Whether because of code mandates or customer desires, there is no doubt that green construction methods are more than a passing trend. They are the new standard with which all contractors will have to become comfortable. Even in areas where they are not presently required, NAHB has found that 56% of home builders find it easier to sell a project if green building methods are incorporated into their building. In addition, the organization reports that 85% of their members feel that the energy efficiency green buildings provide is a key selling point.
Two notable steps forward in the green construction business have been the growing popularity of insulated concrete form (ICF) use and the more recent development of Mono Slab building techniques. While both offer key advantages, the greatest gain can be made when the two are, where applicable, combined.
ICF is, in simplest terms, hollow blocks made from a combination of extruded and expanded polystyrene (EPS) used to form a wall. Then the hollow area in the middle is poured full of reinforced concrete.
The blocks lock together much like Legos® and are left in place as the interior and exterior faces of the walls. The main benefit of ICF wall construction is the insulating effect that EPS offers over concrete alone. While the numbers can vary depending on the brands of EPS blocks and the exact construction method used, an additional R-23 of insulation protection can be expected from using ICF use.
As already noted, the most commonly cited advantage that ICF walls offer is the additional insulation value of ICF walls over bare concrete. This is primarily due to the nature of EPS, but other factors that come into play are reduced air infiltration. Less air seepage reduces both heat loss in the winter and infiltration in the summer.
Other advantages that ICF walls offer would include:
Mono Slab is a new technology developed by a construction contractor that allows you to form, insulate and backfill your foundation all before you begin to pour your slab. Lightweight, easy to handle, and requiring no teardown after the slab is poured, they greatly reduce the man hours needed to complete a project and increase the number of projects a contractor can complete in a given cycle.
Mono Slab’s biggest advantage is obviously savings. As a contractor, you save time, you save labor, you save material and you reduce waste. In short, you save money and increase the profitability of every project you undertake.
That is only the beginning. Other advantages Mono Slab offers include:
As a contractor, the benefits of combining ICF walls with Mono Slab pads are unprecedented savings in time, labor, and money. Beyond this, you will be creating one of the most earth-friendly buildings possible with conventional construction methods.
The finished structure will be well-insulated, have very low air and noise infiltration, and greatly reduced energy usage. The decreased use of wooden forms alone lightens the load on the environment.
ICF construction has been around for a while, but Mono Slab is a relatively new kid on the block. Never has it been easier or faster to poor slabs. No forming up and form removal. A three-man crew can have 4-5 sites ready for pouring in an eight-hour day, saving you and your clients time and money.
Best of all, the forms themselves become an insulator for the building, making it more energy efficient even in areas where ground freeze is common.
To learn more about how Mono Slab can revolutionize your construction projects and increase your profitability, contact us today for more information and full engineering specifications.