Casa Bella Verde has chosen to use ICF technology in its design to create the most energy efficient structure known to the building industry. ICF technology enables the designer to create, without limitations, a home with the very maximum energy efficiency.

What are ICF's?

Insulating concrete forms (ICF) construction is a new alternative to conventional wood-frame construction. The forms are made of Expanded Polystyrene foam (EPS). ICF forms create a mold in which steel reinforcement (rebar) is placed and then filled solid with concrete. The forms remain in place to provide continuous thermal insulation, a sound barrier, and to provide a solid, strong surface for any desired finish for interior or exterior walls.

How does Casa Bella Verde benefit from being an ICF home?

• ICF homes have a very high R-Value (thermal insulating value)
All walls in an ICF home are poured continuously, making an ICF home a monolithic structure. Because of this, air infiltration in an ICF home is minimal due to the continuous air barriers provided by the foam insulation and the concrete. The ICF in Casa Bella Verde combined with an 8" core, create a thermal performance value of R-50, as compared to today's wood-frame construction home which has a thermal performance value between R-12 and R-20. The combination of high R-values, low air infiltration, and high thermal mass is believed to account for an amazing savings of 50% to 80% on heating and air conditioning bills.

• ICF homes are virtually unaffected by the elements
Unlike wood, concrete and EPS are both non-biodegradable materials which can withstand, for centuries, the most severe weather conditions. Because of this, the ICF home is far more resistant to hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, and termites than any other residential construction method.

What are the health benefits of an ICF home?

Because concrete and EPS are inorganic materials, they are not a food source for mold, therefore an ICF home is both mold and mildew resistant. Also very little dust accumulates within an ICF form because of the minimal air infiltration due to the air and vapor barriers. An air recovery system brings in and filters outside air creating a very healthy indoor air quality.

Yet another health benefit of ICF homes is that they emit no Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC's) or formaldehyde because the EPS foam is inorganic and inert. In addition, the EPS foam does not produce chlorofluorocarbons (CFC's) or hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFC's) during its production, therefore making it an ozone friendly product.

Finally, the concrete core is encased in dense EPS foam, the walls of an ICF home make an exceptional sound barrier from any external environmental noise.

Because of the overwhelming energy-efficiency, structural, health, and environmental, benefits an ICF home has to offer, it is undoubtedly the future of green home construction.