Why is a concrete construction better than wood?
(NC)—North and south of the border, it is a Canadian company that is spearheading the common sense but revolutionary change in how a house, or any building, is erected.
For the past decade or so, Nudura Integrated Building Technology has been coaching builders in Canada and the United States on the switch from standard, wood framing to a post-modern system of pre-assembled, interlocking 'insulated concrete forms'. Compared to wood, ICFs deliver far more energy efficiency due to durability, insulation properties, fire protection, wind and sound resistance, indoor temperature stability, plus a variety of additional occupant comforts. The planet wins too: an ICF building reduces the need for trees and wood; it produces far less waste at the construction site (most of which is recyclable) and your house will need far less energy to deliver the interior comforts.
“Of course, beauty, warmth, and design aesthetics are also top priority when building a dream home,” says Todd Blyth at Ontario-based, Nudura. “On the outside, a concrete house can be designed to blend into the neighbourhood, or it can be made to look quite different. It can be finished with smart-looking brick, or finished creatively with stone, stucco, or wood siding, just like a traditional wood home.
“The interior aesthetics are boundless as well,” he continued. “A full range of architectural shapes, like arches, bay windows, and specific door styles, are easily achieved to meet any building requirement, or dream home design. All in all you will get a far stronger, energy efficient house, and with a warm, inviting and comfortable atmosphere.”
Features and benefits
If you're wondering how concrete achieves such efficiencies, Blyth answers this way:
Feature: An ICF house requires far less fuel for heating and cooling and will save significant money on your energy bills.
Why? ICF walls vastly reduce air infiltration to improve energy performance. When you combine thick foam with the structural strength and thermal mass of concrete, the R-Value ratings can be as high as R-50 (versus R-20 for wood walls), saving you up to 70 per cent in energy costs.
Feature: Occupant comfort noticeably improves.
Why? Outside cold can easily travel through a typical wood-framed wall, causing drafts and cold spots. Reinforced concrete walls prevent this 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 and mildew associated with wood. ICF walls are also an effective sound barrier, filtering out unwanted noise such as, traffic, trains and noisy neighbours.Feature: Insulated concrete homes deliver superior safety for the family.
Why? Nudura data shows that this building system will give you a fire protection rating of up to 4 hours. Unlike wood, the walls are built with steel reinforced concrete and a non-toxic fire retardant in the 'expanded polystyrene foam' (EPS). These strong materials also deliver far greater impact resistance, withstanding winds of up to 402 kilometres per hour (250 mph) all of which ensures that your family and home are safe and secure in almost any situation. Feature: In addition to day-to-day energy savings, your ICF home is built to last and will grow in long-term value.
Why? The main structural component is reinforced concrete, which, when compared to wood structures, offers substantially better durability and requires less maintenance and repair over its lifetime.
More information on this topic is available online at www.nudura.com.
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