1st Runner Up

ICF swimming pools are becoming more common, and with this project, it’s easy to see why. ICFs are highly insulative and easy to adapt. This project is an outstanding example of these attributes. 

The Anderson Pool in Boone, Iowa, is not a small project. In size, it’s comparable to the average American home, covering 2,400 sq. ft. In this case, the pool, poolhouse, and suspended slab floor were all formed and insulated with rigid foam, as is the bottom of the pool. Even the curved pool steps were formed using ICF. In total, the project used 3,600 sq. ft. of IntegraSpec ICF. 

The brand was chosen due to the contractor’s familiarity with the form and its unique panel construction,
which enabled it to be used as an insulated “one-sided” form under the pool base. Nicholas Nikiforuk, an IntegraSpec executive, has extensive ICF pool experience—including an infinity-edge pool at his own home—and was available as a consultant on the project.

Work began with excavation. Thanks to an optimized design, the pool-house basement was the same level as the pool bottom, and was excavated at the same time. 

Hydronic heating tubes in the floor keep the pool warm, while the foam on the sides and bottom provide ample insulation.

With the bottom of the pool sloped and graded, Darin Dietz and his crew from Dietz Construction installed IntegraSpec panels as underslab insulation. They laid PEX tubing for radiant heat over the floor panels, then went to work on the walls. Dietz explains, “The ICF shell prevents the pool heat from bleeding to the ground, keeping the pool warmer, with less energy needed, longer into the fall season.”

The curved stairs were also formed with ICF, and were poured monolithically with the walls and floor slab.

Nikiforuk says, “Using ICF for the pool is a fast economical way to build. The forms stay in place and reduce the extensive labor of conventional forming. The pool performs at a higher efficiency and can easily be finished with pool plaster.” 

Foam decking allowed the owners to place a work-shop under the pool house at little additional cost.

With the pool forming complete, the ICF crew moved on to the pool house. A suspended ICF floor slab was formed with EPS decking from InsulDeck. The basement space is used as a workshop. From there, it was straightforward to stack the above-grade walls of the poolhouse.

On pour days, Dietz specified an ICF mix design with a nine-inch slump that was largely self consolidating and required minimal vibration.

Dietz reports that the owners are thrilled with the final results, noting that the building is nicely finished with stucco and stone accents, and that the pool and building finishes could be applied directly to the ICF foam without any special preparation.

He adds, “The summer sun assists in keeping the pool temperature constant, and the bath house and workshop are energy efficient with the utility cost being reduced by 80% compared to wood frame.” 

Project Statistics

Location: Boone, Iowa
Type: Pool and Workshop
Size: 2,400 sq. ft. (floor)
ICF Use: 3,620 sq. ft.
Cost: $100,000
Total Construction: 12 weeks
ICF Installation Time: 24 days

Construction Team

Owner: David Anderson
General Contractor + ICF Installer: Dietz Construction
Form Distributor: IntegraSpec
ICF System: IntegraSpec

Fast Facts

  • Complex design with curved steps and sloped pool bottom
  • Insulated shell and solar heating reduce utility costs by 80%
  • ICF saved weeks of construction time


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