By Jill Nagy
Insulated concrete forms (ICFs) that fit together like Lego blocks form the skeleton of the Net Zero energy-efficient homes built by Halfmoon Construction of Clifton Park.
The company’s president, Andy Ellis, explained that the forms, called Lodgix Blocks, are set and filled with concrete.
“It gives us a really good base for an energy-efficient house,” he said.
The blocks serve three functions. Ellis said they replace the plywood on the outside, replace the wall insulation inside, and go in place of the framing of a traditionally built structure.
The cost is 8 to 10 percent more than traditional construction but, he said, the cost is recovered in less than three years because of the resulting energy savings. The houses he builds can be finished with any type of siding on the outside and traditional wallboard on the inside.
Currently, the company is building a “100-year house,” with corrugated metal siding and a metal roof. “It won’t need any repairs soon,” he said.
The result will be a house with 12-inch walls, about double the traditional width. Windows and doors are set-in more and better defined and windows have wide sills. Otherwise, the house will not stand out from its non-sustainable neighbors.