Stay-in-place foam forms have been accepted as a quick, easy, and efficient way to construct residential foundation walls. Now these systems are quickly catching on as an efficient way to construct entire homes, from footing to eave. In one step, the contractor can form concrete and provide insulation with R-values much higher than conventional concrete walls. Other advantages of these systems when compared to conventional forming methods include faster wall erection (forms are easy to erect and do not require stripping), and better concrete curing and a longer construction season (the foam insulates the concrete).
There are two types of polystyrene foam forms: panel systems and grid systems. A grid system produces a post-and-beam wall: a combination of many concrete columns and beams that are spaced apart by sections of foam to resemble a large waffle or a huge window screen. The components of this system are foam blocks with foam and webs that act as wall ties and filler between the posts and beams.
The post-and-beam grid system block has no top or bottom, making its assembly virtually foolproof. The system also uses less concrete than some other systems, yet provides the same structural strength. Expanded polystyrene (EPS) systems are very flexible and allow some unique architectural design options. Curved walls, unique finishes, and vaulted ceilings are just a few of the custom features that can be included in a concrete home.