A Mnemonic Device

For those of you who are grammarians, or at least take an interest in tidbits that help you remember how to properly use words, here’s a mnemonic device to remember comprise: “The whole comprises the parts.” What this means, basically, is that the biggest chunk—or the whole—needs to come first, and the parts that make it up need to come second.

What about insulating concrete forms?

ICF Buidling ScienceA building is the sum of its parts. That has always been true, and it will always be true. When it comes to sustainable or green buildings, though, the importance of every part becomes magnified. How energy efficient or sustainable or green (or whatever word you want to use) a building is depends on how effective the systems and products are that make it up: the whole comprises the parts. It’s for this reason that that all of the building components work together harmoniously. They need to be integrated with one another to be effective. ICF Building Envelope

Like the completed building’s reliance on its parts, the parts that make up the building’s systems must also work together to be effective- things like the exterior environment, interior environment, building envelope and the mechanical systems. When all of those are working harmoniously, the building can perform optimally.

Choosing ICF construction means having a completely integrated wall system: the essential components of a building envelope—structural wall, insulation, air barrier, vapor retarder and furring strips—are all completed in one step. Additionally, ICFs mean saving time and money thanks to reduced labor and materials. Using other methods can mean having each of these steps done separately, sometimes even by different trades. This can lead to an improperly integrated wall. This can also lead to increased construction costs for the owner as well as down the road, thanks to out-of-sync building components.

Having a wall system with essential components all rolled into one will go a long way toward easing the burden of creating an entire facility that’s energy efficient, green, sustainable or whatever you want to call it. After all, the whole comprises the parts.