The science of hurricane protection has evolved significantly over the past decade, fueled by the hurricane activity experienced in Florida between 1996 to 2005. The success of changes in Florida Building Code was tested during the four hurricanes that hit Florida during August and September 2004. Not only did such structures prevent loss of life, structural damage due to wind was minor in buildings built under the new code changes.
ICF Wall Systems support Hurricane Resistant Construction and provide other Benefits to the Homeowner
Insulated Concrete Form or ICF block takes hurricane resistant construction to the next level. ICF is a rigid, plastic foam modular building form made for erecting concrete walls cost effectively. ICF walls are designed to be put in place quickly and the space between the steel-reinforced panels is filled with concrete that cures and hardens into a monolithic reinforced concrete wall of incredible strength. In addition to structural benefit, ICF provides many health, energy savings and fire resistance benefits to the homeowner.
ICF is Energy Efficient: An ICF home is extremely air-tight and the ICF foam exterior and concrete interior provides consistent insulation throughout the home since there are no joints between walls. Conditioned air does not leak from the interior to the exterior of the home which can result in an average monthly savings up to 25-50% in energy costs for an ICF built home. Many times homeowners can qualify for energy efficient mortgages (EEMs) to help pay for these energy saving and hurricane resistant construction features. You can learn more about EEMs at the Energy Star® website.
Air Quality is better with ICF: Additionally, ICF improves a home’s air quality since nothing toxic is held within or emitted from an ICF wall. Likewise, ICF materials do not provide the food necessary to support mold, mildew or any sort of toxic fungus.
ICF is Safer and Durable: Concrete is also one of the construction materials most resistant to heat and fire, providing a safety benefit to homeowners living in an ICF home. Concrete can even be exposed to sea water and other elements over decades without degrading. The steel-reinforcement within the panels is also protected by the concrete’s alkalinity and will not corrode.
Hurricane Resistant Home Designs
Waugh Custom Homes is not only versed in Florida Building Code, helping to ensure your custom home or remodel remains intact during a hurricane, but is also experienced at using Insulated Concrete Form (ICF) wall systems. We are a certified installer of ARXX ICF and have experience using the LOGIX and NUDURA brand ICF wall systems.
An ICF Home looks like any conventional new home except that the window sills are deeper since the walls are thicker. Any finish can be used on the outside of an ICF constructed home. Stucco is even more cost effective to apply over an ICF wall because the foam needed as a base for stucco application is already in place. Our in-house design coupled with our experience in hurricane resistant construction, gives us the ability to incorporate these superior construction methods into homes of almost any design.
The videos below provide more details regarding ICF construction. If you have any questions regarding ICF or other hurricane resistant construction techniques, please let us know how we can help you by contacting us by email or by calling Waugh Custom Homes at (850) 585-8326.