The downtime caused by building maintenance and repairs can take a big chunk out of any gas station's profit margins, especially if your station does business 24 hours a day. Gas stations with attached convenience stores need to ensure that their store buildings are sturdy and low-maintenance, and choosing the right building method will make this much easier.
Insulated concrete form construction is one of the most versatile and modern construction methods used today, and is ideally suited to gas station convenience store construction. This unique building technique has a number of advantages over steel framing, prefabricated modular construction, and other widely-used methods.
Here are some reasons why you should choose insulated concrete forms.
Insulated concrete forms, also known as ICFs, are essentially large moulds made from tough synthetic foam, and form the "skeleton" of the finished structure. The space between the inner and outer moulds is filled with concrete, while the outer layers of the foam are covered with brick, stucco, aluminum siding, or another suitable wall covering.
This simple method creates an incredible strong composite structure with a solid concrete core, and a gas station convenience store constructed using ICFs will last for decades with very little maintenance. Perfect for stations in isolated locations, insulated concrete form buildings can withstand high winds, heavy thunderstorms, and even the occasional tornado.
Insulated concrete form buildings are also very resistant to fires; the inner foam layers are not combustible and prevent heat from passing through the walls and igniting items inside the building. This makes ICFs ideal for constructing convenience stores in high fire risk areas.
2. Rapid Construction
While ICF construction may use modern building materials, it is a very simple technique. Constructing walls using insulated concrete forms is significantly faster than using traditional framing or concrete forming methods. Choosing ICFs will get your gas station's new convenience store up and running weeks or months earlier than other building methods.
Unlike more traditional concrete-base construction methods, insulated concrete form construction can be performed throughout the year, regardless of temperature or inclement weather. The shelter provided by the insulated forms allows the poured concrete to set and cure undisturbed, and protects it against extremely hot or cold ground-level temperatures.
3. Heat and Sound Insulation
A finished building constructed using ICFs will have excellent heat insulation characteristics. The double layer of insulated foam, combined with the core of porous, air-filled concrete, is excellent at preventing heat exchange, and will keep your convenience store cooler in summer and warmer in winter.
Insulated concrete forms are also excellent sound insulators, and can effectively block out noise from nearby traffic. This will make your convenience store a quieter, more pleasant place to be for both customers and employees, especially if your gas station is located by a busy highway or interchange.