ICF Help & Advice

Our insulated concrete formwork help & advice centre has been created as a reference and information hub for designing and building ICF structures in general, and Polarwall in particular.

ICF Basements

Those planning the construction of a new house might well ask themselves ” Why have a basement.” When few basements have been built in Britain during  recent decades. Falling out of fashion in an industry dominated by big housebuilders, keen to avoid the cost of digging out the ground. However today’s basements are far removed from old fashioned ideas of cold and damp spaces and provide warm dry rooms, which in cities with high property prices are fitted out to a high standard.

A Practical Choice

A basement serves various practical purposes, making it a valuable addition to many homes. Firstly, homeowners often opt for a basement to expand their living space without enlarging the footprint of the house. This subterranean area provides a versatile canvas for additional bedrooms, a home office or such recreational rooms as a gym, games room or maybe a billiard room or even a full-fledged music studio.  The flexibility of the space allows individuals to tailor it to their specific needs. Offering a customizable and functional extension of the home. Beyond the expansion of living space, basements play a useful role in storage. This helps declutter the main living areas and provides an organized solution to manage belongings efficiently.

Another reason for building into the ground is its role in housing essential utilities. Many homes position key systems, such as heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, water heaters and electrical panels in the basement. This not only releases space on the main floors but also allows easy access for maintenance and repairs. It creates a central hub for these crucial utilities, streamlining the overall functionality of the house.

In summary, having a basement can be a pragmatic choice offering expanded living space, storage solutions, utility housing and energy efficiency. It reflects a thoughtful approach to both present needs and future considerations. Enhancing the overall functionality and comfort of a home whether used as living, recreational or storage space. But whatever the use, todays land price ensures adding an extra storey, should always ensure that builders consider a basement. 

For further information on the subject visit our page concerning bringing natural light into a basement.


The various sections above cover the main topics for ICF construction both above and below ground. 

Do not use this as an alternative to what your chosen manufacturer recommends.  We can do things with Polarwall that ICF blocks can’t do and there may some things that you do with other ICFs that Polarwall can’t do. For example our instructions on vibrating the concrete may not be wise on some EPS block systems. 

We want to add to and develop this section, so we welcome all your questions, suggestions for topics and feedback.  If you want to go deeper into a topic please let us know.  This advice hub does not replace our training (or any other companies training) and you still need to avail yourself of our FREE training course.

Have a question or suggestion not listed here? Feel free to contact us