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The energy efficiency of ICF homes begins with the EPS (expanded polystyrene) blocks used to form the shell, or exterior wall of a home. These foam blocks have a natural R-value of R-16 to R-30. The "R" in R-values is often used to determine how energy efficient something is, whether it is insulation, windows, or any other construction material. Typical 2x4 built homes are insulated from R-11 to R-19. When combined with the thermal mass properties of the concrete, an ICF wall has performance R-values comparable to a 2x6 wall insulated to R-50. Medium Sized Picture
ICF homes score very well on HERS (Home Energy Rating Systems) tests. These tests are similar to a miles-per-gallon rating on a car. The high scores ICF homes hit make it possible for a person to attain energy efficient mortgages (EEMs). These special mortgages recognize the estimated operating costs on an energy efficient home, making it possible to increase buying power to build a better home.
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