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 Structure

Separating walls between rooms typically don’t require full insulation because their primary purpose is to provide a barrier for privacy and to define different spaces. Complete insulation might not be necessary unless there’s a specific need to control temperature, sound or other factors between the adjacent rooms. Stud walls of basic construction materials can often suffice for internal walls, balancing functionality and cost effectiveness. And if in the future the homeowner wishes to alter the internal layout then this is much easier done if the wall has been constructed in some other way than with solid concrete ICF construction.

So even for the most highly insulated Polarwall homes basic construction materials can often suffice for internal walls, balancing functionality and cost effectiveness.

Terraced Houses

However,  for a separating wall between dwellings such as in a row of terraced homes then Polarwall with a 200mm concrete core will provide the acoustic reduction needed to meet the Building Regulations.  In apartment blocks then the same 200mm depth of wall can be used not just between dwellings but also between each apartment and the common space of the halls and staircases. These walls can have the insulation reduced to 50mm each side leaving the walls with an overall thickness of 300mm. There is always an option to remove the insulation from the walls if space is at a premium. However leaving the insulation in place can allow for service channels to be cut where needed into the insulation.

Attached Garages

Polarwall ICF houses with attached garage

Fully insulating internal walls between living areas and an attached garage is an important contribution to energy efficiency and comfort. Active insulation acts as a thermal barrier, which translates to lower utility bills. Additionally, insulation reduces noise transmission, ensuring a quieter more peaceful indoor environment.

For further information see our page on self-building a sound studio

So while concrete ICF walls offer robustness and superior insulation, regular stud walls provide flexibility and cost advantages. Self builders must assess their priorities in making a well balanced informed choice between these options.


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