Earthquake Study Reveals Important Differences in Building Performance

US Resiliency Council

The evidence just keeps piling up. Reinforced concrete buildings constructed with Insulating Concrete Forms represent one of the best value-for-money choices in the industry.

Here at Airfoam, we know that the design community will be keenly interested in the just-released Independent study from the US Resiliency Council on “Earthquake Performance Comparison of Multifamily, Multistory Apartment Buildings Constructed of Various Materials”, commissioned by the National Ready Mix Concrete Association.  To date, this is the most definitive evidence of the superior earthquake resistance capacity of ICF buildings compared with competing construction methods.

Highlights include:

  • First Cost differential (premium) of 6% OR LESS for ICF vs wood, CLT and steel
  • 18% to 80% higher lateral force strength with ICF assembly
  • 4x to 5x building stiffness with ICF assembly
  • Estimated ICF recovery times are two weeks vs 1.5 to 9.5 months for wood, CLT and steel (depending on location)
  • Total losses up to 530% higher for wood, CLT and steel buildings (depending on location) compared to ICF

This report is an important and compelling argument… for example, look at the impact on economic loss estimates (property and rental) for various regions below.  If you owned an apartment complex that was damaged by a natural disaster, could you afford the interruption in rental income over a 2 to 9 month rebuild of your property?  According to this study, ICF buildings are expected to be back in service in two weeks.

The report characterizes the superior performance of ICF buildings this way: ‘This is not a case of overdesign, but rather just an inherent result of the material used’.

Learn more about our Quad-Lock Insulated Concrete Forms and Quad-Deck Roof & Floor systems to help you with your next building project.

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