Insulated Concrete Forms and Gigacrete panels

Dallin Sumpter Published: Feb. 21, 2019, 2:46 a.m.Last updated: March 11, 2019, 10:06 a.m.

I want to build a house to passive house standards and keep it to a relatively small budget. I stumbled upon ICFs and Gigacrete while researching building materials, but haven't seen a lot of passive houses built with these materials. Is there a reason why? They seem to be a pretty efficient method of building houses, can be air tight without a lot of additional work, dont have thermal bridges, and they tend to have a hard time catching fire (important where I live). I'm looking for an educated opinion because I am such a rookie. 

Responses (4)

Herman van den Berg March 7, 2019, 9:08 p.m. Reply

I'm aslo planning to build a house, not necessarily up to passive house standards, but as green as economically possible. For the exterior wall I'm giving strong consideration to using Nexcem wall forms. You may find technical details here: https://nexcembuild.com/technicaldownloads-shtml/. Here is a video of a builder describing how he used Nexcem wall forms:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T-Zqgb2_iy0. Note, Nexcem was recently known as Durisol, so you may find additional information online under that brand.

R j March 28, 2019, 9:23 p.m. Reply

I looked at Nexcem too but I found lots of comments in forums about the blocks when they were Durisol - apparently they can shatter easily unless they are handled very carefully and building with them looks like hard work! see http://www.theenclosure.ca/relief-2/ Also, they wont get you above R22, which isn't helpful if you want a well insulated envelope... 

Dallin Sumpter March 11, 2019, 10:17 a.m. Reply

Thank you!