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ASHRAE Recommends Insulated Concrete Forms for K-12 School Buildings

Richmond, VA, January 04, 2012 --( PolycreteUSA President, Bruce Anderson, reports that the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) has made a strong case for building K-12 Schools with Insulated Concrete Forms.

In the newest edition of the Advanced Energy Design Guide for K-12 School Buildings, ASHRAE says, “Owners should not expect energy-efficient schools to cost more.” ASHRAE said Insulated concrete form (ICF) walls may seem more expensive from a material standpoint, but the additional expense is offset by reduced construction time and lowering the costs of other trade subcontractors.

The case studies segment of the report highlights Kentucky’s national leadership in energy efficient K-12 design. The report pinpoints Richardsville Elementary School, the nation’s first net-zero energy elementary school. The two-story 72,000 square foot facility was designed for 500 students. “Insulated concrete form (ICF) was used for the wall assemblies because of its improved thermal performance, reduced air infiltration, and high speed of construction.”

“This is a big deal for our company and our industry,” Anderson said. “Architects in the Mid-Atlantic and North East have been hesitant to specify ICF into their K-12 projects because of a perception that it’s unproven technology. With the advances Polycrete® has brought to ICF technology and this endorsement of ICF by a respected standard setting organization like ASHRAE, Insulated Concrete Forms will continue to grab bigger and bigger pieces of the construction market.”

Polycrete® Insulated Concrete Forms are expanded polystyrene (EPS) forms for building reinforced concrete walls. ICF Blocks are stacked up to form a hollow wall that is then filled with reinforcing steel and concrete. After the concrete cures, the forms stay in place and serve as the building’s insulation. Sheet rock or plaster is attached directly to the inside of the wall and brick, stucco or other siding material is attached directly to the outside.

Structures built with Polycrete® Big Block™ insulated concrete forms are completed in a fraction of the time required by conventional methods like stick framing and concrete block. ICFs provide continuous thermal and acoustic insulation, so they are very quiet and highly energy efficient. Studies have shown that heating and cooling costs in ICF buildings are up to 40% lower than traditional structures. Insulated concrete form walls are also extremely strong and can stand up to hurricanes, tornadoes and other natural and man-made disasters.

ASHRAE also recommends a life-cycle analysis of the upfront costs of building for energy efficiency. A typical K-12 building has an expected life of 30 years and energy savings should be spread out over the building’s entire lifetime. A 2010 Massachusetts Institute of Technology study determined that concrete buildings have a useful life of 75 years, which more than doubles the expected value of those savings in a school built with insulated concrete forms.

Polycrete® insulated concrete forms have been used to construct energy efficient commercial buildings in fifteen countries on five continents since 1988. PolycreteUSA believes building green must also mean building fast, strong and economical and is dedicated to making it EASY to design, build and own energy efficient buildings. PolycreteUSA, LLC is the US distributor for Polycrete® Insulated Concrete Form systems.

ASHRAE was founded in 1894 and its objective is to advance knowledge in the arts and science of heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration through research, standards writing, publishing and continuing education. ASHRAE is the leading International provider and primary source of technical and educational information for heating, ventilating, air conditioning and refrigerating sciences.

Contact Information
PolycreteUSA, LLC
Bruce Anderson

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