Improved practices in the construction industry reflect the greening of building codes across Canada. This proactivity is highlighted by advancements in window daylighting, insulation, air infiltration, and new wall-building materials. Here’s everything you need to know about choosing methods and materials, such as insulated concrete forms, that are even more energy efficient than the minimums of building codes.
- You’ll save money. “A huge step forward is to replace the traditional wood framing of your house with what we call ICFs, insulated concrete forms,” says Keven Rector at Nudura, a leading name in this technology. Building the envelope of your house with concrete instead of wood delivers an energy efficiency rating as high as R-50 (compared to an average R20 in wood structures), saving you up to 50 per cent on utility bills.
- You’ll be protected from natural disasters. Homes built with ICFs are disaster-resilient, offering you the safety of fire resistance and wind resistance up to 402 kilometres per hour.
- You’ll be more comfortable. Say goodbye to mould, cold spots, and drafts — green homes with this concrete system are far less prone to these problems.
- You’ll get in your new home sooner. “ICF construction assures the adherence to Canadian building codes, takes up less shipping space, requires less manpower at the site, and the assembly is faster than wood framing. Time-strapped builders and eager homeowners benefit equally from this efficiency,” explains Rector.
- You’ll achieve higher property value. Remember that high quality materials will stand up to the test of time. For example, using reinforced concrete for the main structural element is more durable and requires less maintenance and repair over its lifetime compared to wood structures that require regular maintenance over their limited life span.
- You’ll hear less unwanted outside noise. A home that uses ICF construction dampens sound vibrations, sheltering you from noisy neighbours, traffic, and trains.
- You’ll help the environment. With the concrete option, countless trees remain untouched and with lowered energy consumption and less tapping of natural resources every day, just imagine the contribution your house will make towards achieving a sustainable environment over the years.