WEEK 2: Construction is underway at the Proud Green Home at Serenbe, and the concrete footings have been poured! Next up...concrete stem walls, which happens tomorrow! After that, we're pouring the slab-on-grade.
Though we considered many good strategies to control heat, moisture and air, here is the foundation detail we are using.
Here are some photos of the preparation of the concrete footing.
The excavation crew started by staking the location of the footing. Then, they dug. As you can see in this photo, they had to dig deeper in some areas to allow for the stepped footing that was designed to accommodate for a sloping site.
Before they poured the footings, they put down a 6 millimeter thick polyethylene vapor barrier to prevent ground moisture from working its way up the foundation walls and in the home. Then, they installed the steel reinforcement to help strengthen the footings. The vapor barrier is also referred to as a "capillary break".
Keeping moisture out is the biggest durability issue to address during construction. As we continue to follow the construction of this house, we will show how we've addressed this issue around the entire exterior shell of the home (a.k.a. the building envelope or enclosure).
Following the checklists...
We are certifying this house as EarthCraft House, ENERGY STAR New Homes (Version 3.0), EPA Indoor Air Plus & EPA WaterSense programs. For each of the first three programs, we are meeting a requirements to provide a capillary break with the 6 mil poly. We will also be installing the drainage tile outside of the footing, which is also a requirement. Note in the detail above that we are using a relatively new product called E-Z Flow, an all-in-one drain tile and aggregate product that makes installation easy. More on this to follow.