GBA Logo horizontal Facebook LinkedIn Email Pinterest Twitter Instagram YouTube Icon Navigation Search Icon Main Search Icon Video Play Icon Plus Icon Minus Icon Picture icon Hamburger Icon Close Icon Sorted

Community and Q&A

Monolithic slab in a cold climate

VD6P6KgxjS | Posted in Green Building Techniques on

I’ve been talking to an excavator who says that he has done quite a few monolithic slabs up here in Vermont, including one for his own home. I’m wondering if anyone else has used a monolithic slab in a cold climate and if so, how did they do it? I’m thinking that 4″ of foam insulation under the slab and another 4″ around the slab would work, but I wonder how far out it should go. I also wonder about what kind of vertical insulation to use around the slab perimeter. Any advice?

GBA Prime

Join the leading community of building science experts

Become a GBA Prime member and get instant access to the latest developments in green building, research, and reports from the field.


  1. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #1

    Yes, you can install a frost-protected shallow foundation in a cold climate.

    Here's a link to an article with more information: Frost-Protected Shallow Foundations.

  2. VD6P6KgxjS | | #2


  3. jklingel | | #3

    You can also go to and read their information on FPSF's. Do a search of "frost protected shallow foundations."

  4. dankolbert | | #4

    Alan Gibson wrote a good piece on his techniques in the April 2010 JLC.

  5. VD6P6KgxjS | | #5

    thanks for the resources!

  6. user-1122301 | | #6

    Frost-proctected shallow foundations are pretty much standard when building a house here in sweden. Here is an example of a type of foundation called supergrund: this on have a U value of 0.11 w/mk2 down to as low as 0.07 w/mk2.

  7. jklingel | | #7

    Tommy H: Very nice. For those of us wanting an edge beam, these would work real well. Does anyone know if these are available in the States? At one time, a builder here was tinkering w/ the idea of having these made here, but then changed his slab design.

Log in or create an account to post an answer.


Recent Questions and Replies

  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |