Consumer's Frequently Asked Questions
1. How high can I go with your product?
The Advantage ICF System can be used to form 152 mm or 203 mm (6" or 8”) thick reinforced concrete walls. The National Building Code (NBC) of Canada provides prescriptive design requirements for above or below grade walls up to 3.0 m (10’-0”) height. Consult your Advantage ICF System representative for other wall heights that may require specific engineering design input.
2. Can the product be used for above-grade applications?
Yes. A growing part of our business is above grade or whole building applications where building owners have recognized the advantages of energy efficient construction for their whole building.
3. What goes inside?
Concrete with a 100 -150 mm (4" - 6") slump to provide a minimum 20 MPa (2900 psi) concrete strength reinforced as per design requirements.
4. Who can install it?
Installation of the Advantage ICF System should occur under the direct supervision of either: 1) An experienced ICF installer (complete with references), 2) A journeyman carpenter (complete with a valid carpenter’s ticket) 3) A trained professional in the concrete industry (complete with references) 4) An Advantage ICF System trained installer. Contractors with knowledge in framing and concrete applications are the preferred installers. Building construction experience is a prerequisite.
5. Is it harmful to the environment?
The Advantage ICF System incorporates EPS insulation, a rigid foam plastic insulation that contains only air within its cellular structure. EPS insulation is inert to a wide range of chemicals and does not contain any CFC’s or HCFC’s.
6. Is it harmful to me?
EPS insulation has been manufactured and processed for decades. The product is made with the same EPS foam as coffee cups. So no, it is not harmful.
7. Can I design any shape?
Typically, the Advantage ICF System can be cut to provide any shape as long as the structural supports for any projections or bays are designed accordingly.
8. How available is it?
Plasti-Fab maintains an inventory of Advantage ICF System block. However, in order to ensure prompt delivery to your location we recommend you allow a minimum of 2 weeks notice for delivery in your construction schedule to ensure prompt delivery. If you will be building during the busy summer construction season, additional time should be allowed.
9. What about insects or rodents?
EPS insulation does not provide any nutrient value for insects or animals. However, some kinds of insects and rodents also appreciate the thermal insulation provided by EPS insulation for their nesting places. An effective way to prevent burrowing insects or rodents from penetrating into the foam is to coat vulnerable surfaces with a parging from the top of the foundation wall above grade to 200 to 300 mm (6"-12") below finish grade.
10. What types of damp proofing products are recommended?
Many types of damp proofing products are suitable for use with the Advantage from traditional spray ones (cut-back asphalt) to the various types of wraps. We recommend the dimpled type of membranes as they provide both damp proofing and drainage. Ask for our technical bulletin on damp proofing and waterproofing for additional information.
11. What about stucco?
Conventional stuccos are applied by attaching wire straight to our ties with pan-head screws. Acrylic stucco manufacturers may require only typical foam preparation and then application directly onto the surface with no stucco wire.
12. What about siding?
Horizontal joints: strapping between the Advantage web connectors using metal banding may be required if siding joints line up with the Advantage ICF block joints. J trim: bucks may have to be modified to allow for certain types. Corners: strapping around corners with metal banding may be necessary for certain corner moldings.
13. What about electrical?
Standard electrical boxes which are 76 mm (3") deep can be cut into the EPS insulation panels leaving 10 mm (3/8”) extended beyond the face of EPS panels to accommodate the interior 13 mm (½”) thick gypsum board. Grooving for wires can be done with electrical chain saws.
14. What about plumbing?
The Advantage ICF System is typically used for construction of exterior walls of a building. Plumbing is rarely placed in exterior walls, however, if necessary this is done by grooving out the foam as required.
15. What about setting floors?
Floors can be set on top of the concrete walls, cast in joist or hung off a ledger. The Advantage ICF System installation manual provides typical connection details. However, other structural details may be accommodated. Window Bucks Window and door openings are easily incorporated into the Advantage System.
16. What about installing windows and doors?
A door or window can easily be incorporated with the Advantage ICF System leaving architecturally pleasing deep wall thicknesses, window seats, ledges, etc.
17. What are the cost benefits ?
The Advantage ICF System is competitively priced with stick framed buildings, however, reduced energy use, lower insurance, lower maintenance costs and enhanced resale price may provide additional long-term construction/ownership values.
18. Do you deliver?
Advantage ICF System is sold through building supply dealers and will deliver to job sites (haul rates may apply).
19. Who can I go to for help?
We have journeymen carpenters and trained installation experts available for on-site assistance or you can contact one of our Advantage Product Experts at 1-877-832-4146. Contact us Today.
20. What is your R-value?
The effective R-Value of a wall formed with the Advantage ICF System is approximately R-23. See more detailed R-values.