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Prescriptive Method for Insulating Concrete Forms in Residential Construction, First Edition



Release Date: 
May 1998 (207 pages)
Posted Date:   
May 1, 1998



Characterized as strong, durable, and energy-efficient, a new wall system for housing called insulating concrete forms (ICFs) is emerging as an alternative to lumber wall frames. ICFs are hollow blocks, planks, or panels that act as forms for cast-in-place concrete walls. They can be constructed of rigid foam plastic insulation, cement and foam, cement and wood, or other appropriate insulation.

Due to rising costs and varying quality of framing lumber, homebuilders are increasing their use of ICFs -- although added engineering costs make ICF homes slightly more expensive than homes with wood framing. To improve the affordability and acceptance of ICF homes, HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research recently released a report with guidelines on the design, construction, and inspection of ICF wall systems in Prescriptive Method for Insulating Concrete Forms in Residential Construction.

A second edition expands on the first edition by adding provisions for Seismic Design Categories C and D (Seismic Zones 3 and 4). Wall construction requirements utilizing Grade 60 reinforcing steel and concrete mixes with selected compressive strengths are included.

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Note: Guidance documents, except when based on statutory or regulatory authority or law, do not have the force and effect of law and are not meant to bind the public in any way. Guidance documents are intended only to provide clarity to the public regarding existing requirements under the law or agency policies.