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Just to clarify, the steel will be put up by JBS so we don’t need volunteer labor for that, but we do need to begin building crews for Phase 2 of the building where we have to put in all of the things that will allow us to occupy and use the building.
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. Traditional wisdom taught builders to place footings on undisturbed soil below the frost line. In short, the weight of a concrete footing plus a concrete wall plus a two-story house isn’t going to compress the foam insulation under a footing — not by a long shot.
Building scientist John Straube points out that when rigid foam supports a load, it can suffer from “creep” or deflection.
Rigid foam is often used under the footings of buildings with frost-protected shallow foundations. Just because rigid foam can support more weight per square inch than excellent soil, doesn’t mean that local code officials will understand the use of rigid foam under footings. According to a blog by Linda Whaley, Dan Whitmore “had a pretty big hoop to jump through when he went to the City of Seattle for a building permit for his Passive House. To avoid the problem of thermal bridging through concrete footings, many European Passivhaus builders are now using “insulated raft” foundation systems. Unlike many frost-protected shallow foundations, insulated raft foundations always include a continuous horizontal layer of insulation under the entire slab.
Insulated raft foundations usually have no wing insulation, depending instead on a deep layer of crushed stone to address the problem of frost heaving. Among the European manufacturers of EPS forms for insulated raft foundations are Isoquick, Supergrund, and Tomorrow’s Energy. For energy nerds obsessed with insulation details and the problem of thermal bridging, insulated raft foundations are aesthetically satisfying. Presumably an insulated raft design for a double-wall building would need a ring beam with a conventional footing outside the edge insulation of the raft to support the loads from the external walls and the roof ?
As long as the roof and wall loads are transferred to the concrete foundation, the foundation will work. I was concerned about the thermal bridge which would occur if the outer frame were to sit directly on the raft. If you want to build a double stud wall with the outer wall bearing the roof load, then obviously the outer wall needs to bear on concrete. It's certainly possible to have the siding NOT be coplanar with the foundation stucco -- I've seen it. To me, it makes more sense to have the inner stud wall bear on the concrete footing, and to use Larsen trusses or exterior rigid foam to thicken your wall. Would it be sensible to build a Thermomass dwarf wall to carry the wall loads and sit this on the insulation with the inner wythe of the Thermomass wall acting as the form for the floor slab? An aside to Interested Onlooker: I'm curious as to why Robert Riversong advises against Larsen trusses in seismic zones. It seems to me, one of the benefits of insulation on the outside of the building foundation is moisture control.
Martin, I was thinking more along the lines of a modification to how the majority of new homes (full basement) are built in MN. I am building right now, and need foam products for a passive haus (home) which I am building. You already included some great links in the article, but below are a few more for anyone that is interested in taking a look. I look at these systems, get really excited, then realize this is impossible to protect the stud wall from termites.
A couple days ago we sat down with a local ICF manufacturer and asked about having custom formwork created for footings. We are currently working on another design to meet Passivhaus standards, this time planning on slab on grade. The physical properties of EPS are defined by ASTM C578 Standard Specification for Rigid, Cellular Polystyrene. The EPSMA site also lists its members who can provide a custom cut form of any shape you can draw. Most EPS block molders also have the capability of incorporating a borate solution during the manufacturing process to assist in the protection against carpenter ants and termites. I suppose you could try to find an interested researcher at the NAHB Research Center, which is responsible for the document. As usual with these types of discussions, many subjects get involved and ideally will all be integrated to get the best overall performance. I am currently working on a passivhaus design in Michigan and looking at all these considerations with the architect. Some very interesting research from the manufactured home industry is worth mentioning here. It shows us that the "wing insulation" discussed in the FPSF guidelines can be ignored, you don't have to dig down at all, (except to remove organic material), and any gravel intended to drain water away is unnecessary. Depending on the type of soil, frost heave will only occur when the moisture content is above roughly 15%.
Since the wing insulation is only to keep the soil below the shallow footing or slab edge warmer than 32F, if the footing or edge rests on on dry soil, you don't need to keep it warm. If all the perimeter surface water is directed away from the house, no water gets underneath to freeze. This approach also means you don't have to rely on the heat from inside the home to prevent foundation freezing. Note that you should still completely insulate the bottom and sides of the slab for energy reasons. Here's the press release for the report, but I guess you have to pay for the actual report.
Lot's of "ifs" in your post, I like gutters on all of my projects with long extensions to get rainwater away from the building. Luckily, there are people like you who show the right way to go: "passive house once, passive house for ever" as our austrian friends from Vorarlberg say. Merci aussi pour cette perspective historique: "En outre, nos amis americains ont ete semble-t-il, impressionnes par l’equipe allemande lors du dernier Solar Decathlon.

