For the Builder Fast Track Construction – Speed of build is one of the unique selling points for considering an ICF solution. It is far faster to build with than Traditional brick & block or frame structure, because it takes six to eight weeks from the time you place the order to the time the frame reaches site, during which an ICF structure could have been completed. Forms are available within three weeks and the concrete within 48 hours.
Reduced Labour Costs – Labour cost is much reduced over both traditional and framing since ICF systems require semi-skilled labour only. They do not require highly paid scarce skills such as brick layers. Although there is a need for a certain amount of training, which is offered by all ICF suppliers on site, this can be learn quickly. A site based NVQ level2 is now available for operatives.
Less Down Time – Material availability is on short lead times. The structure can be built in most weather conditions including rain and frost.
Immediate Follow-On Trades – Insulated Concrete Formwork systems allows the watertight building shell to be erected in days. The follow-on trades can therefore enter the building and start putting utilities and finishes into place much quicker than traditional building methods.
Simple Service Installation – A great benefit of using an ICF system is the ability to put the conduit, cabling, ducting etc for the services you require within the wall space of the empty forms prior to pouring the concrete, this saves time and makes for a very efficient way of construction. This can be supplemented by chasing within the inner wall of polystyrene after the concrete wall has been poured and cured.
Less Heavy Plant and Equipment – Heavy plant and equipment that you would normally find on the average building site when using traditional building methods is not required with ICF’s. This is due to the light-weight forms and the quickness of the modular build.
Good House Keeping – Using Insulated Concrete Formwork makes it very easy to keep the building site tidy and clean, as the forms are easy to stack and waste is kept at a minimum.
Improved Site Safety – This is achieved by the fact that ICF’s are light to handle so less chance of injury. The work place is easy to keep tidy thereby cutting down the possibility of trips falls etc, and because the need for plant and other equipment is minimal, chances of accidents are also minimised.
Cost Savings – When all the factors and benefits are taken into consideration, Insulated Concrete Formwork becomes extremely competitive compared to both traditional building methods and lightweight framing. Recent site examples have proved savings of between 25% to 30% in cost compared to traditional build and lightweight framing if a render is the external wall covering and a further 25% to 30% saving in build time against traditional where materials are on simular lead times. A simular timescale advantage accrues versus lightweight systems if the time starts from the date of frame order.