Code Compliance

Please always contact your local building department about your upcoming Quad-Lock project. Buildings may require some engineering, so talk to the inspectors early to understand requirements, avoid compliance issues, and save a lot of time.

Quad-Lock has undergone evaluations from major code agencies (see Code Approvals below) which are often recognized by local building officials. Quad-Lock forms solid, 'flat-wall', monolithic, poured-in-place concrete walls and can, therefore, emulate prescriptive designs that are pre-approved by local building departments.

Evaluation reports are intended only as guides for individual code jurisdictions so they can determine whether or not to allow the use of the forms in their area. Each individual jurisdiction has the right to accept or reject a report according to local requirements. Without a report, each individual jurisdiction would have to be convinced solely by the manufacturer that their system is equivalent.

The updated International Building Code (IBC) 2006 is effective in 47 US states since January 2007. Individual states/jurisdictions can have additional requirements, especially in high-wind and seismic areas. See listing of state codes on the ICC website:

Quad-Lock ICF Buildings easily meet most additional requirements, especially regarding seismic loads, wind loads, and windborne debris.

The Quad-Lock Panels are molded of fire-retardant Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) and stay-in-place as insulation:

Panel Densities & Classifications:

Panel Thickness

± 0.06 lb/ft³ [1 g/l]

per panel

EPS Board Type Classification

(ASTM C578)


Regular: 2¼" [57mm]

1.87 lb/ft³ [30 g/l]


Type IX

Type III

Plus: 4¼" [108mm]

1.44 lb/ft³ [23 g/l]


Type II

Type II

Extra: 4" [102mm] 1.25 lb/ft³ [20 g/l] 15.6 Type VIII Type 1
Note: R-Values per panel are extrapolated from std. ASTM C578 values. R-Values for wall assemblies
also contain R-2.66 for: inside air, ½" gypsum wall board, 6" concrete, 5/8 T1-11 Finish and outside air

Residential Code

Direct your inspector to the

  • International Residential Code (IRC) 2003, Sections 404.4 through 404.4.11 (ICF Foundation Walls) and Sections 611 through 611.9.1 (ICF Wall Construction), or the
  • International Residential Code (IRC) 2006, Section R611.

The sections include prescriptive charts that can help define wall thickness and reinforcing steel requirements.

The IRC 2003 sections on ICF are based on the Prescriptive Method for Insulating Concrete Forms in Residential Construction (buy the latest from the PCA or browse older Jan. 2002 '2nd Edition'). Please refer to the PATH Tech. Inventory for Insulating Concrete Forms for additional information on ICF code acceptance.

Commercial Code

For commercial ICF construction, please refer to

  • International Building Code (IBC) 2006, Chapter 19 - Concrete and Chapter 26 - Foam Plastics.
  • ACI 318, Building Code Requirements for Structural Concrete, for the structural design for flat-wall ICF systems.

Code Approvals & Tests


If you are trying to answer a particular code compliance question, or need further information and documentation, please contact our technical service department.

Findings of Tests Performed on Quad-Lock

Fire Resistance Rating of Load-Bearing Quad-Lock Wall , UL/ULC File# R25077

UL/ULC Design Numbers: U934 (imperial - USA) and W019 (metric - Canada)

The fire test was done according to the following standards:

  • EN 1365-1
  • CAN/ULC-S101-04-3rd Edition
  • ANSI/UL 263-13th Edition
  • ASTM E119-07

The walls were subjected to a 298 kips [1326kN] load and were given the following ratings:

Concrete Thickness

Nominal Thickness


3.75" [96mm]

4" [100mm]

2 hours

5.75" [147mm]

6" [150mm]

3 hours

7.75" [197mm] or greater

8" [200mm] or greater

4 hours

The concrete used was a regular 2900psi [20MPa] mix, with regular steel reinforcement. The concrete in the wall contained no plastic or steel fibers. The walls passed the hose stream test.

Product Evaluation #484-2063 (performed by Inchcape Testing Services)

Findings: 'The expanded polystyrene systems (Quad-Lock) identified in this report have met the requirements of ICBO Evaluation Service AC12 Acceptance Criteria for Foam Plastic Insulation (July 2000) in conjunction with the ASTM C578-95 "Standard Specification for Rigid Cellular Polystyrene Thermal Insulation" for the test reported.'

Screw Pull Out Test #L19214


  • Shear Tests conducted at -40°C (-40°F) using #6 drywall screws is an average maximum shear strength of 86kg (190lbs)
  • Pull-out Tests conducted at -40°C (-40°F) using #6 drywall screws is an average maximum shear strength of 59kg (130lbs)
  • Shear Tests at -35°C (-31°F) using #6 drywall screws is an average maximum withdrawal strength of 73kg (160lbs)
  • Pull-out Tests at -35°C (-31°F) using #6 drywall screws has an average maximum withdrawal strength of 45kg (100lbs)

NOTE: ICBO Evaluation has allowed for a safety buffer and reports: Fasteners have an allowable pullout capacity of 17kg (38lbs) and an allowable lateral capacity of 35kg (77lbs).

Standard Room Fire Test #6807

Findings: 'The Quad-Lock EPS form wall protected by ½" conventional gypsum wallboard installed as described in this report met the criteria of acceptance of the Uniform Building Code Standard 26-3 (1994).'

Standard Fire Endurance Test Program #6802

Findings: 'The Quad-Lock EPS form wall protected by a ½" standard gypsum wallboard thermal barrier installed as described in this report met the criteria of acceptance of ASTM E 119, CAN/ULC S101, and UBC 7-1 for a four hour fire resistance rating. The polyethylene bridging ties did not melt out and did not cause a loss of support for the non-fire side standard ½" gypsum thermal barrier. As no through openings were developed in the concrete wall section, no possibility of ignition of cotton waste occurred. There was no occurrence of burnthrough or through openings in the concrete wall, nor was there flaming of the polyethylene ties and expanded polystyrene foam on the unexposed side.
The Quad-Lock expanded polystyrene foam 6" concrete wall form system is consequently eligible for a four hour fire resistance rating.'

Analysis of Thermal Properties of Quad-Lock (performed by Ecotope)

View Report; Findings: 'Ecotope's analysis shows that in typical construction, QUAD-LOCK above-grade walls perform much better than typical R-19 and R-21 frame walls; the QUAD-LOCK performance is equivalent to a 2x6 frame wall insulated with 5½" of Dow Blueboard (R-5 per inch). In below-grade applications, QUAD-LOCK significantly outperforms standard construction (8" concrete wall with R-10 exterior rigid insulation).' The QUAD-LOCK wall system should out-perform frame walls in ways that cannot be quantified by a steady-state heat loss analysis. Standard parallel heat flow calculations assume that the fiberglass insulation is uniformly installed with no voids or compressed batts. This is not what is usually found in the field. If installed correctly, concrete walls will not settle, bend, sag and crack, as framed walls will do with time. The QUAD-LOCK system should also create a wall, which is significantly more airtight than a standard framed wall.

For complete documentation of these tests please contact us.


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