Building your foundation using Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF’s)

Written By Colin Showalter

As Melissa described in the previous two blogs everyone wants a useable basement. So when designing and constructing your new house I suggest you consider the Advantage ICF System for your basement foundation.

Imagine spending time with your family, in the heart of winter, in your basement, and it being the most comfortable place in your house. Sounds like a fantasy doesn’t it?  We all know most basements are cold and uncomfortable. However, ask anyone who has a house with an ICF basement, and they will tell you that this fantasy has become reality.

Walls built with the Advantage ICF system provide improved energy efficiency that results in reduced operating costs for the life of the building. In addition, since less energy is being used, related greenhouse gas emissions are proportionately reduced. Today, more than ever, building an energy-efficient structure is the right environmental choice and will provide savings in energy costs.

A basement built with the Advantage ICF System will make a wall structure at least 40% more energy-efficient and significantly reduce heat transfer compared to a new conventionally built home. Some of you might wonder, what is heat transfer? That is the loss of your warm  air to the outside in the winter (or heat gain from the outside in the summer), or perhaps more aptly put, the loss of your energy dollars.

Using the Advantage ICF System can translate into savings in energy consumption of at least 30%. A poorly insulated below-grade foundation wall can account for more than 50% of the total heat loss from a house. The graph below provides a comparison of the effective R-value provided by a below grade wall constructed with the Advantage ICF System wall versus a typical concrete wall with wood frame wall and R-8 batt insulation.

There you have it! Fantasy becomes reality when you build your basement foundation with the Advantage ICF System. Your basement living space becomes the most comfortable place in your home. The biggest complaint I hear from people who build their basements with ICF is “Why didn’t I build the whole house like this?”

Next: Learn the next step in energy efficiency as we build the first floor of our Plasti-Fab Solutions Home using Insulspan SIPS.

For more information on foundation insulation, visit or  for our extensive technical libraries with installation manuals, product information bulletins, and more.

2 Comments on “Building your foundation using Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF’s)

  1. what is the cost of icf, how do be sure water stays out at seems, can icf basements be built by water?

  2. Thanks for the interesting article about using insulated concrete for a foundation. I didn’t know that it could help make a wall structure 40% more energy efficient. I’m interested to learn if using more of the insulated concrete could improve energy efficiency, like making the walls thicker with the concrete.

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