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 Construction

Polarwall is the only insulating formwork which can accept welded wire mesh reinforcement. The use of welded wire mesh can save significant amounts of site time in the tying of the steel. Typically a basement wall or retaining wall may have two layers of a 393 welded wire mesh reinforcement within the wall.  

The mesh reinforcement is usually fastened to an L bar which has been cast into the raft and fastened to the raft reinforcement. 

Structural engineers tend to like the use of welded wire mesh as it goes some way to removing builder error from the steel tying. 

When building above ground,  steel reinforcement is not usually required except above the openings where it is used to create in-situ concrete lintels. 

The reinforcement specification is set by the projects structural engineer who will base it upon opening spans and the loads being supported.  

Getting a good structural engineer on your project is important, as he can save you significant amounts of money and time compared with a bad structural engineer.  The bad engineer will over-specify the steel reinforcement either as a matter of habit or perhaps because they are unfamiliar with the builder. 

Polarwall are always happy to recommend a structural engineer for a particular project. 

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.