Author Topic: 21st century Foundations  (Read 3349 times)

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Offline John Raabe

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21st century Foundations
« on: June 04, 2013, 10:32:07 AM »
I've done a short article on a couple of new materials that combine ICF foam foundation blocks with a bag footing and micro rebar. This, and the products that will likely follow, may become more widely adapted over the next few years. Especially if cost savings and the reduction of required building skills is actually proven in the field. Click the image below for the article and come back to leave comments or catch typos.


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Offline hpinson

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Re: 21st century Foundations
« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2013, 08:08:15 PM »
This looks like it could save great effort and expense.  Is it actually available? is the cost reasonable?  Are local concrete contractors willing to learn and adopt the metal micro-bar binder technology-- which seems rather brilliant? 

So many innovative or green products are vapor -- existing only on the drawing board, or existing but cost prohibitive, or unavailable due to lack of distributers.

I would seriously consider using this for a build if it were available and cost effective. Setting the forms up seems like it would be easy with a crew of 2.  The result would be an insulated foundation and no wasted wood forms used just once.

Just went through something similar with a concrete cellulose block product called Timbercrete, which has great promise but is essentially unavailable, due to bottlenecks in production and a non-existent distribution network.  I'm trying to imagine our local rural concrete suppliers even considering working with the Microbar. 

Not sure if this is a path worth pursing for a small build, or a technology that is just not mature enough for use by the small builder yet.

Thoughts?

Offline John Raabe

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Re: 21st century Foundations
« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2013, 09:28:03 PM »
I agree totally and had the same thoughts -- here's a clever idea that might become standard practice over the next decade. But.....

I have heard that the helix microbar system has been approved by some jurisdictions as a prescriptive design (ie: doesn't need custom engineering) - but I don't know where or how widespread that pattern is. If I were thinking about building with this I'd suggest you contact Helix and Fastform and see if there are any projects in your area that have been approved and/or built. That will give you some idea of who you're working with, what it might cost, and who the local folks are with experience.

I know the fellow who turned my on to this is a highly respected Canadian building researcher and a co-author of mine on a book we did together on Superinsulated Design and Construction techniques. He says the cost information he is seeing from builders looks to be saving closer to 25% on this system over standard construction.
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Offline Rob_O

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Re: 21st century Foundations
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2013, 05:48:53 PM »
The questions that came to my mind, as answered by internet sources

$3 per pound in 45# boxes FOB
9 lbs/yard for a slab, 15 lbs/yard for a wall/footer
You can pour a slab using the ICF blocks, from the video it looks like they poured the walls and slab separately 
The steel fibers settle with the aggregate, and do not stick up out of the slab

Not sure if this is a path worth pursing for a small build, or a technology that is just not mature enough for use by the small builder yet.

Thoughts?

I'm going to check on the local availability of this stuff and see where that takes me.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2013, 06:14:46 PM by Rob_O »
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Offline tmcmurran

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Re: 21st century Foundations
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2013, 11:23:34 AM »
We just poured our knee wall with this system minus the Helix Micro Re-Bar on the 17th of July.  http://countryplans.com/smf/index.php?topic=13199.0  We encountered no issues with blow outs or leaking.  We went with this system due to the issue with ground water and not wanting our footing and foundation to suffer down the road.  Our first impression of the system is positive, yet I would not recommend trying to go it alone as I did.  An extra set of hands would have been welcomed.

We bought directly from the manufacturer even though I am sure you could find a local distributor, but the support directly from the company is stellar. 
« Last Edit: July 19, 2013, 05:58:54 AM by tmcmurran »