What is ICF?

ICF stands for Insulating or Insulated Concrete Forms. Basically, these are stay-in-place concrete forms used to build exterior walls of homes or buildings.

ICF's complete 6 building steps with one product:

  • Form System
  • Wall Structure
  • Insulation
  • Air Barrier
  • Vapor Barrier and Interior
  • Exterior Finish Anchorage

The forms consist of a middle section, which is comprised of a polypropylene plastic webs used to stabilize and strengthen the Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) forms to allow concrete  to be placed in this section to fill all gaps. Each side of the form, which will ultimately be the interior and exterior of the walls, consists of insulating material. So, in the finished product, your exterior walls have a concrete core wrapped with insulating foam.

ICF systems are most often used for exterior walls only.  There has been a trend, however, in building a "safe room" on the interior of a home or office which is housed by concrete walls on each side. This room can be used for a storm shelter or safe place to store valuables.

ICF systems can be applied below or above grade. They can also be used in multi-story applications.

One common misconception about ICF systems is in how the final product looks. Since ICFs stay in place, there will be a need for siding, brick, rock, etc. on the exterior and drywall on the interior. The final product is a home that looks like a traditional home, if the home builder so chooses to finish it out that way.


When you buy products from Tri-State ICF you will receive the following services at no additional charge to you:

  • Plan conversion to ICF if required
  • Delivery to your job site
  • Bracing
  • On-site service