We are becoming more aware that poor indoor quality in homes could be a major contributing factor to millions of reported mild to serious health problems each year such as insomnia, depression, fatigue, allergic reactions and fevers. The stress from health problems and noise pollution that are related to poor indoor air quality can be easily overcome by builders and home owners making more informed choices in structural materials when building.

Building with Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF’s) is an environmentally friendly and health conscious building option with the potential to significantly improve indoor air quality.

The health and energy benefits are summarised below;

  • Indoor air stays cleaner within an ICF homes due to fewer allergens being spread by the HVAC systems required in a conventional building. This is also reduces the heating and cooling costs.
  • The superior structural barrier to outside air flow reduces the draft within the building improving the overall indoor air flow.
  • The density of the ICF walls significantly blocks out noise which reduces the stressful effects of disrupted sleep, street noise from outside traffic and general noise pollution.
  • ICF’s are made from allergy free materials therefore do not emit CFC’s or formaldehyde commonly found in more conventional type building materials.
  • ICF’s provide no nutritional benefits to vermin, therefore does not attract pests such as rats or termites, promoting a cleaner, healthier and more pleasant living environment.
  • Ventilation by opening windows at front and rear or upstairs and downstairs can provide cross ventilation for fresh air. However, in colder or Alpine climates, most people install the following heat exchange, air filtration systems which are cost effective to run and exchange inside air with incoming outside air to within approximately 5 degrees of the internal ambient temperature, so as not to overload any internal HVAC system. This also reduces excessive heating and cooling costs.


The importance of using appropriate insulation materials for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions is highlighted in a 2009 report from the International Council of Chemical Associations. This report determined that insulation alone could account for 40 per cent of the total identified carbon savings from the international chemical industry. Ultimately, building with Insulated Concrete Forms is the health conscious building way of the future.