This article provides guidance for architects, engineers and builders on how to design and build high performance reinforced concrete multifamily residential buildings using Insulating Concrete Forms (ICFs). Combining the strength and durability of reinforced concrete with the versatility of highly engineered rigid insulation, ICFs provide ideal solutions for apartments, condos, hotels, dormitories and assisted living facilities. With increased attention to occupant safety and comfort, design professionals can take advantage of concrete’s inherent fire resistance and noise reduction qualities, important features when designing multifamily residential buildings. This article will address how the thermal properties of ICFs, combining the high R-value of rigid insulation with the thermal mass of concrete, offer building owners significant energy savings over the long term. The article will also provide guidance on how to minimize the cost of ICF concrete construction to take full advantage of these benefits, resulting in investments that are secure and generate long-term value to building owners.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand the basic design criteria and construction elements of concrete buildings built with Insulating Concrete Forms (ICFs) for multifamily residential projects.
  • Demonstrate the economic benefits of building multifamily projects with ICFs.
  • Understand the contribution concrete makes to a building’s resilience to fire, flood, wind and earthquakes.
  • Identify ways that ICF concrete construction can contribute efficiencies to the on-site construction phase of the project and to long-term efficiencies during the operational phase.