R-Value Advantages of ICF Construction for Residential Projects

R-Value Advantages of ICF Construction for Residential Projects

Meet Stricter Building Codes and Deliver Comfortable Basements for Year-Round Living

by Joe Harnois

October 25, 2023

When it comes to residential construction in colder climates, nothing is more important than energy performance. Meeting upgraded cold-weather energy efficiency codes, like those for Zone 6 construction in New Hampshire and the 2023 Massachusetts Specialized code, can be a challenge. But beyond meeting code, homeowners want comfortable spaces that offer options for year-round living without incurring excessive costs to maintain consistent indoor temperatures.

Achieve R-values as High as R-48

Nudura® ICF systems for foundations and walls provide high R-values in a streamlined construction process. Insulated concrete forms (ICF) consist of two layers of expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam sandwiching a concrete core, providing exceptional insulation, significantly reducing thermal bridging and heat transfer through foundations and walls. ICF construction eliminates the additional steps required for the application of insulation on both the interior and exterior-facing sides of the basement or foundation structure.

Our Nudura ICF wall system detail for continuous insulation provides a minimum R-value of 24 (23.59) – nearly double the Massachusetts Specialized code requirement of R-13.  ICF configurations are available with R-values as high as R-48, achieved with thicker EPS, surpassing the requirements for both the Massachusetts Stretch Code and New Hampshire Zone 6 construction.

Six Steps with One

Nudura ICF foundation and wall systems allow you to complete six building steps with one product:

  1. Form system
  2. Wall structure
  3. Insulation
  4. Air barrier
  5. Vapor barrier
  6. Interior/exterior finish anchorage

Higher R-Value in Fewer Steps:  Beyond energy efficiency, ICF construction offers a quicker and more efficient building process. The interlocking foam sections simplify assembly, with the concrete core acting as both insulation and load-bearing structure, eliminating the need for separate framing and insulation steps.

Continuous Insulation:  ICF provides continuous insulation by design. The foam panels create an uninterrupted thermal barrier around the entire building envelope, including walls and foundations. ICF systems are highly effective in meeting the continuous insulation requirements for Zone 6 construction, where insulation is critical to reduce heat loss.

Reduced Thermal Bridging:  ICF systems minimize thermal bridging, containing the transfer of heat through structural components, such as studs or framing. The dual-sided foam panel configuration virtually eliminate these bridges, resulting in superior energy efficiency.

Air-Tight Construction:  ICF construction inherently creates an airtight building envelope. This minimizes air leakage and drafts, reducing the loss of heated or conditioned air.

We can help you reach your R-value requirements with ICF systems from Nudura® and meet New Hampshire Zone 6 and the Specialized Opt-in Massachusetts Stretch Code requirements. When you send us the details of your next project, we’ll make recommendations to help get you started:  support@atlanticbuilderssupply.com.