When we first worked with ICFs, we — like most contractors — used the foam forms only for foundations and simple structures. Eventually, though, we began to build entire houses with them.

The Alamo, Calif., custom home featured here was such a project. The plans called for curved walls with large arch-top openings. Given that combination — curved walls and arched windows — most builders would have chosen to stick-frame. But the house was also designed to be extremely energy-efficient, with triple-glazed windows, radiant-barrier...

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