Building homes with abovegrade concrete walls is one of the fastest-growing methods of residential construction in the United States. Barely on the radar in the early 1990s, concrete homes now command an estimated 15% of the abovegrade single-family residential market as of 2006. Some of the available concrete systems include concrete masonry, insulating concrete forms (ICFs), removable concrete forms (RCFs), precast concrete panels, and autoclaved aerated concrete (AAC) blocks or panels.
In order to effectively promote concrete homebuilding, it's necessary to have an understanding of the many advantages of a concrete house. It's well documented that concrete walls can increase the energy efficiency of a home. Some studies have shown that a structure with concrete and foam walls can reduce heating and cooling bills significantly. Using structural concrete and foam floor systems, upgraded attic insulation, and energy-efficient doors and windows can enhance this effect. The energy efficiency of a concrete home often means that HVAC systems can be downsized. A number of software programs are available to assist HVAC contractors with properly sizing equipment to take this into account.