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A growing phenomenon

ICF: A Global Market

ICF is taking off around the world thanks to the speed of construction, energy efficiency and design flexibility. It is used for residential and non-residential construction.

In the US over 35% of new dwellings are built with ICF – and use is growing rapidly at 5% per annum – especially in regions where hurricanes are frequent and the disaster resistant properties of ICF are so attractive.



Globally, the ICF market is growing exponentially and is currently worth $800million.

United Kingdom

About 4,000

It is understood that about 2% of the dwellings built in the UK are using ICF.

US Market


Leaders in ICF, the current US market is worth $200million and grows 5% per year.

Industrial Buildings

ICF is ideal for the construction of industrial or agricultural buildings but few if any are being built.

ICF: Revolutionising House Construction

ICF construction is certain to become a much more popular method of house building in the UK as a result of UK Government Plans for the UK Building Stock to be carbon neutral. These are now being reflected in Building Regulation changes:

The June 2022 revision of the Building Regulations is an interim measure
Required building standards will increase again in 2025
More onerous Air Leakage rules where ICF is so superior to all other systems
Measures to prevent Overheating that is significantly increased by the lack of Thermal Mass in Timber Frames and SIP will drive more users to ICF

ICF, Timber Frame or Cavity Walls?

In the UK the use of Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF) construction is very small and this is likely to change rapidly in the near future are the building industry gets to understand its unique properties.

How much does it cost?

Dwelling Walls cost about 23% of the Total House Cost.
ICF costs about 15% of the total Wall Cost
Or, about 3.5% of the Total House Cost
UK Housing Construction Market

Increasing Labour Costs

Builders who don’t move from traditional construction methods are likely to see labour costs increase exponentially. For instance, soon they will need to prove with photographs that the cavity walls comply with the Regulations – every Builder will be painfully aware of how much extra supervision this will require.

Reduced Workforce

To make matters even more difficult, the UK construction work force is reducing by 50,000 to 60,000 people per annum. And less than half of these are being replaced by apprentices.

A Cost Comparison


✓ £60 – £70 /m2 + cost of concrete + labour

✓ 10 days with semi-skilled labour to build up to eaves level

Timber Frame

✓ £80 – £100 /m2 + labour

✓ 2 weeks for quote and 10 weeks for delivery

Cavity Walls

✓ 50% of total cost is labour (£75+ /m2)

✓ 2 months to reach eaves level using skilled labour

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