Placing a Concrete Foundation on Rigid Foam Insulation

Posted on April 28,2015 by blueworker in concrete slab

It should go without saying that any high-performance building should be built on a solid foundation. So why would we set our building on a layer of foam insulation? The answer, of course, is to limit thermal bridging. Those bridging effects can cause a significant amount of heat loss through the mass structure at the base of the building. By thermally isolating the building foundation from the ground, building performance is improved, not only from an energy performance standpoint but also in terms of comfort and moisture management.

Construction Begins — and We Encounter a Few Snafus

Posted on April 28,2015 by user-961160 in capillary break

[Editor's note: Roger and Lynn Normand are building a [no-glossary]Passivhaus[/no-glossary] in Maine. This is the 22nd article in a series that will follow their project from planning through construction.]

Video: A Passivhaus Foundation

Posted on April 28,2015 by GBA Team in capillary break

Scroll down this page to see a construction site video of the Karuna House in Yamhill County, Oregon, showing the installation of capillary break material on top of the footings to prevent moisture from wicking up the foundation walls. The Karuna House was designed by Holst Architecture and is being built by Hammer & Hand of Portland, Oregon.

Video: Installing Rigid Foam Under Footings

Posted on April 28,2015 by skycat12 in foam under footing

This construction site video of the Karuna House in Yamhill County, Oregon, demonstrates installation of a geofoam foundation that will superinsulate the bottom of the building envelope and help the project achieve Passive House and Minergie-P-ECO certifications. Lead Carpenter Scott Gunter narrates the process of:

  • screeding out gravel,
  • back dragging with rake as needed,
  • compacting gravel,
  • marking outside foundation wall line on foam,
  • setting and aligning geofoam, and
  • drilling and pinning geofoam into place.

Foam Under Footings

Posted on April 28,2015 by user-756436 in footing

A wide variety of residential foundation types, including monolithic slabs, crawl space foundations, and basement foundations, can lose heat due to poorly detailed insulation at the concrete footings. That’s because many construction details, including some details on the GBA Web site, fail to address thermal bridging through foundation footings.

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