Costs & Benefits of Insulated Concrete Forms

The costs of using ICFs rather than conventional construction techniques is sensitive to the price of materials and labor but generally using ICFs can reduce construction costs up to 40% because of the labor savings from combining multiple steps into one step. By adding large openings, ICF construction becomes very cost effective. Large openings in conventional construction require large headers and supporting posts, whereas ICF construction reduces the cost because only reinforcing steel is needed directly around the opening.

ICF construction can allow up to 60% smaller heating and cooling units to service the same size floor area which can reduce consumption cost of the final house by an estimated R0.70c per square meter. ICF homes can also qualify for green tax incentives further lowering the costs through tax credits.

ICF houses are less expensive over time as they are more energy-efficient requiring less energy to heat and cool the same size space

Structural Safety. This factor involves the ability of ICF construction to resist damage and protect occupants from fire, wind, earthquakes, and flooding. Of these, the inherent strength of ICF construction against severe wind loads, including hurricanes and tornadoes, are most notable.

Comfort. Though somewhat intangible, comfort deals with important issues such as even distribution of air temperature in the home and the quietness or acoustical properties of the home. ICF construction provides an improved reduction of "outdoor" noise relative to standard home construction practices.

Energy Efficiency. Energy efficiency is the ability to maintain acceptable indoor living conditions (i.e., air conditioning or heating) at a low monthly energy cost. ICF construction, in general, provides improved energy efficiency relative to standard home construction practices.

Durability. This factor deals with a building or material’s ability to resist rot, decay, corrosion, pest attack, and other forms of degradation that may occur over time. While concrete is known to be highly resistant to degradation, there is insufficient data to provide meaningful comparisons to standard home construction.

  • ICF construction costs about three to five percent more than a typical new home

  • Relative to standard housing construction practices, ICF construction offers several performance benefits.

  • It is generally more economical or practical to consider ICF construction based on the collective benefits.

  • The individual performance attribute which has greatest technical significance to ICF construction is structural safety.

  • Based on the above conclusions, the cost-benefits of ICF construction are most appealing when considered as a "package deal" with special emphasis on structural performance, particularly in extreme wind environments.

Client: KMB Trust

ERF 7568 Bendor Ext 120 Aloes Panomara

Cost: R2 416 731.21

Square meter price: R7 150.09

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2 bedrooms, 1.5 bathrooms

55-65sqm single storey

From R250 000 - R380 000

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3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms

70-85sqm single storey

From R420 000 - R520 000


4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms

300-350sqm double storey

From R1.9m - R2.4m