There are lots of reasons for builders to love concrete. It is a strong, durable, and affordable building material with uses everywhere from the foundation to the finished surfaces. There’s also one big reason for green builders not to like it very much at all: concrete comes with a big carbon footprint.
It’s easy to choose not to use concrete for a patio or countertop—for these details there are plenty of good alternatives—but more difficult to figure out how to get it out of the foundation of a home. One step some builders have taken is to eliminate it from the slab—including both slab-on-grade homes and basement slabs.
In recent months we’ve shown examples of this in homes designed by Michael Maines and Randy Williams, who were both part of the this week’s discussion on the same topic on The BS* + Beer Show. Other panelists included Steven Baczek, Architect; Steve Demetrick, Demetrick Housewrights; Elizabeth DiSalvo, Trillium Architects; Andy Engel, Roxbury Cabinet Company; Josh Salinger, Birdsmouth Design/Build; and Randy Williams, Northern Built Pro. We hope you enjoy the show.
- Andy Engel’s FHB article about a floating basement floor retrofit
- Steve DeMetrick and Steve Baczek’s article on a concrete-free basement floor
- Randy Williams’ reduced-concrete slab floor system
- Steve Baczek and Jake Bruton’s slabless slab
- Michael Maines’ reduced-concrete slab floor system in FHB
Brian Pontolilo is a former editor at Fine Homebuilding magazine and Green Building Advisor.
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