Should Insulated Concrete Forms be Air-Sealed?
Roger Lin wants a very tight house, tight enough to meet the Passive House standard of 0.6 air changes per hour under a blower-door test. Lin will be using insulated concrete forms, which combine rigid foam insulation and concrete. Will the walls be tight enough to pass the blower door test, or will he have to do additional air sealing?
That’s the subject of this week’s Green Building Advisor Q&A Spotlight.
Other builders have used ICFs to achieve very tight construction without additional air sealing. That’s not the problem. Where air and water leaks seem to occur are around windows and doors. A bead of foam applied here is a lot less effective than many builders might think.
In searching for solutions, posters open a much broader discussion: are Passive House standards really in the best interests of homeowners, or do they create unhealthy, hermetically sealed containers that prevent a natural connection between people and their environment?