We’re getting started on the Rockwell Residence which will be our entry in this spring’s Green Home tour. It’s pretty extreme green for us, so I’ll be writing about the progress as it goes forward. We’ll be using Insulated Concrete Forms from Triangle PolySteel to do the sealed crawl space walls. There will be a unique dropped I-joist floor system to help the building sit low on the site and make the front door handicap accessible. The walls will be panelized and the roof will be a Cantilever Truss System so the exterior soffits will be the same elevation as the interior ceiling to help let in more light. The Sub-flooring will be WarmBoard heated by a combination of the solar hot water, an outdoor water furnace, and a Rinnai demand water heater.

Chapter one The PolySteel Sealed crawl…

The forms come off the truck.

The forms are so light we were able to carry them down the dirt driveway by hand.

Soil conditions were some of the worst I've seen. Giant granite boulders and soft black muck. The footings were engineered by by a soils engineer with extra concrete and steel. We built forms to get above the stone and mush and lined them with black poly as a capillary break to help keep moisture from wicking up into the concrete and into the crawlspace.

Once the footings are poured we laid out the shape of the foundation on the concrete with string and glued the first layer of forms to the concrete with spray foam. Brennen went around with a hammer drill and a 24" long concrete bit and set all the ½" by 18" steel pins to lock the concrete to the footings.

Steel in the forms.

Once we had the forms stacked up to finished height we tied in the rebar for the top course bond beam and the bent up the vertical steel and tied it all together.

Once the forms are set and loaded with steel we attach 2x10 bracing to the forms with long screws into the steel embedded in the foam. Then we braced down to grade and aligned the forms to the lay-out.

The day of the pour we were racing to beat an impending thunderstorm, the storm won but we were able to pour in the rain because we were pouring on top of concrete. Still it was cold and wet and concrete went everywhere. Here Bradley Yoder, our coach from Triangle Polysteel, shows us how it's done.

As the pour went on the rain subsided. We vibrated the concrete down into the forms and shoveled more and more into the top to keep them full. It was good to have a big crowd, and a special pleasure to have the home owner, Paul Rockwell, lend a hand in the big push.

Here Paul is running the hose from the concrete pump while Matt and Brennen vibrate the concrete down into the forms.

The next day, strippjng the braces and getting set up for the I-joist floor framing.

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