Wind resistance. In coastal areas and "tornado allies", IntegraSpec® walls can be constructed with increased steel reinforcement bars to withstand extreme wind forces. Reduced injury from airborne projectiles in extreme storms is also a major benefit.
Improved air quality is for everyone living in an IntegraSpec® home. The elimination of mould, mildew and volatile organic compounds (VOC) is such that an IntegraSpec® homes, recently won an "Enviromental Excellence" and "EnviroHome" awards, "Healthy Homes" & "Built Green" designations.
Moisture protection from IntegraSpec® walls is an important benefit even for house plans totally above grade. Condensation can be eliminated because of the outside insulation and inside insulation working together again. Living areas below grade are called "Lower Levels" in an IntegraSpec® home, not basements or cellars! Many below grade waterproofing systems can be easily and economically applied to ensure dry, healthy & safe usable living space.
As noted above, structural stability is important when considering shelter from a storm. IntegraSpec® walls can also support greater loads (i.e.. log homes and steel trusses) with maximum strength concrete, cured under optimal conditions inside the IntegraSpec® wall system. Also, as open spans and higher backfill heights increase in demand, IntegraSpec® offers simple solutions which is why architects and designers are confidently specifying IntegraSpec®.
Fire resistance is a major benefit for those living in wild land / urban interface zones or shared wall residences. IntegraSpec® forms are designed to be economically upgraded to meet commercial fire resistant standards ensuring superior safety for your family. IntegraSpec® homes are also very quiet. IntegraSpec® homeowners all comment regarding how much they enjoy the quiet comfort provided by IntegraSpec®.
What are the Cost Comparison?
IntegraSpec® lower level walls typically cost more than traditionally poured, non-reinforced, damprooffed concrete walls at the "ready for drywall" stage. This cost is easily attributed to IntegraSpec®’s steel reinforcement bar, double insulation inside and outside of the concrete wall, furring strips every 8" on center and the waterproofing. Your investment in IntegraSpec® includes a finished lower level to your height specifications with windows where you want them, not at the top of the wall.
How much is a “Healthy Home” worth? Negating off-gassing form oil found in traditional “cast in place” concrete walls is not too mush to ask for. The superior air quality is priceless.
When comparing IntegraSpec® to above grade construction, the comparables are more diverse. Obviously IntegraSpec® is more expensive than a 2 x 4 stick built wall with minimum building code comparables, but every component added to provide the necessary specification for comfort or security brings IntegraSpec®'s cost similar to those of conventional and in some cases less. What are you comparing IntegraSpec® to? Do you require protection from high winds? Is air conditioning considered necessary and is electricity expensive in your area? All of these questions and more will help determine the overall cost difference for an ICF in your home. Ask the professionals in your area. Local distributors and installers are available.
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