FAQ’s

What is ICF?

ICF is an acronym for Insulated concrete formwork.  Changing the inner and outer leaf of polystyrene in place of traditional brick and blockwork provides greater thermal efficiency with the core filled with concrete ensuring high structural performance.

Reliable, resource efficient and cost effective ICF is a modern method of construction.

Is ICF new?

No. Rhodipor Ecobuild has been in use on the continent since the early 1980?s with other systems preceding it.

Rhodipor Ecobuild has been used to construct over ten thousand differing buildings to date and is a tried and tested construction method.

Why is ICF so much better?

Rhodipor Ecobuild out performs other building methods as the dual layer of insulation is a component of the system rather than an addition. The concrete core provides the structural integrity yielding stiffness and strength.

What is the cost?

One answer cannot adequately cover the exact cost. Costs depend on the number of corners, opening sizes and room heights. The most accurate way to ensure that what is being considered is priced correctly is to contact ourselves, for a free no obligation quotation.

Why is ICF not more popular?

The UK building industry is restraint to alternative approaches to construction. The idea that you only have to achieve and never exceed is prevalent and commercial driven. However with the self-build market increasing and higher insulation standards driven by the Building Regulations ICF is becoming more common.

Is ICF fire resistant?

Rhodipor Ecobuild has passed every standard fire test that is required. In Rhodipor Ecobuild’s finished state complete with concrete core the system will achieve 90 minutes fire resistance without any additional surface treatments. It is an ideal solution for multiple occupancy buildings.

How does ICF save so much on labour?

Rhodipor Ecobuild is a flat pack system that is quick to put together. The ‘Lego’ type construction allows large areas to be assembled quickly and efficiently. The system is not affected by the weather allowing construction to progress during wet or windy periods to a weather proof shell.

Who can design ICF buildings?

Professionals are increasingly aware of ICF and there should be no problem designing a building from scratch to use ICF or modifying an existing design. Rhodipor Ecobuild has in house and numerous technical partners to advise and assist in any design query you may have.

What are the options for external finishes?

Rhodipor Ecobuild can receive a varied range of external finishes these include:

Render, this is the most cost effective finish applied directly to the face of the Rhodipor Ecobuild panel. Each render system has varied requirements for applying on to ICF but for longevity, and reduced maintenance we would recommend an acrylic based system.

Traditional Brick or Natural Stone can be easily incorporated. Constructed in the traditional manner the stone / brick form an outer leaf and are then tied back to the Rhodipor Ecobuild walling using a specialist wall tie. For warranty purposes a minimum of 50mm cavity is maintained

Brick or Natural Stone slips can be affixed to the Rhodipor Ecobuild walling system using the manufacturer’s carrier system. These system make a thinner wall overall with the aesthetic of a traditional build.  The speed at which the finish can be applied will reduce labour costs and speed up construction.

Cladding, with the unlimited variances in timber, metal and composite cladding systems Rhodipor Ecobuild can receive them all.

What are the options for internal finishes?

The most common method is to dry line the walls with plasterboard tape and skim. Boards are stuck in place using ‘of the shelf’ bought adhesives and mechanically fixed through to the concrete core.

As alternative clients are using projection plasters. Plaster is sprayed directly on to the Rhodipor Ecobuild wall and then floated off as a traditional system to ensure a quality finish. Projection plaster has proven itself to be three times quicker than traditional plastering, excluding the time required to affix boards to the walls.

Are ICF houses covered by warranty schemes?

Most companies offering warranty schemes accept Rhodipor Ecobuild. Throughout the design stage we offer advice to ensure that there are no issue with any warranty’s offered.

Are mortgage lenders able to lend on ICF houses?

Yes, lenders are able to offer mortgages on Rhodipor Ecobuild houses. A point of interest is that when building a new house some lenders will reduce the lending rate if the house achieves greater energy efficiency, Ecobuild PassivHaus 4 panel has been used in such an instance.

What foundation should be used?

Any foundation can be used and the selection of such is dependent on the site locality.

What is the best heating system for an ICF build?

Any conventional heating system can be used but should be down-sized because ICF houses are so energy efficient.

Can I use recycled aggregates in the concrete:

Yes, the supplier would be required to provide an EOTA or BBA certificate prior to purchasing to ensure the concrete is manufactured to the correct standard.

Can I use SIPS panels for the roof:

Yes. Rhodipor Ecobuild walls can accommodate any form of roof construction required.

Can I use ICF to build my below ground walls:

Yes. Rhodipor Ecobuild walls can be built below ground and is an ideal solution for basement and swimming pool walls.

How do you make the walls straight:

Throughout the construction process props are positioned at key intervals generally every 1.2m – 1.7m. These are tied to the ICF walling and allow for minor adjustments before undertaking the pour.

Props can also be used as an access platform at the head of the wall, saving costs on scaffold hire.