ICF & Kore Foundation System

Pat Doran Construction Ltd has extensive experience in using both the Kore Foundation System and ICF (insulated Concrete Formwork) installation. Using both systems together will future proof your home, save on heating/cooling costs and deliver you a sustainable, low emission home which is good for the planet.

Insulated Concrete Formwork (ICF)

Insulating Concrete Formwork (ICF) is a building system where walls are built up using blocks made up of expanded polystyrene (EPS) with high strength polypropylene webs for support. Concrete is then poured into the space to create a solid, impenetrable structure.

The EPS remains, creating a continuous layer of insulation, wrapping the entire building envelope. The solid concrete core creates a durable thermal mass which helps achieve airtightness, heat retention and a building which can withstand what ever nature can throw at it.

Insulating Concrete Formwork (ICF) system can be used to construct buildings of any shape and size.


The two main components of ICF are concrete and polystyrene, both of which have bad reputations for sustainability. However, concrete is extremely durable and low maintenance. It is also healthy, resisting mould and moisture. Furthermore, recent developments in concrete technology have evolved, and can use recycled products such as ground granulated blast-furnace slag as a cement replacement. This has embodied CO2 of just 12% compared to 100% with normal cement.

Similarly, expanded polystyrene (EPS), a natural by-product of the petroleum refining process and the other major element of ICF construction, will save CO2 emissions generated during its production within the first few weeks of the building’s occupancy. This is achieved by reducing occupant heating/cooling demands -which will also save €€€’s. EPS is also HCFC and CFC free.


It is indisputable that building with ICF will save the home owner money. Homes build using the system will also achieve a higher sale price as research shows that home buyers are willing to pay more for a sustainable, low energy, quality home.

The main benefits of ICF are listed below;

  • Thermal Mass – heat will be absorbed and released back into the home.
  • Durability and low maintenance -ICF homes will last 150 year + and require minimal, if any maintenance on the external structure -far beyond masonry or timber frame construction.
  • Fire resistance -up to 3 hours compared to timber frame 1 hour
  • Acoustic performance – greatly reduces external sound.
  • Air tightness -makes the building envelope completely airtight which makes it much easier to achieve higher BER ratings.
  • Fully recyclable -at the end of its life, both the polystyrene and the concrete can be fully recycled, along with the plastic bridges.

ICF buildings have many advantages over traditional construction methods (e.g cavity wall) or timber frame.

Achieves a far higher thermal, sound, and fire performance standard.

Lower operational costs -it will cost much less to operate an ICF house -e.g heating, general maintenance.

The ICF system will easily achieve current and future Irish building regulation requirements for air-tightness, junction thermal bridging minimization and U-Value needed for an A2 rated home, as standard.

Building with ICF effectively eliminates thermal bridging -where heat can escape.

You can be assured that a building constructed using ICF will outperform your expectations in every way!


ICF is building Green. It is arguably the most cost effective, energy efficient building system available and is one of the most environmentally friendly and sustainable ways that you can build your home. It is completely compliant with the code for sustainable homes.


When used in conjunction with ICF, the Kore foundation system provides an insulated foundation system which connects perfectly with the ICF walls creating a perfectly insulated building envelope.

The KORE Insulated Foundation System fully insulates the foundation of the home and delivers some of the lowest U-values available on the market. This system practically eliminates wall-to-floor cold bridge, a junction where heat can escape. Essentially, the Kore Insulated Foundation System provides complete insulation to the entire foundation using Expanded Polystyrene to insulate the home from the ground up.

This system ensures there is no thermal break between the wall and foundation junctions, eliminating potential heat loss. When combined with modern methods of construction, such as ICF, the Kore System ensures an airtight, super-insulated home designed to exceed building regulations and achieve the highest Building Energy Ratings – including Passive House Certification and NZEB.

KORE’s Insulated Foundation System is fully NSAI Certified under certificate number 20/0424.


If you would like further information regarding sustainability and concrete we refer you to the following websites;