Want a Comfortable Building? ICFs Are the Answer!
Building for comfort (both thermally and sound-wise) is a top priority for anyone in or involved with the construction industry. This means homeowners, builders and architects alike.
A comfortable environment offers a higher quality of life for homeowners and increased productivity for workplaces. For those in the hospitality industry, comfort provides a more enjoyable experience for guests.
As you can see, building with comfort in mind is an easy win for builders because it means happier customers.
This is exactly why the team involved in building the newly-built Souris Hotel in Manitoba, who wanted to build a comfortable yet efficient hotel, decided to build with insulating concrete forms (ICFs) over wood.
Fun fact: The build was so popular that the local lumber yard purchased Logix ICFs for several house builds!
Why the Developers Chose to Build with ICFs
Steel Creek Developers, who works with communities and local investors to create projects that promote Adult Active Living and community, partnered with a local ownership group. Thus, Souris Hotel, located in the heart of Souris, was born.
The hotel is 59,867 sq. ft. It has a 3-story hotel suite (29 rooms) on the north side and a 4-story, 18-suite Active Adult living (seniors’ condo) complex attached to it.
The decision to build with ICFs was a mutual decision between the developers and the construction team, Plett Construction:
- The Logix wall assembly is air-tight, delivering up to 60% lower air filtration than a traditional wall. The result is a draft-free, comfortable building.
The temperature-moderating thermal mass of concrete also provides a 5-day thermal lag. This means that residents can stay comfortable for days before the indoor temperature would ever change (this is true even in low temperatures). ICF homes are also capable of blocking out sound providing for a quiet environment.
The hotel continues to receive constant feedback from both hotel guests and residential tenants about how quiet the building is.
- Performance + Efficiency. With Logix ICFs, the thick panels of insulation provide an R-value of R-25 and above. This particular hotel was built with 8” Logix Platinum R-28 exterior walls and 6” Logix Pro R-25 interior walls for both sound and fire protection (ICFs are also disaster-resilient). This allowed the team to not only meet Manitoba energy codes but also exceed them as well.
As for how energy-efficient ICFs are, a well-known study found that exterior ICF walls require 44% less energy to heat and 33% less energy to cool compared to wood-framed walls. This was true even when the two had a similar insulation value. You can read more about why ICFs are so highly energy-efficient here.
Steel Creek Developers plans to do more ICF buildings in the future.
- Previous Positive Experience with ICFs. Plett Construction had built a Best Western Logix ICF hotel in 2012. It was such a positive experience that they decided to do it again.
The team came across other benefits as well:
- Few Additional Costs. Unlike many construction projects, it came in very close to budget at $163 per sq. ft.
- Able to Build Through the Winter. While this wasn’t necessarily a deciding factor in choosing ICFs over wood, the team was able to complete the hotel faster as a result.
Steel Creek Developers and Plett Construction are not the only ones who chose ICFs over wood. General Contractor Will Gonnell of Gonnell Homes chose to build with ICFs to save time, eliminate the use of steel support beams and save money. You can read more about his experience here.
Interested in other design details of this hotel? The openings had Logix Pro Buck. The hotel also featured an ICF staircase and elevator shafts.
Watch this short video to see the Souris Hotel build for yourself:
Other Benefits of ICFs
ICFs aren’t just comfortable and efficient. Did you know that ICFs only require half the labor compared to wood? It’s often believed that wood is faster and cheaper, but this is a myth. You can read about how wood is costing your business time and money here.
Wrapping It Up
Developers, builders, architects and homeowners are increasingly moving to ICFs over wood.
With insulating concrete forms leading the way in comfort, efficiency and sustainability, it’s easy to see why this is the case.