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9 Handy Tips for ICF Construction

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Check out these 9 helpful tips for ICF construction. Building with Logix ICF is fast and straightforward, and these tips will help the process be even smoother.

Building with Logix ICF is fast and straightforward. But, to help make the process even smoother for you, we’ve put together these 9 helpful tips for ICF construction.

Streamline Your Permitting Process

Since most local codes address ICF construction, you can expect your building officials to perform a plan check just as they would with a traditional, stick-built drawing package. That said, you can facilitate the permitting process and avoid time-consuming revision cycles by:

  • Employing an ICF-experienced engineer to designing your ICF building in compliance with your local code
  • Include the Logix ICF prescriptive engineering report with your submittal
  • Get assistance from your Logix ICF Territory Manager — these folks know the local codes and will help you ensure compliance

Design Wall Heights in 4-inch Increments to Avoid Field-cutting the Blocks

Logix has 16-inch (standard) and 12-inch (Logix V-12 series) high blocks, so you can use a combination of these courses to hit any wall height in 4-inch increments without ripping the blocks. Logix V12 blocks integrate seamlessly with the 16-inch, standard blocks in both interlocking and reinforcement. If you do require a height that you can’t achieve with courses of Logix 12- and 16-inch blocks, you’ll have to use a table saw to rip the standard blocks to the desired dimension.

Save on Concrete by Changing the ICF Core Widths Where Possible

As the building’s dead loads decrease with each additional floor, you can get away with using narrower cores as you go up each level. This will help you cut on concrete costs while also maximizing the floor area thanks to the thinner walls. Typically, core widths are changed at a floor.

Logix ICF Core Thickness
Logix ICF Core Thickness

Create Exposed Concrete Walls with Logix XP-1

Logix XP-1 lets you build ICF walls with 1 exposed side of bare concrete. These blocks include webs for rebar placement and specially designed cones for attachment to reusable plywood sheets that serve as the form on the exposed side of the wall. The XP-1 series blocks accommodate 10 different concrete core widths and easily integrate with various Logix ICF and standard concrete wall dimensions.

Man Installing Logix ProBuck

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Use Logix Pro Bucks for Bucking the Window and Door Openings

The Logix Pro Buck series offers a convenient, insulated bucking solution that fits smoothly into the 4-inch, 6.25-inch, and 8-inch ICF core widths. This product can also be custom-cut to work with larger core widths of 10 and even 12 inches. The Logix Buck Pro is easy to install and provides important thermal resistance around your building’s openings. Unlike bucks made from dimensional lumber, the Logix Pro Bucks won’t crack or shrink to create air gaps in your wall assembly. They’re also not susceptible to rot.

Simply Follow Your Local Code to Meet the Rebar Requirements

Whether you’re in the US or Canada, your local codes will have specifications for rebar in ICF applications. Some major ICF brands — including Logix ICF — also have prescriptive tables you should refer to for reinforcement engineering.

Rebar Placement In A Logix ICF Form
Rebar Placement In A Logix ICF Form

Pre-Cut Your Peel-and-Stick Waterproofing Membrane and Roll It Back up for Easy Application

This is an easy way to potentially turn waterproofing into a 1-person job. All you have to do is precut the peel-and-stick waterproofing membrane to your desired dimensions, roll it back up, then peel off the edge and stick it to the wall. Next, proceed to unroll the membrane slowly as you continue to apply it to the wall. 

Protect Your Jobsite From an Overnight Snowfall

Keeping your freshly poured concrete walls free of snow is vital if you want to prevent voids from appearing in your wall. Here’s what you can do to protect your ICF walls from overnight snowfall:

  • Cap the tops of Logix walls with Halo Subterra boards. Pre-drill the Subterra panels so that the walls’ rebar dowels can go right through them, then place the panels on top of the walls. You can also throw an insulated tarp over the walls if you expect the night to get chilly and protect the protruding dowels with pipe insulation.
  • Cover the bottoms of all window bucks if you’re already precut the holes.
  • Protect your Logix bundles with a tarp if you plan to continue stacking the next day.

Here’s How to Find the ICF’s Furring Strips After Drywall Has Been Installed

The weight of the object you need to wall-mount will determine if you need to fasten it to the ICF’s furring strip or simply hang it on the wall.

For lighter items, you can either use a magnetic stud finder to locate the furring strip or just fasten them to the wall with an E-Z anchor. As long as the anchor is embedded in the ICF’s foam, you should be fine.

On the other hand, heavier items must be fastened by anchors that penetrate the drywall, ICF foam and get embedded in the concrete by at least 1 inch. Alternatively, you can cut out portions of drywall and replace them with ½-inch plywood, fastening the latter to the ICF’s furring strips. You can then safely mount the heavier objects to the plywood.

Wrapping it up

We hope that these 9 tips will make your next ICF project seamless! If you need further assistance, check out our comprehensive technical library, or contact your local territory manager for one-on-one support!

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