The use of insulating concrete forms in the residential market increased 29 percent in 2001, accounting for 2.7 percent of all above-grade homes in the U.S., according to the National Association of Home Builders and the Portland Cement Association. This is the third year of significant growth for the ICF industry, accounting for 1.2 percent of the above-grade residential market in 1999 and 2.1 percent in 2000.

Although the annual Insulating Concrete Form Association Shipment Report confirmed a significant increase in the production of ICFs, the NAHB and PCA statistics are vital to benchmarking the growth of the systems in the residential market.

The instability of energy prices, as well as the lack of electricity and natural gas supplies in most markets, has also impacted the growth of ICFs. Homeowners are receiving expensive energy bills everywhere as the demand for power increases and problems associated with energy deregulation grow. The U.S. Dept. of Energy confirms the increase in energy demand in the residential market over the next decade, predicting demand for electricity will increase 15 percent and the demand for natural gas will jettison 7.5 percent.

“As long as homeowners seek refuge from $350-a-month energy bills, ICFs will continue to thrive,” says Executive Director of ICFA Joseph Lyman. “As a building system that reduces the use of electricity and natural gas, the association looks forward to meaningful national discussion on energy efficiency and conservation.”