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Build Your Home with an Eye Toward the Future

Brought to you by Nudura

Reaching Net-Zero Energy Goals With ICFs

By some estimates, 40% of the total fossil fuel consumption in North America is for home heating and cooling. To dramatically reduce these carbon emissions, there are numerous net-zero energy initiatives underway in both the United States and Canada. It's a simple concept: the total amount of energy used annually by the home must be equal to the amount of renewable energy created on-site.

In the state of California, all new residential construction must be net-zero by 2020. The Pan-Canadian Framework calls for residential net-zero energy codes nationwide by 2030.

ICFs Outperform Traditional Wood Framing

Reaching net-zero energy goals is much easier using Insulated Concrete Forms (ICFs) rather than traditional 2x6 wood framing. The Insulating Concrete Forms Manufacturers Association (ICFMA) recently commissioned a study by CLEB Laboratories that revealed ICF walls can achieve up to 60% greater annual energy savings and 58% higher R-Value/RSI than 2x6 wood-framed walls.

Many builders aren't surprised by those results because for years they've seen infrared images of the cold spots in wood-framed walls. But there's still a mindset of "wood framing is how we've always done walls."

The Importance Of Thermal Mass

Thermal mass is a wall's capacity to store energy. An ICF wall can store and hold heat for a very long time, greatly reducing the demand for internal heating or cooling. In contrast, a wood-framed wall calls for heating or cooling much faster.

Whether you're building in Toronto or Tampa, an ICF wall will require less insulation yet provide greater energy savings than wood framing. Because an ICF reacts so slowly to temperature changes, it slows down the flow of heat through the wall-whether it's coming in during the summer or going out during the winter.

ICF walls are so energy-efficient that homeowners can install less expensive HVAC units-usually 30% to 40% less tonnage than what's required for a wood-framed house. And the energy savings over two decades or more of home ownership are truly amazing.

Reaching net-zero energy will soon be mandatory in many locations. Choosing ICFs today will help you achieve net-zero energy goals tomorrow. To learn more, visit nudura.com.