The Insulating Concrete Forms Manufacturers Association (ICFMA) recently commissioned CLEB Laboratories (formerly known as Air-Ins Inc.) to conduct the first in a series of accredited whole wall thermal studies. This installment compared a 2” x 6” traditional insulated wood frame cavity wall to a standard 6 inch (150 mm) core insulating concrete form (ICF) wall. The study revealed these dramatic findings:
- At “steady state” the ICF wall provided 58% greater R-value and 43% energy-savings compared to the wood-frame wall.
- At “unsteady state”, both walls provided far greater R-value and lower energy consumption than they did at “steady state”.
- In this test, the ICF wall remained in “unsteady state” and provided the resultant additional R-value and energy savings for over 5x longer than the wood-frame wall did.
- The ICF wall remained in “unsteady state” longer than any other wall assembly ever tested by CLEB laboratories. In fact, the ICF wall remained in “unsteady state” for so long in the harsh test conditions, that it is unlikely that an ICF wall will ever reach “steady state” in most real world applications.
These break-through test results demonstrate the superior R-value of the ICF wall plus provide an important quantification of the “thermal mass” effect of ICFs.
To learn more about “steady state” and “unsteady state”, and to dig deeper into these important test results and their real-world implications: