INSULATED CONCRETE FORMWORK (ICF)
The ICF building system is simple and quick. It's also strong and warm. These qualities make it ideal for the Orkney environment. The building blocks are manufactured from polystyrene which can quickly be erected on site once the foundations are in place. These blocks are filled with reinforced concrete. A skilled gang of men can erect the walls and gable ends of a house in a matter of days. The ICF System can have the roof affixed in the traditional manner and the windows and doors installed to achieve the 'wind and watertight' stage swiftly and without fuss.
For people unfamiliar with the ICF System they are often surprised by the rapidity of which a house is erected. The system is inherently quick and can reduce by weeks the schedule of a large building programme.
The walls are made from reinforced concrete capable of withstanding forces conventional wall systems could never cope with. In reality the walls could easily be standing into the next century, but warmth is where ICF really comes into its own. The natural warmth of the structure is immediately apparent and ICF effortlessly exceeds the thermal efficiency requirements needed to gain Government approvals. Domestic bills are comparatively low and the weekly average cost (2010) of our two bedroom home was just £15 per week which included all the heating and lighting. Recent studies (2020) show our 4 bed homes electric bills costing around £40 per week, on average, throughout the year. This includes all the appliances, lights and heating.