ICFA winners showcase use of Insulating Concrete Forms
The Insulating Concrete Form Association (ICFA) recently honored 15 outstanding individual projects with its 2009-2010 Excellence Awards.
Project categories include Commercial & Residential, both large and small, and a Sustainability Award. This year’s Excellence Awards winners demonstrate remarkable progress made in the ICF industry. Energy savings of over 50% were common. Passive solar was integrated into design, along with supplementary renewable energy for buildings. ICF construction provided the solid thermal building envelope and design opportunities due to the structural flexibility of ICFs, and fire and sound protection as well as resistance to storm winds. See all the winners.
Winner of the Sustainability Award was Carleton College Dorms in Northfield, Minnesota. The two Carleton College dorms, 52,150 square feet and 39, 376 square feet, contain 56 double occupancy rooms, 26 single occupancy rooms, with 21 suites and 9 full kitchens. The design team selected ICFs to help achieve optimal energy efficiency, to meet a tight construction schedule and to create optimal use of indoor spaces. The exterior walls are 100% ICF with a brick finish and a steel-framed roof. ICF load-bearing walls were used in conjunction with hollow-core precast floor slabs to create an efficient structural design.
Low energy use electric fans replaced A/C requirements. No HVAC mechanical systems were required due to the energy efficiency of ICFs and an in-floor radiant heating system that uses steam supplied from a regional steam generation plant. Individual rooms have side panel electric heating and energy meters. The energy meters offer real time streaming energy use segmented by room so residents can see how much energy they use. Total building energy consumption modeling was performed during design phase to determine energy consumption and it was determined that total energy consumption of the building would be 28% less than the baseline model although final energy use will depend on the residents.
Additional contributions to the sustainable features of the dorms include the use of a 50% recycled fly-ash in the concrete for the ICF walls, significantly reducing the carbon footprint of the concrete. Also the project used reclaimed wood, installed a solar thermal hot water system and a PV system to offset electrical use.
The project was constructed in fall and winter of 2008-2009 and proceeded on schedule since ICFs can be installed in extreme cold conditions. Students were able to move in on time for the start of the school year.