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Insulated Concrete Masonry Unit

by admin on July 27th, 2010

The insulated concrete masonry unit (ICMU) is a hybrid design, blending unit masonry building and insulation resulting in high levels of energy efficiency due to thermal mass benefits.

On the outside, ICMUs are composed of nearly identical materials as are conventional concrete blocks. Sand, gravel and Portland cement make up their composition. A layer of insulation within the block structure provides the means for high levels of energy efficiency. This “building within a building” creates interior walls with high insulated thermal mass, which absorb and store large amounts of energy. This increased heat capacity of the walls delivers unparalleled HVAC energy efficiency. As a result of the high thermal mass, or heat capacity, the effects of temperature variations and swings are lessened or delayed, resulting in an R-22 value of the block and less demand on HVAC systems. The most striking feature of the product is that it has no webs or connections between the faces. Even though the unit is webless, it has the cavities found in the conventional CMU that allow it to accept rebar, concrete, conduit and pluming that run through a standard brick wall. The blocks are also “finished” on the inside, eliminating the need for drywall and/or paint for the interior finish and making them less expensive and more environmentally friendly.

ICMUs are designed to have the outer appearance of traditional masonry units. On the exterior level, ICMUs are available in all masonry veneer finishes – brick, stone, etc. They can also be customized to fit the project needs for color and texture as well.

Insulated concrete masonry units were pioneered by NRG and are manufactured by A. Duchini, Inc. (insert link to sales sheet). NRG block allows for the installation of smaller HVAC units resulting in immediate savings and provides typical HVAC energy savings of over 60 percent, compared to same-size, common block buildings.