Guide to Building Code Compliance for Quad-Lock Insulated Concrete Forms
Please always contact your local building department about your upcoming Quad-Lock project. Buildings may require some engineering, so talk to the inspectors early to understand requirements, avoid compliance issues, and save a lot of time.
Quad-Lock has undergone evaluations from major code agencies (see Code Approvals below) which are often recognized by local building officials. Quad-Lock forms solid, 'flat-wall', monolithic, poured-in-place concrete walls and can, therefore, emulate prescriptive designs that are pre-approved by local building departments.
Evaluation reports are intended only as guides for individual code jurisdictions so they can determine whether or not to allow the use of the forms in their area. Each individual jurisdiction has the right to accept or reject a report according to local requirements. Without a report, each individual jurisdiction would have to be convinced solely by the manufacturer that their system is equivalent.
For construction in the USA, the International Building Codes (IBC, IRC etc.) have been adopted by most states. Individual states/jurisdictions can have additional requirements, especially in high-wind and seismic areas:
Check applicable codes at www.iccsafe.org
Quad-Lock ICF Buildings easily meet most additional requirements, especially regarding seismic loads, wind loads, and windborne debris when designed & built per those requirements.
The Quad-Lock Panels are molded of fire-retardant Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) and stay-in-place as insulation:
Quad-Lock EPS Panel Densities & Classifications:
EPS Board Type Classification
QPX2: 2¼" [57mm]
1.9 lb/ft³ [30 g/l]
QPX3: 3⅛" [79mm]
1.44 lb/ft³ [23 g/l]
PLUS: 4¼" [108mm]
1.44 lb/ft³ [23 g/l]
Extra: 4" [102mm]
1.15 lb/ft³ [18 g/l]
Direct your inspector to the Evaluation Report for your area (e.g. ICC ESR-2157) and
- International Residential Code (IRC) 2006 or 2009, Section R404 (ICF Foundation Walls) and Section R611 (ICF Wall Construction Above Grade).
Also refer to the New Prescriptive Design of Exterior Concrete Walls for One- and Two-Family Dwellings (PCA 100-2012).
Both the above include prescriptive charts that can help define wall thickness and reinforcing steel requirements.
For commercial ICF construction, please refer to
- International Building Code (IBC), Chapter 19 - Concrete and Chapter 26 - Foam Plastics.
- ACI 318, Building Code Requirements for Structural Concrete, for the structural design for flat-wall ICF systems.
A detailed list of code references for ICF walls is available in our technical library (registration req.).
Code Approvals & Tests
ICC ESR-2157: IBC, IRC ('09 & '06), FL Code ('10)
Florida Product Approval: # 10431 (vers. 2004)
City of Los Angeles: General Approval #RR 25527
New York City: MEA Approval # MEA-71-05-M
Cayman Islands: BCU Approval
Jamaica: Evaluation Report No. 27/2008/2060
Puerto Rico: Certificacion de Material de Construccion
European Technical Approval ETA-06/0189
United Kingdom: BBA Certificate 06/4347
Romania: Aviz Tehnic 1-44/15.07.2004 of CTPC-1; Agrement Tehnic 008-01/049-2004
South Africa: SABS Report No. 2538/1357/07
UL/ULC Fire Resistance Rating of Load-Bearing Quad-Lock Wall , UL/ULC File# R25077
Product Evaluation (Inchcape Testing Services) #484-2063
Standard Room Fire Test #6807
Standard Fire Endurance Test Program #6802
Screw Pull Out Test #L19214
Analysis of Thermal Properties of Quad-Lock by Ecotope
If you are trying to answer a particular code compliance question, or need
further information and documentation, please
technical service department.
Findings of Tests Performed on Quad-Lock
The fire test was done according to the following standards:
- EN 1365-1
- CAN/ULC-S101-04-3rd Edition
- ANSI/UL 263-13th Edition
- ASTM E119-07
The walls were subjected to a 298 kips [1326kN] load and were given the following ratings:
7.75" [197mm] or greater
8" [200mm] or greater
The concrete used was a regular 2900psi [20MPa] mix, with regular steel reinforcement. The concrete in the wall contained no plastic or steel fibers. The walls passed the hose stream test.
Findings: 'The expanded polystyrene systems (Quad-Lock) identified in this report have met the requirements of ICBO Evaluation Service AC12 Acceptance Criteria for Foam Plastic Insulation (July 2000) in conjunction with the ASTM C578-95 "Standard Specification for Rigid Cellular Polystyrene Thermal Insulation" for the test reported.'
- Shear Tests at +35°C (+95°F) using #6 drywall screws is an average maximum shear strength of 73kg (160lbs)
- Pull-out Tests at +35°C (+95°F) using #6 drywall screws has an average maximum withdrawal strength of 45kg (100lbs)
- Shear Tests conducted at -40°C (-40°F) using #6 drywall screws is an average maximum shear strength of 86kg (190lbs)
- Pull-out Tests conducted at -40°C (-40°F) using #6 drywall screws is an average maximum withdrawal strength of 59kg (130lbs)
NOTE: ICBO/ICC Evaluation allowed for a safety buffer and reports: Fasteners have an allowable pullout capacity of 17kg (38lbs) and an allowable lateral capacity of 35kg (77lbs).
Findings: 'The Quad-Lock EPS form wall protected by ½" conventional gypsum wallboard installed as described in this report met the criteria of acceptance of the Uniform Building Code Standard 26-3 (1994).'
Findings: 'The Quad-Lock EPS form wall protected by a ½" standard gypsum wallboard thermal barrier installed as described in this report met the criteria of acceptance of ASTM E 119, CAN/ULC S101, and UBC 7-1 for a four hour fire resistance rating. The polyethylene bridging ties did not melt out and did not cause a loss of support for the non-fire side standard ½" gypsum thermal barrier. As no through openings were developed in the concrete wall section, no possibility of ignition of cotton waste occurred. There was no occurrence of burnthrough or through openings in the concrete wall, nor was there flaming of the polyethylene ties and expanded polystyrene foam on the unexposed side.
The Quad-Lock expanded polystyrene foam 6" concrete wall form system is consequently eligible for a four hour fire resistance rating.'
View Report; Findings: 'Ecotope's analysis shows that in typical construction, QUAD-LOCK above-grade walls perform much better than typical R-19 and R-21 frame walls; the QUAD-LOCK performance is equivalent to a 2x6 frame wall insulated with 5½" of Dow Blueboard (R-5 per inch). In below-grade applications, QUAD-LOCK significantly outperforms standard construction (8" concrete wall with R-10 exterior rigid insulation).' The QUAD-LOCK wall system should out-perform frame walls in ways that cannot be quantified by a steady-state heat loss analysis. Standard parallel heat flow calculations assume that the fiberglass insulation is uniformly installed with no voids or compressed batts. This is not what is usually found in the field. If installed correctly, concrete walls will not settle, bend, sag and crack, as framed walls will do with time. The QUAD-LOCK system should also create a wall, which is significantly more airtight than a standard framed wall.
For complete documentation of these tests please contact us.