When we talk about innovation or new products, we tend to think they come from the other side of the globe, not from our own country. Yet, many new ideas are developed right next door! It is the case for insulated concrete forms, also called “ICF”. Where did this fabulous idea to build a house out of foam blocks and concrete come from?
The man behind this idea is Jean-Louis Béliveau. In the late 40’s, at only 10 years old, he helped his father building the family house. About four years after the construction has been completed, mould and rot were already starting to show. Jean-Louis already knew that something was wrong with the house, and the problem was occurring all around. The fact that he and his dad had put so much effort into building the house and that it already needed renovations annoyed him so much! From that moment, he began spending time developing a solution to allow houses to last “over a hundred years”!
University of Iowa
The acquisition of a house in Florida allowed him to go further with his ideas. Indeed, that’s when he realized that, even in a warm climate, houses need to be well insulated. In that house, the temperature was getting too cold in the middle of the night and too warm during the day. In the late 70’s, Jean-Louis worked with the University of Iowa to design insulated concrete panels without thermal bridges: The metal rods that were initially part of the design caused energy loss up to 80% of the insulation value!
Mr. Stan Bober
In the early 80’s, Jean-Louis decided to continue his research on energy loss with Mr. Stan Bober from BASF. Those researches allowed them to discover that there was a loss of at least 62% through the ceilings insulated with only mineral wool.
The first insulated concrete form (ICF)
Later in the 80’s, Mr. Béliveau designed and patented his first ICF prototype. For nearly twenty years, he continued working on several formwork systems to optimize the performance. During these years, he discovered that de R value and the size of recommended heating systems (for conventional buildings) were usually not representative of the insulating performance.
The Ultimate Test
In 1985, he did the ultimate test and installed only 70% of the recommended heating system: It worked perfectly! And a few years after, he decided to reduce his heating system to 50%, without reducing his comfort at all. It was in 1999 that NUDURA® insulated concrete forms finally came to life.
NUDURA® has proven its efficiency in 36 different countries. More than 400 schools in the United States, in addition to tens of thousands of houses have been built with NUDURA® system. What are you waiting for?
This system has been proven over the years and has won the heart of contractors and homeowners in many countries. Its success has made it grow to another level, making it a unique and formwork loved by all markets. The NUDURA® brand has become the reference for quality and performance.
Polyform decided, in September 2018, to ensure the product growth by selling to an American company that is specialized in building materials and that has customers all over the world.