When Eric Kessler, a retired Defense Department engineer, broke ground on his Maryland home last June he had already spent a significant amount of time researching and learning about sustainable residential design. In a project profile on Fredericksburg.com he talked about how he used guidance from Passive House and other sustainable construction techniques, and why he chose insuluated concrete forms.
Kessler settled on the ICF method, which would result in a house that would stand up to pretty much anything nature could throw at it, while providing a near-perfect indoor environment—especially for those who suffer from asthma, allergies or other respiratory ailments ... For Kessler, the best choice was the IntegraSpec brand polystyrene foam forms, 2.5 inches thick inside and out, and designed to hold plastic spacers that keep the steel reinforcing rods—rebar—securely in place. The forms are stacked into walls, then filled with pumped concrete from the top down. Ceilings and subfloors are similarly constructed, “foam touching foam,” resulting in living areas that are encapsulated in steel-reinforced, insulating foam-covered concrete that provides an R-value in excess of 30. Kessler believes his house will achieve that or better. The foam is easily cut to allow for wiring and switch boxes, and covered in drywall.