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Old 12-24-2009, 11:56 AM   #1
Glen's Garage
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Default ICF Garage Plans

New to the board, great site!!!!

I'm going to build a new detached garage in a size range of 40x80 to 66x128. With energy efficiency, structural integrity and fire protection high on my list of wants, it looks like building with ICF's (Insulated Concrete Forms) would be the best method. Besides cost, (4-8% higher than stick build) what are the pro's and con's of using this type of construction?

The garage will be used for private car restoration and claasic car storage.
Thanks for any input,
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Old 12-24-2009, 12:06 PM   #2
freeflynstl
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Default Re: ICF Garage Plans

Don't know what your plans are for fire protection but I work for Potter Electric and design fire sprinkler controls. I would never try to talk someone out of using residential sprinklers. On the contrary it's largely overlooked and can help reduce your insurance premiums besides the obvious of saving your hide.

One thing to keep in mind is your local water purveyor. Typically they have standards for what size water meter they require and can, at times, be a pain the rump to work with. If you plan on using a stand alone system you can be priced out of that option real quick. If you plan to go without heat in your shop a dry system would be your only option. The price goes up exponentially when dealing with dry systems.

A lot to consider but worth the time. Speak to a local sprinkler contractor who will work with you. The fire protection engineer who designs your system will more than likely suggest someone they have worked with in the past. CPVC systems are inexpensive and most common in residential construction.

Good luck and let us know what happens.

Regards,

Andy L. Kaempfer
St. Louis, MO
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Old 12-24-2009, 12:08 PM   #3
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Default Re: ICF Garage Plans

Wiring and plumbing is challenging,also exterior finishing can present some headaches aside from that it is very nice.
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Old 12-24-2009, 12:32 PM   #4
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Default Re: ICF Garage Plans

con
its more expensive because of the cost of concrete
tough to cut into the wall should you ever need to

pros
you can stack the blocks yourself to save money, and you only need one person to do the stacking
rebar-reinforced concrete walls are dam strong and stable
you will need to hire a concrete pumper, but you can even to the concrete placement yourself
R30 to R50 effective insulation factor
based on the fact that you can reduce your labor costs by doing it yourself, the cost could be less than stick construction
often the place that you buy the ICF block from will loan you the scaffolt and wall holders

bob
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Old 12-24-2009, 03:13 PM   #5
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Default Re: ICF Garage Plans

Doesn't the styrofoam block end up being on both sides of the concrete? How do you finish the exterior and the interior so the styrofoam isn't degraded by the sun and a fire hazard on the inside? Stucco?. How thick is the styrofoam that you end up with an r30 to r50 wall? What kind of foundation do you need, seems like a pretty beefy one to hold all the weight of a concrete wall
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Old 12-24-2009, 04:52 PM   #6
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Default Re: ICF Garage Plans

You need a substantial footing but the block outfit should have pre-engineered specs per application.local codes may vary.I think mine insul. is 1 1/2 thick each side.Sheet rock inside ,about anything outside.plastic nailers incorparated 16" centrs .Igotta go boss is gettin riled.Late 4
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Old 12-24-2009, 05:11 PM   #7
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Default Re: ICF Garage Plans

How does 3" of foam equal R30 when most foam is around R5 per inch? Been told concrete block has R value of R3-R5, pretty much like a window.
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Old 12-24-2009, 07:59 PM   #8
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Default Re: ICF Garage Plans

Quote:
Originally Posted by nate379 View Post
How does 3" of foam equal R30 when most foam is around R5 per inch? Been told concrete block has R value of R3-R5, pretty much like a window.
Concrete walls are far less than r3 to r5.

Plastic nailers is what I was missing, cool, thanks. ICF was pretty big around here for a few years, now, not so much.
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Old 12-24-2009, 09:03 PM   #9
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Default Re: ICF Garage Plans

Are you trying to save your life or save the garage? Residential sprinklers will give you more time to get out, but will not necessarily save the structure or contents. Commercial NFPA 13 sprinklers will extinguish the fire and save the building, but at a large cost and water demand.
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Old 12-24-2009, 09:27 PM   #10
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Default Re: ICF Garage Plans

please note I said an EFFECTIVE R value when I said you would get an R value of 30-50
fiberglass, denim, or foam insulation has a rated R value but that is based on a tested R value under controled conditions.
the actual R value of a completed wall tends to be less than the rated value. there are several reasons for this
heat conduction, this is transfered heat that goes through the outer layer, through the wood or metal stud and then the inner layer.
convection and air leakage. this is due to poor instalation or voids left during construction.
also, the thermal mass of the concrete in conjuntion with the foam slows the heat transfer through the walls such that when you factor in the elimination of air leaks, reduced conduction, and what link of outside and inside covering you use, you will get an effective R value between 30 and 50

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Old 12-25-2009, 01:56 PM   #11
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Default Re: ICF Garage Plans

I have never seen it used above ground.
Foundations only.
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Old 12-25-2009, 02:33 PM   #12
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Default Re: ICF Garage Plans

I'm currently wiring an ICF building similiar to what you would like to build.Other than carefully planning where you want openings in the concrete for electrical and mechanical penetrations,its no big deal.I thought wiring the outside walls would be a major horror show,but other than the styrofoam debris from the electric chainsaw,its almost as easy as drilling studs and pulling wire through them.
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Old 12-26-2009, 07:41 AM   #13
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Default Re: ICF Garage Plans

My cousin just finished an ICF house in OK. The walls are ICF and the roof is SIP. Over 3500 ft2 and all electric. His November electric bill was $57. Very tight house. The electrician used a hot wire tool to cut a channel where he ran the wire. You do have to think about your plumbing. If I were building a new house today, it is the only thing that I would use.
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Old 12-28-2009, 02:14 PM   #14
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Default Re: ICF Garage Plans

Thanks for all the replies. I'll be working with an architect after the holidays to help get the ball rolling.
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