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Green Rating Systems Point to Insulated Concrete Forms

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Green Building rating systems are now the norm in meeting project sustainability goals. Although the US Green Building Council’s LEED family of documents has dominated in the commercial markets, there are numerous green certification programs that could apply to residential developments. Concrete has always played a significant part in contributing to green certifications through thermal efficiency, durability and site benefits.

With certification increasingly being applied to multifamily apartment buildings, the Passive House Institute US (PHIUS) certification is gradually taking hold beyond houses. Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF) with its air tightness and insulating qualities can help achieve Passive House standards. BuiltGreen by Master Builders of King and Snohomish counties is the dominant green rating program for residential and light commercial in Washington State. Its credit 3-13 (3 points) offers points for "Use airtight building method, such as Structural Insulated Panels or Insulated Concrete Forms, for building envelope." Likewise, credits 3-8 and 3-17 of the BuiltGreen program in Skagit Island counties also combined to give a project 10 points for specifically using ICFs. 

The easiest path to help project teams with these programs should first be to understand project goals such as energy efficiency, speed of construction or construction costs. Build with Strength, a coalition led by NRMCA that promotes concrete building systems through communications, project promotion, education and advocacy, can help leverage sustainable standards to help place more concrete.
To learn more about these programs or for more information on how local green building programs can help you place more concrete, contact Tien Peng at or 206-913-8535.

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