An insulating concrete formwork (ICF) system, is based on large hollow lightweight block components that lock together without intermediate bedding materials to provide a formwork system into which concrete is poured.
Once set, the concrete becomes a high strength structure and the formwork remains in place as thermal insulation, with u-values ranging from 0.30 w/m²k down to 0.11 w/m²k - ideal for zero energy buildings. The building process is quick, tidy and precise, with lower labour and equipment requirements than alternative methods.
The wide range of component shapes and different levels of performance, coupled with the excellent structural performance of insitu concrete allow much more design flexibility than would be possible with alternative building systems.
Unique designs become entirely practical and modular integration of the components to function in a dimensional grid of 62.5 mm allows complicated designs to be constructed from standard components. Consequently, the expense of realising a "one-off" design is kept to a minimum, as is the delivery lead time and construction time on site.
Whether constructing a unique design or multiple unit development scheme, the actual building process is the same. The wallform components are assembled into the specified formwork design, incorporating openings as the work proceeds.
Once assembled, it is possible to verify the design before placing any concrete, enabling any beneficial modifications to be made with minimum disruption.
Individual features and specialist products may be incorporated with the formwork system without compromising performance, further increasing the scope for design variation and particular detail.
Co-ordination of other building components and systems, whether metric or imperial sizes, is facilitated by the insitu concrete format allowing practical installation of relevant fixings and connections for consequent operations.
The general simplicity of the building process leads to shorter building programmes for construction of the weathertight shell - and for completion of the following trades.
The wallform system gives performance not only before and during construction but also in the finished building. With higher levels of occupant comfort and lower running costs.
Our thanks to Beco Wallform for the above information.