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BUILDING ABOVE GRADE With ICFs Iam a general contractor — a carpenter by training — and have been building custom wood frame houses on North Carolina's Outer Banks since 1975. In April 1997, when a local couple asked me to build a house for them using ICFs (insulated concrete forms), all I knew about this technique came from reading magazine ads. A year later, I've successfully built a single-story 1,800-square-foot house using an ICF system, and I plan to build more. Strong, Energy-Efficient Shell Because they were building on the beach, the clients wanted to be sure the house would stand up to high winds. They discovered Polysteel at a home show in Pennsylvania, and felt it addressed their concerns. I