Insulated concrete shapes are hollow molds of polystyrene that mount as building blocks to construct walls. The empty shapes interlock in custom pattern and are held together with contacts and reinforcement bars. When designed and assembled, the molds are filled with concrete. The new technology with isolated concrete shapes combines the benefits of concrete with superior insulation, stability, and environmental friendliness.
Those who supervise residential and commercial construction benefit many advantages of choosing isolated concrete shapes over wood framing. Of course, concrete is extremely strong and sustainable, because it cannot be swallowed by insects, soaked by flooding, damaged by fire, or deformed by moisture. Use shapes streamlines work-intensive process to form concrete walls. The insulated concrete forms themselves are made of recycled materials, such as plastic strips and foam cups, so that they do not adversely affect the environment with deforestation.
Most importantly, the thermal and sound insulation of walls made of insulated concrete shapes is unmatched, with R values of 30-40. An R value estimates the insulation ability of any material against noise, heat and cold. These shapes create quiet rooms that maintain their temperature and can save an incredible amount on the electricity bill. This can compensate for the slightly more expensive construction costs with concrete versus wood.
Building with isolated concrete shapes begins with a plan drawing. Then the molds can be stacked from the ground into simple walls. The molds are available in three varieties: blocks, planks, and panels. All types allow doors, windows, plumbing and electricity, and all require steel reinforcements like braces and reinforcement bars. But some use more concrete, vary in thickness, or work better in some applications.
In flat walls, using blocks, a large amount of concrete slurry is sandwiched between two sides of insulated materials of varying widths. Plank shapes are a little longer, which allows less design flexibility, but requires less concrete. In this type, the concrete flows to a waffle-like grid, so its thickness varies from a few inches to half-foot throughout the wall. Finally panels are the largest unit, about the size of a sheet of plaster. They form post-and-beam walls because the concrete fits in a series of cylindrical vertical beams and horizontal posts, the remainder of the wall being composed of foam. Because the concrete does not fill the entire wall, the panel system is cheaper and lighter.