The Business Case for Building Multifamily with Insulated Concrete Forms (ICFs)


Multifamily buildings, including apartments, condominiums, and townhouses, have become an increasingly popular housing option in urban and suburban areas. With the ever-growing demand for sustainable, energy-efficient, and cost-effective housing solutions, the construction industry is under constant pressure to develop innovative and eco-friendly building methods.

Meeting these requirements while staying economical can be a challenge. Utilizing new materials and methods like insulated concrete forms (ICFs), multifamily buildings can be built sustainability and efficiently while still presenting a strong business case.

Priorities in Multifamily Construction


Modern multifamily construction faces its share of issues and challenges including:

  • Energy efficiency

  • Low maintenance

  • Low noise

  • Safety

  • Sustainability

Higher energy costs and stricter building codes push multifamily construction to be more and more efficient. Coupled with the desire of building owners and managers for the building to be more durable and require less maintenance, these performance requirements can be difficult to achieve using traditional materials and methods.

With population densities rising, ensuring a comfortable living environment for occupants is crucial in multifamily buildings. Soundproofing and noise reduction measures are critical to keeping everyone comfortable, even when physically close together.

In addition to comfort, multifamily structures have the responsibility of keeping many families safe. Multifamily structures must be built to withstand natural disasters, such as earthquakes, hurricanes, and tornadoes, to protect both occupants and property investments.

Finally, multifamily buildings must be built sustainably. Both requirements from building owners and increased requirements from regulations and standards are driving the need for more sustainable building options.

The Benefits of Building with Concrete and ICFs


Concrete has long been the go-to material for construction projects, including multifamily buildings, due to its availability, strength, and relative ease of use. However, the advent of ICFs has revolutionized the way concrete is used in construction. ICFs are hollow blocks made of insulating materials, typically expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam, which are stacked to form the building's exterior walls. The hollow space of the ICFs are then filled with rebar and concrete, creating a highly insulated, energy-efficient, and durable wall system.

Building with concrete and ICFs offers numerous benefits, making a strong business case for their use in multifamily construction. ICF walls have an R-value of R-22 or greater, making them highly energy-efficient. This increased insulation can result in significant energy savings for building owners and occupants. The concrete in the walls also has the benefit of additional thermal mass. The thermal mass from the concrete warms and cools slowly, helping to dampen swings in temperature which ultimately keeps the interior temperatures more consistent.

In addition to energy efficiency, concrete and ICF walls are resistant to mold, mildew, and pests, resulting in reduced maintenance and repair costs. Concrete does not rot, warp, or rust, ensuring a longer lifespan for the structure. The ICF walls provide excellent soundproofing due to the inner and outer layers of insulation and the thick layer of concrete. The reduction in noise transmission between units creates a more comfortable living environment for occupants.

Concrete and ICF structures are highly resistant to natural disasters, such as earthquakes, hurricanes, and tornadoes. ICF blocks produce such strong buildings that they are often used in the construction of storm shelters. ICF buildings provide enhanced safety for occupants and protect property investments.

Fox Blocks wall assemblies have been tested and approved for fire resistance ratings from 2 to 4 hours. Using ICFs as the fire rated demising walls is a simple and safe solution saving labor and material costs for multifamily buildings.

Not only do ICF blocks have exceptional performance characteristics, but they are also a sustainable option. ICFs are made from recycled materials and are themselves recyclable. The energy efficiency of ICF construction also reduces the building's carbon footprint, contributing to its overall sustainability and reduced energy bills.

The Business Case for Building with ICFs

Fox Blocks, a leading provider of ICFs, offers an innovative and comprehensive ICF system that meets the demands of modern multifamily construction. With over 30 years of industry experience, Fox Blocks provides a range of ICF products and accessories that are designed to make the construction process more efficient, cost-effective, and environmentally-friendly.

Fox Blocks ICFs have a higher R-value than many other ICF products on the market, to provide superior energy efficiency and potential cost savings for occupants and property owners. For building owners who are looking to build and hold multifamily projects, ICF helps reduce operational expenses throughout the entire building lifecycle.

Fox Blocks are designed to be installed quickly, without specialized labor. The Fox Blocks system results in a stronger, more secure, and easier-to-install ICF wall, and ultimately faster construction times and reduced labor costs. With the increased energy efficiency and decreased maintenance requirements, ICF multifamily buildings have lower energy and maintenance bills.

ICF blocks from Fox Blocks also help support sustainable construction in multifamily housing. Fox Blocks is dedicated to producing environmentally friendly ICF products, using recycled materials in their manufacturing process, and promoting sustainable building practices. Fox Blocks are even recyclable.

Fox Blocks: a Strong Case for Multifamily Structures


When considering the business case for building multifamily structures with concrete and ICFs, Fox Blocks provide an unmatched combination of performance, durability, energy efficiency, and sustainability.

By choosing Fox Blocks for your next multifamily project, you'll not only provide a comfortable, safe, and efficient living environment for occupants, but also contribute to a greener future for the construction industry while increasing your return on investment.

Don't wait any longer to experience the benefits of building with Fox Blocks ICFs.

Contact the experts at Fox Blocks today to learn more about our innovative ICF solutions and how they can elevate your multifamily construction projects to new heights!