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Building Matters

Benefits of Building with ICFs

Builder Josh Salinger explains how and why he's creating the foundation for this new energy-efficient home out of insulated concrete forms.

Josh Salinger, owner of Birdsmouth Design-Build, is on-site in Portland, Ore., to discuss the benefits of using insulated concrete forms (ICFs) to build a foundation for a small, energy-efficient building. ICFs are modular concrete forms that permanently remain in place to provide insulation for the structure they enclose. The ICFs are used instead of traditional forms for pouring a concrete wall. Each ICF block consists of a pair of expanded polystyrene (EPS) rigid-insulation slabs separated by plastic struts to create a void for pouring the concrete.

This project is on an net-zero-energy accessory dwelling unit (ADU), which will be a secondary housing structure built on the back of this single-family residential lot. ADUs are often rented out and used as supplemental income. Other times, they’re used for expanding families. In this case, the ADU will be be a home for grandparents who want to live closer to their children and their newborn grandchild.

Check back soon to see more videos by Josh about the construction of this home.

2 Comments

  1. Paul Kuenn | | #1

    What's going on above in the sponsored content?? No links.

  2. Robert Theberge | | #2

    I don't get Josh's detail under the doors for breaking thermal bridging...any chance could see a cross section drawing of that detail? Does the door threshold sit directly on foam?...or is there a 2x sill plate there somewhere?

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