Homes and light commercial buildings made with insulating concrete forms are on the upswing, according to the latest shipment reports released by the Insulating Concrete Forms Association (ICFA). The report, released last week, indicates the number of U.S. and Canadian forms installed increased 15.7 percent in 2005 compared to 2004. Furthermore, in the last five years ICF use has grown from 26.1 million square feet in 2000 to 62.5 million square feet in 2005, a 58 percent increase.
According to the report, 56 percent of the installed forms went into above grade walls in 2005, 10 percent more than 2004. Of that amount 74% went to residential construction, a 3 percent decrease over 2005, while commercial construction commanded a 26 percent share during the same period, up 3 percent. Using average size 16" x 48" ICFs to build an average sized 2,280 square foot home takes approximately 156 blocks for the exterior walls. The Portland Cement Association estimates the ICF industry will garner a 5.7 percent share of the 1.4 million projected housing starts, or 80,000 homes, in 2006 – 2,000 more than in 2005.