Green Building with ARXX Insulating Concrete Forms
Over half of all global greenhouse gas emissions come from the built environment. Reducing carbon emissions through the use of better construction materials and reducing energy consumption is an issue that governments, the design community, developers, builders and owners are keenly interested in. Building with ARXX insulating concrete forms (ICFs) can substantially reduce the energy needed to heat and cool buildings.
Understanding Green Building
Green building, also known as green construction or sustainable building, is the practice of designing structures and using construction processes and building materials that are environmentally responsible and resource efficient throughout a building's life-cycle. This includes the process from design to construction, as well as the operation, maintenance, renovation, and deconstruction of the building. Green building expands conventional design concepts of energy efficiency, economy, utility, durability and comfort. Green building encompasses sustainable design which is the philosophy of designing the built environment to comply with the principles of economic, social and ecological sustainability.
New technologies and methodologies are constantly being developed to complement current practices in creating a greener or more sustainable built form. The objective of green building is to design and construct buildings that will reduce the overall impact of the built environment on human health and the natural environment by efficiently using resources such as energy, water, and materials; protecting occupant health and improving employee productivity; and reducing waste, pollution and environmental degradation.
Energy efficiency and the reduction of energy use are fundamental tenets of green building together with the use of renewable resources such as passive solar, active solar and photovoltaic techniques to generate power. The latest version of LEED underscores the emphasis on energy efficiency through the emphasis on optimizing energy performance as the highest source of points in the rating system. Net-zero or near-zero buildings represent the most energy efficient and carbon neutral buildings and refer to buildings that are either self-sustaining or near self-sustaining in terms of energy consumption and carbon emissions, meaning that the building generates enough energy on-site to meet its needs and does not require energy from external sources.
Green Building Starts with an Energy-Efficient Building Envelope
The building envelope is fundamental to achieving energy efficiency and insulating concrete forms are a proven technology recognized as one of the most energy efficient wall assemblies. ICFs complement the use of high-efficiency windows and insulation and sealing in ceilings and floors to ensure that the building envelope contributes to minimizing the use of energy. Insulating concrete forms are a cast-in-place forming system for concrete walls that combine insulation, fastening strips, sound attenuation, air barrier and vapor barrier with the structural element. ARXX ICFs are comprised of two panels of expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam held together by plastic or steel ties. The forms are stacked and lock together to build the foundation or wall system and concrete is placed in the core between the two panels of EPS foam. The result is a highly energy-efficient wall system that is a core component of a green building.
The concrete core of an ARXX ICF building provides strength that allows designers the ability to maximize important components of green building such as daylighting. The strength of the concrete allows for larger openings for windows and doors without the need for additional framing. This minimizes the amount of materials used to achieve the design elements of the building. Designers often orient windows and walls and place awnings, porches, and trees to shade windows and roofs during the summer while maximizing solar gain in the winter. In addition, effective window placement, or daylighting, can provide more natural light and lessen the need for electric lighting during the day, further reducing the buildings energy consumption.
ARXX ICFs LEED Contribution
LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is an internationally recognized green building certification system that provides third-party verification that a building or community was designed and built using strategies and products intended to improve performance in metrics such as energy savings, water efficiency, CO² emissions reduction and improved indoor environmental quality. ARXX insulating concrete forms have many benefits that can enable, enhance or directly contribute LEED points to projects, making it an ideal choice for green building.
ARXX Insulating Concrete Forms: Green and so much more.
The benefits of using insulating concrete forms for construction of a wall assembly goes beyond saving money and reducing the energy consumed to operate a building. In addition, ICF structures can withstand tornado and hurricane force winds as well as being capable of being engineered for the highest seismic zones. These attributes provide added levels of safety and security to protect against personal and property damage in areas subject to extreme weather. ARXX ICFs also have the added benefit of prohibiting the growth of mold or mildew, a significant concern and costly issue in many homes and buildings. This saves money in eliminating the health threat and costs of remediation where mold and mildew is present.
Contact us today and learn more about green building with ARXX insulating concrete forms.