Building walls with Durisol ICF FAQs

Building walls with Durisol ICF is a simple and straightforward process. Here are the answers to some of the questions we are frequently asked about building with Durisol.

How high can I build before the concrete pour?

For self-builders, we recommend building up to a maximum of 1.5 metres (six courses) in height per pour.

However, for developers, we advocate pouring up to 2.5 metres (10 courses). Pouring at this height relies on strict adherence to our published Technical Manual and Build Guide, specifically the sections regarding bracing of walls before pouring. A few simple measures can make a dramatic difference on-site in terms of convenience and outcome.

The advantage of being able to pour to 2.5 metres is the ability to create an entire storey in one pour. The floor installation can then take place before further construction begins above.

The other benefit of pouring to a considerable height is the reduction in the total number of concrete pours on a project. This factor reduces the number of times that a concrete pump is required and saves cost.

Does Durisol need bracing?

A significant advantage of a woodcrete ICF system is the eradication of props. The sturdiness of the woodcrete means only simple bracing is necessary.

The techniques for bracing the walls with sheets of ply (at corners, cut units, etc.) to avoid movement during a concrete pour are outlined in our Technical Manual and Build Guide. The ply can be screwed directly into the Durisol with the appropriate screws without any need to drill and plug first. It’s also possible to screw the top course of units together to further stabilise the walls before pouring and to prevent the nozzle of the pump from knocking the wall out of alignment in any way.

After the concrete has been poured and developed strength, the timber bracing and screws can be removed. The wood and screws can be reused in the next lift, helping to make the process quick and cost-effective.

Is there a maximum height you can build to using Durisol?

The highest recorded Durisol build is in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. Constructed in 1983, the Best Western Plus Waterfront Hotel on Riverside Drive is over 20 storeys tall. Thirty-seven years on and the hotel is still in fantastic condition.

Durisol is a formwork system. While the units look like structural blocks, they are in fact, formwork that contains and insulates poured concrete. A Durisol build is a concrete frame build, and it is the concrete frame structure that provides the structural strength. The Best Western Hotel is a reinforced concrete frame within a Durisol formwork system.

Concrete has excellent compressive strength, and a Durisol build creates a monolithic continuous concrete frame within the units.

Where lateral loads exist (e.g. retaining walls in basements, vaulted ceilings etc.) or over openings, it’s easy and cost-effective to insert reinforcing bars into the voids within the Durisol units either vertically, or horizontally or both.

Where can I get practical help with building walls with Durisol ICF?

Our series of videos provide practical guidance on building with Durisol. Also, we run regular hands-on training sessions at the National Self-Build and Renovation Centre. You can find out more about these free one-day courses on our training page. ¬†Due to the current UK lockdown restrictions we’ve had to put these courses on hold but plan to resume them again as soon as we are able.