Durability

Engineers are pleased to discover that the structural design of Eco ICF is based on the same design principles and design codes (AS3600 and AS3610; ACI 318 and CASA A23.3) as conventional reinforced concrete structures. They also find that Eco ICF buildings are easier to engineer than masonry buildings as there is simply much more strength capacity in the steel reinforced ICF walls. Additionally, engineers do not have to be concerned with aesthetic cracking as they would be with a cast-in-place building with painted exterior walls.

Boulder

Jack Burns knows ICFs are durable. They may have saved his life early one morning when a 500,000-pound boulder crashed through the rear of his house, plowed through the bathroom, and stopped a few feet from his bed.

By about 5:30 a.m., gravity took its inevitable course and the huge rock tumbled down the 600-foot cliff. It apparently bounced a few times like a rubber ball before careening into the back wall of the house. Observers measured the boulder after the fact at about 12 feet by 16 feet by 16 feet—taller than the ranch-style home in its path.

Frank Palmer, a supplier to the project, said, "If that rear wall hadn't been reinforced concrete I suspect the boulder would have made it to the bed. As it was, the impact shifted the SIP panels to the left and the right, disconnecting them from the walls, and flattened the wall in back. But the rest of the walls stayed up." Once the rock was gone, the home was relatively easy to restore. “We just poured a new wall."