What Do You Mean You Haven’t Heard of an ICF?
When it comes to the building product and construction industry, we at Fox Blocks know an educated buyer is our best customer. For years, we have strived to educate those in the construction industry and homeowners on the benefits of insulated concrete forms (ICFs). We do this through training, trade shows, our website, and more. We aim to inform on how Fox Blocks ICF construction can improve the profitability and success of a building project through speedy and safe installation, sustainability, and code-compliant construction.
ICF Construction on the Rise
Between 2021 and 2024, experts forecast a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.08 percent for the insulated concrete form (ICF) market, due much to the demand for high-rise residential buildings and schools in North America. Other significant factors boosting ICF sales include the need for quicker and more labor-efficient construction and the demand for high-performing energy-efficient and hurricane-resistant structures.
However, many builders, designers, and homeowners still say they haven't heard of our product with all of ICF's potential. Therefore, to further enhance ICF's future market growth, ICF manufacturers must increase awareness of the many significant benefits of ICF, showcasing ICFs as a proven and trusted building product for today’s high-performing buildings and homes.
Where are the Opportunities to Learn About ICF Construction
Conveniently, anyone can easily access knowledge on the installation, benefits, and code-compliance of ICF construction through the manufacturers, the internet, trade shows, and more.
ICF manufacturers, including Fox Blocks, provide and conduct extensive educational training classes ﹘ open to anyone, including contractors and installers.
ICF manufacturers' websites offer detailed documentation to help you expand your knowledge of ICF products.
YouTube abounds with ICF videos on numerous topics: costs, benefits, installation, foundations, and more.
American Institute of Architects (AIA) offers contractor-accredited courses.
The insulating concrete forms manufacturer association (ICFMA) provides case studies, product testing, and other educational materials and links.
The National Ready Mix Concrete Association (NRMCA) offers a ‘Build with Strength’ program linked to ICF manufacturers.
ICF manufacturers often showcase their products at trade and home shows, contractor events, associations conferences, etc.
The ICF Builder magazine offers building professionals monthly information on current ICF topics.
Why Choose ICF for Your Next Building Project
ICFs will help contractors stay on schedule, turn a profit, and create code-compliant and high-performing buildings and homes. The ever-evolving construction industry requires designers and contractors to keep up with the latest building codes and techniques to advance design and building methods and strategies. Contractors that choose the newest innovative building techniques, like ICFs, will quicken construction time, improve sustainability, enhance efficiency and productivity, and limit job-site injury. All factors will ensure a more successful construction business than builders that stick to outdated, traditional building methods.
ICFs are manufactured to meet rigid quality control standards and specifications as set by the ICC-ES. Specific testing criteria must be met and code evaluation reports listing the product approvals, to meet building code standards in the IBC, IRC and NBCC. ICFs installation and residential engineering tables are listed in the IRC code.
How are ICFs Used?
Builders can use ICF for above- and below-grade wall systems for everything from single-story homes to over 20-story, high-rise buildings. You will find ICF structures throughout the U.S. and Canada, including single- and multi-family residential, schools, warehouses, office buildings, hospitals, movie theaters, and more. Quick and easy ICF construction provides a safe work environment, limiting the risk of injury compared to wood-frame construction. In addition, ICFs produce high-performing, energy-efficient, and durable homes and buildings.
Simple-Fast ICF installation
To build an ICF wall, workers dry-stack interlocking units of hollow expanded Polystyrene (EPS) foam panels, locked six to eight inches apart with molded plastic ties made of polypropylene (PP) regrind resin. As the walls are built, steel reinforcing is installed. Workers then skillfully place concrete into the foam panel wall cavity. The inner and outer EPS panels remain as continuous insulation around the cured concrete. The panels permit the installation of electrical and plumbing within the EPS panels after the concrete has set.
Learn More About ICFs from Fox Blocks Integrated Learning Center
Fox Blocks Integrated Learning Center's (ILC) online training provides comprehensive step-by-step practices for adequately installing insulated concrete forms (ICFs). The ILC also offers educational videos on Fox Blocks ICFs and accessory product uses and applications. Contractors that complete the Primary Installer Training will receive an acknowledgment as a Fox Blocks Primary Installer with a Certificate and Wallet card.
Fox Blocks technical experts and construction team, each with over 25 years of experience, have provided ICF construction training to thousands of contractors. With this experience, Fox Block has developed a multi-faceted, in-depth educational and training website so anyone can easily access our expertise and knowledge. The site offers self-paced training modules for a primary installer. You can also access several levels of courses as you gain proficiency and skill. Furthermore, the site adds to your education by providing an expanding video library featuring on-site videos and explanations for product application techniques and details.
Fox Blocks ILC connects to the main Fox Blocks website with an extensive resource library of testing, building science reports,, technical bulletins, code documents, and specifications, as well as everything related to product knowledge, CAD and BIM details, and and applications.
Fox Blocks has an established record for successful commercial and residential projects. We credit this to our product support team, along with a vast manufacturing and distribution network across Canada and the U.S. Please refer to Fox Blocks Integrated Learning Center and Fox Blocks website to learn more about ICF and Fox Blocks.