Insulating Concrete Forms are covered in North American Building Codes.
I-Codes - USA
ICF construction was incorporated into the I-Codes right from the start in 2000. For commercial construction, the provisions for foam plastics fall under IBC Chapter 26, and concrete is per IBC Chapter 19. Structural design for flat wall and waffle grid systems are designed in accordance with the American Concrete Institute's (ACI) 318, Building Code Requirements for Structural Concrete. Screen grid wall systems can be designed using an equivalent wall thickness.
Residential Construction with insulating concrete forms (ICFs) is covered in the International Residential Code (IRC)Section R611. (View 2006 IRC Section R611). This section includes prescriptive charts for reinforcing steel for all conforming ICFs.
Seismic design categories were added in both the 2003 and the 2006 updates, including D) and D1.
Weather Resistant Barriers are no longer required for above grade ICFs, per the changes in the 2006 IRC, however local conditions and some materials may benefit from additional protection from driving rain and extreme weather. Waterproofing or dampproofing remains a requirement below grade, same as any concrete foundation wall.
Application of traditional stucco finish over ICFs remain a popular and cost-effective finish. For further application information, refer to the PCA website: www.cement.org for the FAQ on Stucco
National Building Code of Canada (NBC)
Residential ICF construction is covered in Part 9, Housing and Small Buildings, a detailed prescriptive requirement for engineered insulating concrete form (ICF) walls, for both foundations and above-ground walls. Buildings that meet the listed conditions may use the prescriptive reinforcement schedules provided, and do not require professional involvement, nor are they subject to the requirements of Part 4 (structural design). Similar to the code situation of the IRC/ IBC (USA), if the building falls outside of the stated parameters, Part 4 must be used.
ASTM Standard for Flat Wall ICF
The ASTM E06 Main Committee has finalized the Standard Specification for Flat Wall Insulating Concrete Form (ICF) Systems. The ASTM E2634 Specification will be published in April 2009. This Specification is intended to apply to ICF Systems that will act as permanent formwork for cast-in-place reinforced concrete beams; lintels; exterior and interior, above and below grade bearing and non-bearing walls; foundation; and retaining walls. In addition, this Specification is restricted to ICF Systems with a resultant uniform monolithic concrete core.