Q: I am building a new home and the builder has suggested using insulated concrete forms for the foundation. What do you think of this?
A: I agree with your builder since I believe that one day all homes should be built with Insulated Concrete Forms. ICF foundation walls are built with a reinforced concrete core, between two layers of expanded polystyrene foam insulation. This method is known to be more effective in reducing drafts and cold spots, especially in basements.
Typically, there is an R-Value of R-22, however, Insulated Concrete Forms can produce equivalent insulation values of up to R-50. Definitely an energy efficient way to go.
By using this foundation the concrete is protected, which keeps moisture out, as well as protects the foundation from cracking which can occur when concrete is exposed to cold temperatures. I have had several calls and also noticed that a lot of new homes are now using it.