Mark Turnquest, CIPM
COST BENEFIT EFFECT
One of the biggest benefits of using ICF is the continuous insulation on both sides of the wall that virtually eliminates thermal bridging and energy loss.
An ICF home can cut energy bills in half and can achieve HERS index (Home Energy Rating System) in the 40-50 range, which means they are out performing existing building codes by 50 to 60 percent.
According to the US Department of Housing & Urban Development report , cost and benefits of insulating concrete forms for residential construction, field comparisons of similar ICF and wood frame house constructions found that ICF wall construction can provide a 20 to 25 percent savings in annual heating and cooling cost.
To achieve a similar level of energy performance a typical wood frame home would require an "energy upgrade" that adds about $2,640.00 to an average home cost of $200,000.00 (or about $1.32 per square foot of Living area) this amount is equal to about one third of the cost difference between ICF and typical wood frame house construction.