Being in a RASTRA building is a comfortable experience. This results from consistency in room-to-room temperature & humidity, improved air quality, and a much quieter space.
When homeowners of 74 new ICF homes and 73 new wood frame homes were asked what features they liked, over 80% of the ICF owners mentioned the great comfort, compared with only 22% of wood frame homeowners. It’s worth emphasizing that 80% of the ICF homeowners identified something that they could not see or touch as providing a noticeable benefit.
The consistency of temperature and humidity and the improvement of indoor air quality is possible in large part because the ability of the RASTRA wall to control relative humidity and the rate of air exchange is dramatically reduced in a RASTRA building. In blower door tests, a RASTRA built home tested at 0.0379 air changes per hour, or once every 26 hours. Because so much unfiltered air leaks into a wood-frame house, the interior air of a typical new wood house changes completely .5 times per hour, or once every 2 hours. This allows HVAC equipment to be more effective in a RASTRA building.
Quiet ~ Outside noise is kept outside and airborne interior noise reduced.
Air temperature ~ Temperature and humidity are better controlled & more consistent room-to-room. Cold spots and drafts are virtually eliminated. The heavy RASTRA wall provides it the heat-absorbing property of “thermal mass”. This minimizes swings in temperature so the interior doesn’t overheat or get suddenly cool as the furnace or air conditioner cycles on and off. A RASTRA wall works in perfect harmony with HVAC equipment.
Air quality ~ Irritants are more effectively removed from the air.
Solidity ~ The solidity of concrete construction reduces flexing in floors, as well as vibration from the force of the wind or slamming of a door.