and loss, and energy consumption.

The adoption of insulated concrete forms (ICFs), which combine two panels of thick, Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) foam around a concrete core to form a rock-solid envelope of 10 to 30 centimeters thick, marks a vast departure from traditional wood framing. Many eco-conscious homeowners are choosing ICFs for their ability to withstand extreme weather conditions in addition to a wide range of other benefits.

Homeowners know the material planned for their walls is a decision to be made early in the process. Here are a few situations where you should consider building with ICFs:

You need to weather the storm(s) – Build your home with ICFs, which deliver hurricane and tornado impact-resistance up 402 kilometers per hour, and a fire protection rating of up to four hours. INFOGRAPHIC

You’re worrying about your energy bill – Lower energy consumption with concrete walls, simply by reducing air infiltration associated with wood structures. Use ICFs to produce an energy efficiency rating as high as R-23.59 (compared to an average of R-20 in wood), which equals as much as 70% savings.

You want to regulate temperature – Prevent thermal bridging with solid, concrete core walls. Poorly insulated, wood-framed walls allow outside air in, causing drafts and chilly spots inside your home.

You know the importance of breathable air – Diminish the threat of mold, mildew and other toxins commonly found in wood structures by opting for concrete.

It’s too noisy – You deserve some peace and quiet. Solid concrete is an effective sound barrier that dampens sound vibrations from traffic, trains, and even neighborhood parties.

Your see your home as an asset – A stronger, safer, greener home – and one that is cost efficient with less maintenance and repair – will steadily increase in resale value.

Keven Rector is a technical services manager with Nudura Corporation, a leading provider of ICFs based in Barrie, Ontario, Canada.

Protect your Home in A Flash

Donn Thompson from Portland Cement Association talks about the benefits of using insulated concrete forms (ICF) to build safe rooms.