INSTALLED COST. SPX™ more cost competitive than ICF walls, and delivers more living space.
THERMAL BRIDGING. SPX™ contains a continuous thermal break on the exterior. ICF appears continuous, but the interlocking block contains pathways through the joints reducing the thermal performance.
MOISTURE ISSUES. SPX™ panels are manufactured sealed and contain a waterproof membrane - no moisture can get through either wet or as condensation. Some ICF systems show corrosion of drywall screws - the interlocking edges of the panels or blocks are points where water can penetrate. The ICF blocks are often damaged during shipping or erection and must be patched prior to waterproofing. The ICF wall often includes cold pour concrete joints, air pockets or voids in the concrete and shrinkage of the concrete away from the ICF- which results in many channels that water can migrate into and through.
SETTLEMENT CRACKING. SPX™ panels weigh approx. 50 lbs per linear foot - compared with an ICF or concrete wall weighing over 900 lbs per foot. The increased weight of concrete on the footing raises the risk of ground settlement and resulting wall cracks. The issue with an ICF wall cracking is that you cannot see where the crack is - resulting in fustration in locating the source of water infiltration.
INSTALLATION QUALITY. SPX™ panels are manufactured square and plumb in a dry facility. SPX™ panels are adaptable to field conditions, with flexibility to adjust for width and plumb, and are assembled quickly with simple tools and skills. ICF walls can be inconsistent - forms can be wavy and not plumb, and concrete can contain crack, spalls, or honeycomb. Installers must be certified, as improper installation can result in structural issues. Lack of concrete consolidation can cause voids, rock pockets, honeycomb, and poor bonding with the rebar, which can affect the structural integrity of the walls. Excessive vibration can create bulged walls and blowouts.Improper concrete mix design and correct placement technique.Requires a fire stop (drywall) installed on top of EPS.
ENVIRONMENTAL EXPOSURE. Steel panels are impervious, dry/inert and cannot support mold growth. Steel does not off-gas chemicals. EPS insulation, found in ICF walls contain a fire retardant hexabromo-cyclododecane, or HBDC which is listed by the European Chemicals Agency a Substances of Very High Concern.
EARTH FRIENDLY. SPX™ panels are manufactured from galvanized steel, the most recylced material in the world. The total carbon footprint of SPX™ panels is less than concrete.
FIRE RESISTANCE. Steel panels are not flammable. ICF polystyrene foam is combustible and produces more smoke. At higher temperatures, gaseous combustible products are formed by decomposition.