ICFs - Do they have a reliable history for home construction? Doing our research
We are building a home soon near Aspen Colorado and our contractor has suggested using ICF blocks for the basement construction. We know nothing about the history of ICF construction or whether it's a good idea. Our winters are cold as we are high up and the site is west facing on the basement window side - do ICFs have any particular problems for basement walls? Is Insulating Concrete Forms construction a new thing or do they have a long history and do they meet code? We'd never heard of ICFs before and wondered if it was just an up-sell and whether it is worth considering. Thanks!
In my considered opinion, ICF construction is perfect for building a basement. ICF blocks are quickly stacked, they form the concrete for the basement walls, and if using various systems out there for heated slabs and/or foundation forming the basement can even be monopour making it very strong, totally insulated and with no access to moisture. As for the history of ICFs & ICF Construction, you can find that here.
One of the first Net Zero Certified home projects features an ICF basement - the Harmony House in Vancouver - that I was involved with back in 2011. I hope this helps, and if you have more questions please don't hesitate to come back to us.