Insulated Concrete Forms
Cascade Builders specializes in the install and design of ICF constructed buildings. ICF buildings are wind, fire, rot, and insect resistant. ICF can be used to construct just the basement of a home or the entire exterior wall system from footing to roof. ICF can also be used as a fire wall between duplex's at a fraction of the cost of a conventional wood framed wall. ICF homes can be constructed faster then conventional homes as the framing, insulating and vapor barrier is all components that are built into the wall. The walls provide a R28 value with no thermo breaks (voids in insulation which include studs, columns and lintel/beams).
Did you know that the average wood frame 36'x36' 2 story home will have over 216 sq.ft. of uninsulated wall space? That's a small home and almost 7 full piece of plywood that are uninsulated which will result in a lot of heat loss. ICF homes virtually have no thermo breaks in the wall systems insuring a draft free, noise free, and leak free home.
Does it cost more?
Yes the up front "foundation or framing costs" are a little more. However if you factor in the cost of the concrete, framing, insulation, vapor barrier and all the labor to go with those components the cost is relatively the same. Not to mention your future operating costs for the life of the building will be drastically lower. Insurance costs are lower as the building is fire proof, rot proof, wind proof and insect resistant. Heating and energy bills will be half of that of a conventional building or less. If you look at the long run you will actually save money using ICF.