In 10 years, ICFs have grown almost from nothing to about 4 percent of the structural market in residential construction. Joe Lyman, executive director of the Insulating Concrete Form Association in Glenview, Ill., is sitting in the catbird seat these days. In recent years, his industry's piece of the residential construction pie has thickened up nicely.

“The ICF industry now stands on the verge of greatness,” Lyman claims. Jim Niehoff, with the Portland Cement Association (PCA), points out, “There has been a dramatic increase in the number of developers who are constructing small-and medium-sized subdivisions that feature ICF walls exclusively.”

As a result, PCA expects ICF systems to claim 8 percent of the residential market by 2006. Despite the industry's bright future, Lyman adds, “Training, awareness, and best practices remain top priorities of the industry—to ensure that ICFs are properly used in the design phase and on the jobsite.”