Nudura confirms household benefits with concrete walls
(NC)—Improved insulation, reduced monthly heating bills, increased safety, reliable indoor comforts, lowered carbon footprints and higher resale value, are all in reach immediately when a newly constructed home has made the switch from standard wood-framing to reinforced concrete walls.
“Even if the planet was not in danger of depleting its trees, concrete as an alternative is a far superior building material,” says Todd Blyth at Nudura Integrated Building Technology, the Canadian company that is spearheading this innovation both north and south of the border. Nudura is a primary supplier of the pre-assembled, interlocking 'insulated concrete forms' (ICFs), a certified system, says Blyth, that is gradually convincing builders to break away from yesterday's inefficiencies.
“ICF construction is already a decade underway, but it's an option-upgrade that needs to be requested by the homeowner,” Blyth explains. “These days many builders are suggesting it, but some won't, especially those who find it difficult to make such a fundamental change. At the construction site however, the pre-assembled concrete forms lock together, like Lego, to build the walls far quicker than wood-framing, with far less waste, so its popularity with builders is only a matter of time.
“Homeowners also tell us they are pleased with the aesthetics indoors and out. Once the walls are erected, you can beautify them on the outside with a variety of finishes, including brick, stone, stucco, wood or vinyl siding just like a traditional home. And inside, all of the creative architectural shapes to make attractive doors, arches, bay windows and more, are easily achieved with our system.”
Appreciation is in the details Blyth points out, as follows:
Fuel Savings: Premium insulation is essential with energy costs on the rise. Concrete walls vastly reduce air infiltration (compared to wood walls) and this improves energy performance. By combining two panels of thick (EPS) foam with the structural strength and thermal mass of concrete, the walls can provide an efficiency rating as high as R-50 (compared to an average R20 in wood structures) saving you up to 70 per cent in energy costs. Lowering demand for trees is good for the natural environment as well.
Safety: If high winds in your community are a concern, Nudura data shows that an ICF home delivers impact resistance up 402 kilometers per hour (250 mph) and the fire protection rating is up to 4 hours.
Comfort: Outside cold can easily travel through a typical wood-framed wall, causing drafts and cold spots. Reinforced concrete walls prevent such discomfort due to better insulation. Occupants can rely on even temperatures throughout the house, plus air to breathe that is far less prone to the mould, mildew and toxins that are associated with wood.Quiet: Reinforced concrete isan effective sound barrier. It dampens sound vibrations from outside noise, such as traffic, trains, and neighbourhood parties. Internal peace and quiet is a sheer bonus.
Improved Value: It is generally expected that a stronger, safer, greener home – and one that is more durable, cost efficient and needs less maintenance and repair – will quickly increase its resale value.
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