Insulated Concrete Forms for Ultra-Efficient R-28 Walls
3" Thickness = More Insulation + Higher Strength
Wide-Open Cavity = Concrete Flow
3⅛" thick Insulated Concrete Forms create ultra-efficient and super strong building shells designed to cost-effectively meet & exceed the latest building science recommendations and all requirements of Energy Codes and insurance incentives for resilient construction.
The new "Ultra" Panels provide Ultra Value with almost 30% more insulation and 20% higher strength.
The key design features of the Ultra Panels include:
Higher formwork strength for a worry-free concrete pour with internal vibration
Wide-open cavity allows better concrete flow and easy consolidation, the critical requirement in all concrete forming
Slots molded into tops and bottoms for 2" metal track reduces thermal bridging and SKUs.
Ultra Corner Panels with pre-molded recesses speed up installation
The Ultra Panels deliver another great option to get the insulation of the building envelope to the optimal value for the local climate and other job-specific requirements. For example, you can build R-22, 8" concrete walls for the basement and easily transition to R-28, 6" concrete walls above grade - with the same overall wall thickness throughout! Ultra Panels work with most ICF accessories and Quad-Lock's standard Ties, 2" Metal Track, Wire Top Ties, and Corner Brackets.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Is the Ultra Panel already available?
Yes, it is available now from our plants in North America and is manufactured under the same ISO certified quality management system.
Why is the Ultra Panel stronger? Because of thicker EPS (Expanded Polystyrene), the Ultra Panels (item QPX3) have about 20% more strength regarding deflection and breakage. Greater thickness results in much higher resistance to the strong bending moment that concrete under vibration exerts on concrete forms.
What EPS density and Class is the Ultra Panel? The Ultra Panels are the same density as the Plus panels (nominal 1.5 lbs/ft3 [24 kg/m3]) which is EPS Board Type II per ASTM C578 (USA) or Type 2 per CAN/ULC-S701 (Canada).
Are Ultra Panels the same dimension as other Quad-Lock panels?
Ultra Panels are 3⅛ inch [79mm] thick, but still 12 inches high by 48 inches long like our other panels. The Ultra Corner Panels are about ⅛" longer (item QPX3Corner).
Do the same ties work with Ultra Panels? Yes. The ties fit the same way, and actual concrete thicknesses are 4", 6", 8", 10", and 12" using standard ties (¼" more than with Regular and Plus panels). As with the R-30 configuration, use plastic ties 2" longer than with Regular Panels (e.g. order Yellow “FTY8” ties for a 6" concrete thickness). Use our online ICF Quotes for quick take-offs.
Do the Corner Brackets work with the Ultra Panels? Yes. On the outside of the corner, use the recessed Ultra Corner Panels and the Outside Corner Brackets will fit. On the inside of the corner, normal Ultra Panels are cut to create the desired concrete cavity - same concept as usual. For angles, two Ultra Panels are mitered, just like other Quad-Lock panels, for the Angle Brackets and ties to fit.
Is there a 3" metal track to go with the Ultra Panels? No. All Ultra Panels have special slots molded top and bottom to accommodate the regular 2¼" track size. Wire Top Ties can interlock with the top-track and need to be ordered 2" wider than the desired concrete cavity (e.g. order WTT8 for a 6" concrete thickness) - see online ICF Quotes.
How do we figure out the track spacing with the Ultra Panels? Add 1¾" [44mm] to the cavity size and space tracks from inside face to inside face, e.g. a 6" concrete wall needs 7¾" [197mm] track spacing.
Can we still build radius and angled walls with the Ultra Panels? Yes, by following the same 'score & bend' method as with other Quad-Lock panels.
Will the Ultra Panels interlock with the other panels?
Yes. For instance, an R-22 basement wall with 8" concrete beautifully combines with the R-28 Ultra Panels using 6" concrete walls above-grade, with exactly the same outside wall dimension! Plus panels still work for wall-width transitions (see image at right).
How are the Ultra Panels packaged? There are four panel pairs (8 panels) in a bag, which have Red print for Ultra Panels and Purple for Ultra Corners so it's easy to identify contents (all panel varieties have different bag colors).
How much fits in a truck? When stuffed full, around 5,100 sqft of Ultra Panels, ties, and track should fit in a 53' Dry-Van trailer.
Will the 2¼" thick panels (QPX2) still be available?
Yes. There are no plans to discontinue the 2" thick panels, however, the Ultra Panels offers a much better value and a more robust concrete form, so we recommend the Ultra Panels for most applications and customers.
How many Ultra Corner panels are needed? Ultra Corner panels are used on the outside or 'long side' of corners and they are cut in half for every other course (to start the running bond as usual). So for a 8' tall corner, you need 1 bag or 4 panel pairs. Use our online ICF Quotes for quick take-offs.
Do I have to use the Ultra Corner panels at all 90° corners?
No, but it is recommended to use the Ultra Corners to avoid a 1/8" recess at outside corners that result from the following "backup" method: cut 1 inch off the straight Ultra Panels using the 1 inch score line molded on the inside face of the panels, and butt it into another Ultra Panel at 90° corners. This will realign the interlock knobs and allow the corner bracket to fit. The small 1/8" recess in the EPS at the corners makes finish application harder, especially with stucco since the thicker stucco portion will dry at a different rate than the remainder and possibly create problems.
Do I have to order the Ultra Corner panels at all? No, if you can work around the 1/8" recess resulting from the 1-inch-cut method (see above). The Ultra Corner Panels are intended to provide even EPS surfaces at corners and to speed up installation.
Can the recessed Ultra Corner Panels be used in areas of the wall other than the corners? It's not recommended, because they are a bit longer than all other panels, offer less insulation at the recesses, and concrete will protrude into the EPS and impede utility runs. Above openings with internal bucks, the recesses create a hole next to the buck that would need to be closed.
Can the Ultra Panels be combined with the other Quad-Lock panels on opposite sides of the wall? Yes, but it's not recommended because an odd cavity size (5", 7", etc.) and R-value will result. For example, with Ultra Panels on the interior and PLUS panels on the exterior, you get R-33 for the wall assembly and a nominal 7" concrete thickness using Green Ties, but in many cases/jurisdictions that may only count as a 6" concrete wall using prescriptive designs.
How is the R-Value of the Ultra Panel wall assembly calculated?
The R-Value of the Ultra Panel wall assembly is R-28 as calculated per ASTM standards at 75˚F (per advertising laws). Please note that the ASHRAE Handbook allows using higher R-Values for EPS, especially under colder conditions, in contrast to many other insulation materials that perform worse than advertised when heating or cooling is actually required.