In most cases, styrofoam is notorious for being that material that, after it’s used just once and then thrown out, takes thousands of years to decompose in landfills.
But shockingly, styrofoam’s sheer indestructibility is what’s causing it to gain popularity as an environmentally sound insulation material for new home constructions.
According to the Huffington Post, styrofoam is the main component of a new building technique called insulated concrete form (ICF). Rather than building a traditional wood-frame home, builders stack heavy-duty styrofoam blocks on top of another, then cement them together with concrete.
ICF can reduce a home’s average energy expenditures by half, in fact, due to styrofoam’s ability to keep the elements out, the Huffington Post reports. And the average lifespan of a home built according to the ICF concept is exponentially longer than that of a wood-frame home.
“Wood frame construction’s been around for hundreds of years. The time has come to build with a product that’s not going to only last for decades, but will last for centuries,” Leigh Overland, an architect, explained to the Huffington Post.
Best of all? It costs roughly the same to custom-build an ICF home as it would cost to build a wood-frame home, theHuffington Post reports. This is because the long-term energy savings an ICF home boasts will eventually make up for the initial up-front cost of building the house.
“That’s the beauty of a custom built home, you choose the components to make it custom. Just ask us, we will give the pro’s and con’s of important building components to ensure you build the best home possible,” says Michelle Dohrwardt, Officer Manager at Dodson Custom Homes.
So while we still don’t recommend using disposable styrofoam food containers, incorporating styrofoam into your custom-built home using the ICF concept can do wonders for both the environment and your wallet.