foundation

Placing a Concrete Foundation on Rigid Foam Insulation

Posted on April 27,2015 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.

Placing Concrete for a Passivhaus Foundation

Posted on April 27,2015 by acarango@me.com in Amherst

As they set out to build a single-family Passivhaus on Potwine Lane in Amherst, Massachusetts, Alexi Arango and LeeAnn Kim asked themselves, “Is it possible to live without burning fossil fuels?” One measure of success would be meeting their goal of net-zero energy performance. This is the third blog in a planned series.

An Old House Gets a New Thermomass Basement

Posted on April 27,2015 by user-1109645 in basement

To prepare our bid for a comprehensive renovation project in Cambridge, Massachusetts, we visited the old house several times. On one of the walk-throughs, we realized that the foundation was failing in many places. We therefore proposed to raise the house and replace the entire foundation. Raising this house was a challenging process, given the tight space and the existing condition of the house.

Foundations — Part 2

Posted on April 27,2015 by ChrisBriley in basement

Phil and I have returned to continue our discussion on foundations. In Part One, we covered slabs and frost walls, and in this part we cover basements and crawl spaces.

The Highlights:

**Do you really need a basement?** If there's no programmatic need for a basement (like the need for a workshop), then perhaps you can do without one. **Insulation: Inside or outside?** There are many reasons to insulate on either side. We weigh the pros and cons.

Foundations — Part 1

Posted on April 27,2015 by ChrisBriley in basement

Not too long ago I found myself in a deep conversation (pun intended) about frost-protected slabs with some other architects and building professionals. I was surprised at the energy surrounding the topic. We all seemed to have developed substantial differences in the details on our own and we were all learning from each other. I was equally surprised at how fresh this concept seemed — I mean, haven’t we been founding our wood structures on the ground for centuries now? Millennia, even?

How to Install a Foundation Drain

Posted on April 27,2015 by ScottG in drain

On its face, the location of a foundation perimeter drain seems like the simplest of details. The perforated drain line is run around the foundation next to the bottom of the footing. At least that's what many construction drawings show. But in some parts of the country, the drain is placed on top of the footing rather than next to it, and this discrepancy is at the root of Steven Knapp's dilemma.

Placing Concrete In Our ICF Foundation Walls

Posted on April 27,2015 by user-961160 in basement

[Editor's note: Roger and Lynn Normand are building a [no-glossary]Passivhaus[/no-glossary] in Maine. This is the 23rd article in a series that will follow their project from planning through construction.]

Construction Begins — and We Encounter a Few Snafus

Posted on April 27,2015 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 27,2015 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 27,2015 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.

High Performance Scopes of Work

Posted on April 27,2015 by Peterbilt in air sealing

What are Scopes of Work? Scopes of work (SOW) are part of the legal contract between the general contractor or client and the trade contractors, detailing exactly what must be done to complete his or her work and achieve the desired result, an assembly or system that works. A program of SOW connects the work of individual trades so that the work of each produces the desired result: a home that works.

How Did Water Damage this Brick Basement?

Posted on April 27,2015 by rwotzak in basement

In a [**recent discussion from our Q&A forum**](node/16524), Chris Ermides tries to determine what caused severe deterioration of a brick column in the basement of his Victorian home. Chris knows that his basement could use some moisture remediation, but he is puzzled that none of the nearby brick walls have similar signs of decay. Fortunately, the chimney that the column once supported is long gone, and the load of the adjacent beams rests comfortably on lally columns, but Chris is still determined to solve this mystery.

Efflorescence = Water Damage — Building Science Podcast

Posted on April 27,2015 by JoeLstiburek in brick

_This podcast series is excerpted from a two-day class called "Building Science Fundamentals" taught by Dr. Joe Lstiburek and Dr. John Straube of Building Science Corporation._

Ground Gutters

Posted on April 27,2015 by Mike_Maines in basement

The rubble stone foundation walls wept every time it rained, creating a dank, humid basement. The destructive power of ice dams, and a huge, overhanging elm tree created maintenance issues, leaving our clients unwilling to replace the gutters original to the old two-story house. The lot sloping to the rear left the downhill neighbors’ yards saturated much of the year. How were we going to solve these problems? By installing a ground gutter system.

The Perfect Wall, Roof, and Slab — Building Science Podcast

Posted on April 27,2015 by JoeLstiburek in Building Science

_This podcast series is excerpted from a two-day class called_ Building Science Fundamentals _with Drs. Joe Lstiburek and John Straube of Building Science Corporation. For information on attending a live class, go to [BuildingScienceseminars.com](http://www.buildingscienceseminars.com/) This week Dr. Joe talks about enclosure design principles of energy efficient buildings_

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