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Use Insulating Concrete Forms to Build your Grand Cayman Luxury Home

Crew members work on the second level of ICF wall reinforcement.

In the market for Cayman Island vacation homes or luxury homes for sale in Grand Cayman? Then you’ve probably come across the acronym ICF already. Short for ‘Insulating Concrete Forms’, the term describes a building technique that replaces the wooden frame of a stick built house with a wall built with layers of concrete and foam insulation. Cayman Structural Group is the leader in custom, luxury Grand Cayman ICF homes, and we recommend ICF construction for all building projects on the island. Read on to see why.

Read more below about the benefits of building with ICF for your next Grand Cayman construction project, get in contact with us, or check out our blog to see timelapses and pictures of our crews building ICF homes in some of Grand Cayman’s best communities from the ground up.

 

 

Here’s a definition from Buildblock, a leading ICF manufacturer:

“Insulating Concrete Forms (ICFs) are hollow foam blocks which are stacked into the shape of the exterior walls of a building, reinforced with steel rebar, and then filled with concrete. Insulating concrete forms combine one of the finest insulating materials, Expanded Polystyrene (EPS), with one of the strongest structural building materials, steel reinforced concrete. The result is a wall system of unmatched comfort, energy efficiency, strength and noise reduction.”

 

Grand Cayman ICF Homes: Energy-efficient, low maintenance, and hurricane-proof

Why is ICF the best choice for your Grand Cayman estate? It’s a great choice everywhere, but the ICF construction particularly suits new home in Grand Cayman. Here are the reasons to incorporate ICF into your Grand Cayman vacation home or commercial development:

 

  • Energy Efficiency, Environmental Impact, and LEED building for the Cayman Islands

The energy efficiency of your home will directly affect your bills each month, as well as your personal comfort. Especially in a tropical destination like Grand Cayman, energy efficiency in your home’s structure makes a huge difference. Custom ICF homes are far better at keeping the cold air from your air-conditioning inside, so you’ll pay less to cool ICF homes in Grand Cayman than you would a traditional wood frame house. ICF homes experience up to 20% lower energy costs than a comparable stick-built home.

If you’re pursuing LEED-certification on your home or a commercial development in Grand Cayman, Insulating Concrete Forms are helpful in achieving the Credits required in several categories of the Green Building Council’s LEED standards. In addition to being more energy efficient, using ICF to build a new home in the Cayman Islands has a lower environmental impact compared to the wood required to frame a typical home. With the greater focus on sustainability today, you’ll gain the advantage of advertising not just a custom luxury home, but a green custom luxury home on Grand Cayman. You’ll see the difference in energy savings and resale value when you put your Grand Cayman ICF home for sale.

 

View of the three windows in this Grand Cayman ICF Home from outside.

One of our recently completed homes using ICF construction.

  • Custom ICF Homes in Grand Cayman for lowered maintenance costs

In addition to being cheaper to air condition and less harmful to the trees, Grand Cayman ICF houses require far less maintenance. Unlike wood, the concrete in an ICF home doesn’t gather mold, mildew, or rot from water damage. There is simply nowhere for it to live. A wood wall also allows cross-breeze for spores, and harmful dust into air you breathe. Building your Cayman island home with ICF gives you multiple feet of solid, inorganic, impermeable wall material.

You don’t want to be worried about your island home being attacked by bugs, rain damage, or moldy fungus. And if you’re going to retire in the Cayman Islands, you shouldn’t be worried about your air quality. Or needing to fix roof tiles or replace drywall. Aim for the best,worry-free home that will save you money on those maintenance tasks you’ve come to expect. For Grand Cayman, ICF homes are the way to go.

 

 

  • ICF Construction for Safety

In researching Cayman Islands real estate, you’ll quickly become interested in how to build a hurricane proof home. You’re making a big investment. No one wants to be the victim of the next big Caribbean storm.  ICF homes are twice as strong as wood walls, with the strength to resist up to 8,500 pounds of force per foot.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development puts it best:

“For example, conventional wood-frame buildings often begin to suffer damage at wind speeds typical of severe hurricanes (i.e., 130 mph gust or higher). At wind speeds of 160 mph gust or higher (a “Category 5” or catastrophic hurricane event), conventional and even moderately reinforced wood-frame homes can begin to suffer major structural damage, including collapse. In excessive wind speeds that could be expected in moderate to severe tornadoes, wood-frame homes are frequently totally destroyed.

In contrast, with 5 or more times the in-plane shear resistance, a typical home with ICF walls could be expected to withstand “Category 5” hurricane winds (not considering storm surge effects seen by coastal homes) and even a moderate to severe tornado with minimal damage due to wind pressure on the building.”

On top of resistance to high winds, ICF homes are also less prone to fire and flood damage. This resistance to natural disasters can reduce your homeowner insurance premiums, another plus for ICF. The savings, plus peace of mind knowing your home is safe in emergencies, make ICF the smart choice for luxury island homes.

 

Cayman Structural Group: Grand Cayman ICF Home specialists

To sum up, if your contracting team is familiar with ICF construction, there’s no downside to using this new technology. Cayman Structural Group builds with ICF, because it works for decades with little maintenance.

Hopefully that shone some light about why you see so many Grand Cayman ICF homes. Want to see the building process? We post building updates from each job, so you can see some ICF home projects through all stages here!

Let us make your next Cayman Island real estate project a luxury ICF home that will weather any storm. ICF homes provide amazing comfort and value for the foreseeable future, so contact the Grand Cayman ICF experts today.

 

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