Under the SBRA guidelines, water management maintenance remains extremely import for long term success. Wing insulation may have helped deflect that water out a couple more feet and prevented the damage. Another advantage of a raft-style slab is that it is high up on the site, above the mud that might occur from long-term bad drainage. Well, I'm sold that the load bearing capacity is no problem for foam, but how about lateral behavior? Well, it's too late to consider foam under the footings for our 18X21' bump out addition, we poured them about two weeks ago. The foundation wall has conventional damproofing applied to the exterior (Premier brand masonry coating applied with a roller) and of course footing drains on both sides of the footings (exterior and under slab).
Lots of people have insulated the interior of basement walls with Thermax, and found that the walls perform very well. You are right, we can likely get an engineer to approve it, but that does not address the economics and energy efficiency of the idea. I have 15 years field experience in the pest management industry as well as owning my own pest management business.
House Foundation Term Anchor Bolt is a large metal bolt, which is embedded in the outside perimeter of most concrete foundations. House Foundation Term Rebar refers to steel rods, which are put in footings and grade beams in a concrete foundation. House Foundation Term Brick Ledge is normally depression placed in the outside perimeter of the house wherever brick will be located. Back FillHouse Foundation Term Back fill means the process of back filling against a form, retaining wall, bulkhead etc..
The Concrete FactorConcrete is one of the main building products used in the construction of a house. Bull FloatBull float is tool that is used to level concrete after it has initially been poured.
With the foundation wall at room temperature, the footing acts as a thermal bridge that allows heat to flow from the concrete block wall to the soil.
Whether the amount of heat leaking through a concrete footing is enough to worry about depends on your climate and your performance goals; if you hope to achieve the Passivhaus standard, such a thermal bridge is clearly a no-no. If footings are properly designed for the soil at your building site — an exercise based on either soil testing and engineering calculations or rules of thumb and local knowledge — then such undisturbed soil should be able to support the weight of the building, with a healthy margin of safety. So logic doesn’t support the traditional assumption that foam is squishier than undisturbed soil. For example, Thorsten Chlupp, an Alaskan builder and author, has installed as much as 12 in. For example, the NAHBNational Association of Home Builders, which awards a Model Green Home Certification. Several architects and builders have had to engage in negotiations over the issue with local code officials; among those who have been successful are several in Washington state, including architect Rob Harrison of Seattle, Tessa Smith of the Artisans Group in Olympia, and Dan Whitmore of Blackbird Construction and engineer Carissa Farkas, both of Seattle. There is a continuous horizontal layer of rigid foam under the entire slab, as well as vertical insulation at the slab perimeter; all of the foam locks together.
I am envisaging a construction in which the outer frame carries all the live and dead loads on (and of) the roof, the exterior walls and the windows. If you are choosing an insulated raft foundation, it only makes sense to plan your walls so that the load paths are well supported.
That means that your siding won't be coplanar with the stucco coating used to protect the foundation foam, unless you install rigid foam of the same thickness on the exterior side of the outer stud wall. I have accepted Robert Riversong's advice against using Larsen trusses in seismic areas (the house is destined for Cascadia) and have followed his suggestion of using independent load paths for roof+exterior wall and floors+interior wall.
There are hundreds of ways to build foundations and walls, and each way has advantages and disadvantages. Isolation of the building from the damp earth would help greatly in controlling humidity in an airtight building.
I understand the warm side (inside of the foundation wall) and under the slab, rigid insulation system for a full basement, my question is on exterior foundation wall insulation. We are currently awaiting city approval on an EPS "raft foundation" for an ADU in the Portland, OR area. I live in Oklahoma, one of those crazy mixed climate areas, that needs termite protection and could really benefit from slab edge protection on our monolithic edge foundations, but the termites keep us from doing it. When I was a kid, one of the bible songs I learned was about the three guys who built three houses, with the foolish man building his on sand. However, in an air-tight and super-insulated home, the heat loss through an uninsulated slab or perimeter thermal bridge could easily match or exceed the heat loss through the roof of wall system.
XPS for the walls simply because of the higher R-value, and to keep any atmospheric derived vapor (e.g. I have seen amazing infestations in XPS in contact with wood framing (flat roof used as balcony). For EPS, I believe that advertised number is at 10% compressive resistance, ie, deformation. The listed capacity on foam is usually not a design value-- it is the load the foam can take right before it fails or deforms to an unacceptable limit.
Even though we can purchase tool shed pre made design, but without enough skill, we will not finish job fast. This depression is created by attaching a 2x6 piece of lumber flat-ways in the side of the foundation exterior vertical form. It is used sometimes in concrete mix when the finish is to be exposed.Form BoardsHouse Foundation Term Form boards are boards that are used to form up or build the form used to hold in the concrete until it has set up and become hard.
For example, steel studs in an insulated wall dramatically reduce the overall energy performance of the wall, because of thermal bridging through the steel. However, as long as the creep is consistent, the building sitting on the foam shouldn’t suffer harm. Research Center publication, “Revised Builder’s Guide to Frost Protected Shallow Foundations,” recommends the use of XPS under the footings of unheated buildings. After the concrete is placed, the foam forms stay put, just like the forms of an ICFInsulated concrete form.

