Insulating concrete forms, referred to as ICFs, create structural concrete walls with tremendous energy savings. The energy savings are due to the thermal mass properties of the concrete that is sandwiched between 2 layers of foam insulation material. The foam form is held together by the reinforced plastic webs which also have pockets in them to hold the reinforcing bars in proper position. ICF systems were developed back in the 60s in Canada. In the 1980s, some American companies got involved in the technology and ICF construction took off in the United States.
ICFs are used in all types of residential and commercial structures. Common applications are low rise commercial structures, high rise commercial structures and residential homes from the footer to the roof line.