How Does Spray Foam Compare to ICFs (Insulated Concrete Forms)?

ICFs or Insulated Concrete Forms share many of the same advantages as Spray Foam.  They both create a more energy efficient wall by creating a completely sealed thermal air barrier.  They both create a stronger wall and a quieter building.  However ICFs are much more expensive and time consuming than conventional wood framed walls insulated and sealed with Spray Foam.  Since Spray Foam is applied at the same time in the construction process as Conventional Insulation, there is no interruption or alteration to the construction schedule.  Everything from framing, plumbing, and electrical to interior and exterior finishing is exactly the same.  ICFs require drastic changes to all aspects of the construction process, which result in increased time and money.  ICF block walls are typically 11” to 13” thick decreasing your living space where Spray Foam’s high R-Value (7 per inch compared to 3.6 per inch for the EPS foam ICFs typically use) allows you to use maximize your living space.  Also ICFs are limited to walls with little customization, where Spray Foam can be used to seal and insulate the roof (hot air rises) and the most highly customized wall structures. ICFs however are a great alternative for cement basements, and work extremely well with wood framed main floors and roofs that are sealed and insulated with Spray Foam.