On subsequent projects we've moved to a stud wall bearing conventionally on the foundation, structural sheathing as air barrier, with Larsen trusses blown with cellulose hung off the exterior. Seattle is zone 3, and almost all Passivhaus building designs I've seen in this area use we we're calling Larsen trusses. If a conventional footing and foundation wall is used, would one have to wrap the footing with rigid insulation? I like to insulate with rigid on the outside of the foundation wall and under the basement slab, could this system be improved by wrapping the footing with rigid insulation from a thermal and moisture control standpoint? Has anyone really determined a good way to address this on a shallow frost protected foundation?
In the Midwest we have had some hellish rains in the last few years so I would say whatever foundation type you choose, install gutters with 3" x 4" downspouts and extensions.
Car le mouvement vers plus d’efficacite energetique a ete amorce au USA a la fin de annees 1970 et au debut des annees 1980, grace a des pionniers tel que William A. Beyond 5% compression is where you start to get out of the elastic limits of the foam, and by 10% the foam will not rebound. However, I did not ask about the consequences of putting the vapor barrier right under the slab. With a full basement and interior foam on poured concrete walls that is continuous with sub slab foam, would there be any reason to be concerned? The distance in which the concrete drops from the original height once the cone is removed is considered the slump. When the concrete is poured, it will be screeded off level with the top of the 2x6 and exterior form board. After the concrete has set up, the forms are removedFoundation WireHouse Foundation Term Foundation wire is used as a re-enforcement for concrete slabs.
Towards the end of a project, the back filling is done to bring the soil up to final gradeFoundation EmbedsHouse Foundation Term Foundation embeds are structural pieces which are poured in the concrete when the foundation is poured. Highly insulating, water-resistant rigid foam insulation that is widely used above and below grade, such as on exterior walls and underneath concrete floor slabs.
The concrete thickness and the rebar schedule are designed to support the loads imposed by the perimeter walls and any interior bearing walls.
Hollow insulated forms, usually made from expanded polystyrene (EPS), used for building walls (foundation and above-ground); after stacking and stabilizing the forms, the aligned cores are filled with concrete, which provides the wall structure.
North American builders who want to build an insulated raft foundation can choose from two approaches: they can purchase components from Bygghouse in New Jersey or Legalett in Canada, or they can cobble together foundation forms using ordinary XPS or EPS panels held in place by conventional removable foundation forms. Shurcliff ou encore de la construction du Rocky Mountains Institute par Amory & Hunter Lovins. Perhaps below-grade, against concrete, is no issue, and way below-grade even less of an issue. Assuming the poured concrete wall is sound an insect would have to descend 8' or so to reach any foam insulation. The greater the distance, in which the concrete drops, the higher the slump and the wetter the concrete mix. If you encourage a basement wall to dry to the interior, you are inviting a lot of moisture into your home.
I got info on this from the Insulfoam (EPS) web site, and by talking to a cat who does compression testing of foam. Or, again with a full depth basement, could exterior rigid insulation be protected using a membrane such as Bituthene? Once the framing starts, these bolts are used to anchor the bottom plates to the foundation. XPS has higher density and R-value and lower vapor permeability than EPS rigid insulation.) insulation like Dow Styrofoam or Owens Corning Foamular has a compressive strength of 25 psi. For example: EPS foam with a 40 psi compressive resistance (I believe that is what is called "40 psi foam") supports 35 psi at 5% but only 15 psi at 1%.
This foundation wire is also called wire mesh and is placed and tied across the whole area of the slab foundation after the poly is laidEdgingHouse Foundation Term Edging refers to the process of edging the concrete next to the form. The type and placement is directed by the structural engineer or architectStirrupsHouse Foundation Term Stirrups are rebar pieces that are pre-bent and are used to tie regular rebar to in order to form a particular shape. I'm putting insulation underneath the Advantech that will go on the slab and that's gonna have to do. This is done with an edging tool and creates a rounded edge on the outer perimeter of the slab or porch.
Just "bear" that in mind when you build and pick a compressive value that you are comfortable with. This will prevent cracking and chipping on the outer edge when the forms are pulled.Post Tension SlabHouse Foundation Term post tension slab uses sleeved cables instead of the convential rebar and wire mesh. Type of rigid foam insulation that, unlike extruded polystyrene (XPS), does not contain ozone-depleting HCFCs. These are placed and supported in the footings or columns.Floor DrainHouse Foundation Term floor drain is just as it states.
Then a factor of safety of 5 is commonly used , leaving us with a 5 psi design value for those loads.
Foam mfrs might claim the product is waterproof, but can it really withstand 10 years on moist soil? EPS insulation is classified by type: Type I is lowest in density and strength and Type X is highest. Floor drains are covered with a metal grate type cover, to allow water drain but prevent any trash from entering the drain.Soil MoistureHouse Foundation Term Soil moisture is stated as a percent based on the sampling. In the process of compaction, moisture is an important factor in determining the rate of compaction.

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