Get Green with Style Blog

Green Book Review – The Concrete House

by Hilary Sopata, LEED AP

The Concrete House:
Building Solid, Safe & Efficient with Insulating Concrete Forms
by Pieter A. VanderWerf

The Concrete House is not just about any old concrete, it is about homes made with ICF, or insulating concrete form.  “It is a new product for constructing the exterior walls of a house or another building.”  I personally have seen more and more concrete buildings being used in industrial areas in the Midwestern United States, so I am excited to see where this technology leads us in housing.  That’s what this book is about.

Do you remember the post in which I defined “thermal bridge”?  You don’t have as much thermal bridging with concrete homes thus keeping more heating or cooling indoors.  Don’t worry, your concrete home does not have to look like it jumped off the page of a sci-fi book!  You can still clad your home with siding, shingles, adobe, etc.

VanderWerf stresses the construction process and finding the right contractor.  Because this is a relatively new building method, you want to hire someone with a track record who has experience.  The Concrete House is written analytically, although a lay person can follow it well enough.  It is full of information but does not have as many pictures and graphics as many of the other books I’ve reviewed.  I recommend this book for a contractor or homeowner who seriously wants to learn about this material and the associated construction method.

VanderWerf, Pieter A. (2007). The Concrete House: Building Solid, Safe & Efficient with Insulating Concrete Forms.  Sterling Publishing Co., Inc. ISBN 13: 978-1-4027-3629-2  ISBN 10: 1-4027-3629-0


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