Some bloody good boots!

It’s said that a successful building needs ‘A Good Hat and a Good Pair of Boots

This week we made the boots, in the form of a concrete foundation.

Now concrete is not such a great material for the environment. It has truck loads of embodied energy and it’s manufacture is said to produce 5% of all greenhouse gasses. It is, however, required by the Utah building code. This means we have to use it, to build a house.
But, with some thought, and time taken, we can do it sensibly.

if a foundation is insulated, then it doesn’t need to be so deep = saving concrete
Spending time plugging holes in the bottom of the concrete forms so it doesn’t splurge out and be wasted = saving concrete

So thinking about how you can reduce concrete usage = saving the world… well not quite, but it’s a step in the right direction.

Here’s how we did it…

After marking out our foundation (measure, re-measure, Pythagoras , re measure, adjust, scratch head & pretend to understand, re measure) We put up strings

The whacker packer, or ‘Phil’ was used to compressed the soil both in the forms and in the centre of our home.
You can see in the form, 2 inches of foam insulation.

Here are the finished forms, the foam is in place and we have hung rebar (to give the concrete tensile strength)

You can see the kickers which old the forms plum and straight. Many many kickers

The concrete is poured … in the night a vandal has visited to leave his mark…

The forms are removed and we add another inch of insulation around the footer.

For the full story on how that gravel made it into the forms, see Rob’s NY Times blog

Sil plates are added to the top of the concrete. We used borate treated 2×4 underneath. We are using the plates to raise the bales off the concrete to stop moisture getting into the bales , there are two separate plates to stop thermal bridging.

So that is the foundation finished, now we are ready to go vertical!

Next week will see big changes on the project as the framing and roof will go up, so check back soon for progress….

But for now I leave you with ‘The Brooklyn Bicep”
Sweet dreams

Oh Em Gee

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