ICFs will initially be equal to or a little more expensive depending on the complexity of the build.
The best idea, if you can, is to build to the dimensions and web spacings of the ICF you have picked to work with.
With the new energy efficient code requirements, ICFs are now very close in cost to stick frame and are more energy efficient.
RSI (R-values) for ICF‘s are based on one simple calculation:
-Thinnest point of ICF panels (RSI)
-Thickest concrete thickness (RSI)
-Interior finishes (RSI)
-Exterior finishes (RSI)
add all of their proper RSI‘s together and you have the Effective RSI (R-value).
Absolutely, all ICF’s must follow proper concrete placing codes.
Internal vibration is the only recognized form of vibrating ICF’s. Be sure your concrete placing team internaly vibrates the concrete following 6 to 8 ft behind the pump on every pass.
If your concrete company refuses to vibrate or offers a self consolidating ICF mix, make sure they tell you in writing that there will be no voids in your walls once the concrete is placed.