Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF) Provide Quieter Spaces and Lower Demand on Heating Systems

ICF Construction Provides Higher Sound Transmission Coefficients (STC) for Quieter, More Enjoyable Interior Spaces

November 15, 2023

When you or your engineers are facing the challenges of achieving the highest possible STC to reduce traffic sounds and neighborhood noise, Nudura® ICF products can help.  Insulated concrete forms (ICF) not only provide valuable insulation against intrusive sounds, they also improve energy efficiency.

ICF Delivers Higher STCs for Quieter Indoor Spaces
Sound transmission is important for both residential and commercial construction. Keeping indoor spaces comfortably quiet is shown to reduce stress and improve quality of life. The typical STC rating for wood-framed structures is 38, while the combination of concrete mass and insulating expanded polystyrene foam (EPS) inherent in ICF construction provides a STC of 55.

Tackling the Sound of 60,000 Vehicles per Day
Atlantic Builders Supply provided Nudura ICF for the construction of the Lewis Building, a mixed-use development in Newburyport, Mass. Both public access and private living spaces in the 9,570-square-foot building benefit from the sound barrier properties ICF offers on a corner that sees more than 60,000 cars, 18-wheelers and motorcycles each day. See the 2-minute video to learn more about reducing sound transmission with ICF.

Warmer Interior Spaces with Nudura ICF
The combination of Nudura ICF and concrete mass provides energy-efficient insulating properties so substantial that the mechanical, electrical and plumbing engineers for the Lewis Building insisted ductless mini-splits were sufficient to provide heat through the cold New England winters. According to an ICF Manufacturer’s Association thermal study, ICF walls can achieve an R-value 58% greater than a 2” x 6” wood frame wall.

Unique Residential Construction in Harvard, Mass.
Currently under construction, this unique ICF home includes a heated, drive-under three-car garage, with an indoor pool located on the same level.  While ICF delivers exceptional thermal mass to make heating lower level and below-grade areas less demanding and more budget friendly, the space is enhanced with HYDROFOAM® Radiant Heat technology.  HYDROFOAM provides R-10 insulation while dispersing heat evenly throughout the entire floor area. ICF plays a vital role in maintaining even, consistent temperatures in this application that combines an outdoor-access area with the need for consistent temperatures year-round in the pool area.

The homeowners also took advantage of many timesaving and budget friendly upgrades, including Prebuck for easier window installation that reduces labor and staging costs, and HELIX® Micro Rebar for concrete reinforcement even in temperatures below 40 degrees. Liquid-applied Enviro-Dri® Weather-Resistant Barrier was also used to help eliminate condensation-causing interior conditions.

Learn more about the Lewis Building and how the architects designed a modern project to fit aesthetically into the heart of the Newburyport historic district. You can also take an in-depth look at how STC was managed for those living in the building on this multi-use project.

It’s easy to increase the indoor quiet for your next project! Contact Atlantic Builders Supply to learn more about how we can help you upgrade your STC.

TEMPRO Products for Waterproofing at Any Temperature
TREMPROTM 540 Peel and Stick Waterproofing Membrane for foundation waterproofing is designed to stick to EPS foam. The winter grade product (NUS-AWPRF-02) can be applied at any temperature – including below freezing!

TREMPROTM 160 below-grade fluid-applied asphalt emulsion provides a seamless monolithic waterproofing membrane which can be applied to surfaces at temperatures as low as 20°F (-7° C) when using heated spray lines.

HELIX® – The Cold-Weather Alternative to Rebar
With code calling for temperatures above 40 degrees when working with rebar, HELIX® Micro Rebar provides an innovative solution. Helix has no such temperature limitation and can provide concreate reinforcement that defies rebar performance in freeze-thaw cycles.  Contact Atlantic Builders Supply for recommendations for using HELIX Micro Rebar in your next ICF construction project.

Nudura ICFs let you build more efficiently in virtually any climate. By saving you time and money on foundation and exterior wall construction, ICFs can make your business more profitable with consistent work throughout the year.