New Green Home Construction

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Well here we are in the beautiful Okanagan Valley of British Columbia, Canada.

Over the coming months we are going to showcase a New Home Build using some of the latest “Green” Technologies and Ideas.

The home is going to be an Owner/Build to show that the latest “Green” Technologies are within reach of anybody considering building a new home and are not only cost wise, but user friendly as well. The home will include an ICF(Insulated concrete form) foundation, SIP(structural Insulated Panel) walls, solar hot water heating that not only heats the home, but also the domestic hot water, solar panels and environmentally friendly building materials wherever possible.

Design, style and tastes all have an effect on the final product and while each of these can be taken to extremes, we will be using a balanced approach to maximize efficiency within the specific tastes of the Owners and site requirements of the location.

As the project progresses, we will update the status of the build with information and reasons behind material uses and construction procedures.

Foundation 


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Once the build site was prepped, it was time to build the foundation. We chose to use ICF(insulated concrete forms) supplied by Pacific ICF, for our project. The forms we used have an 8″ core with an R value greater than R22. Even though our design is for a slab on grade, the local building code required us to insulate the foundation. By using ICF, we not only achieved a great R value, but saved the costs of renting, shipping, installing and stripping concrete forms.  We also eliminated the labour of adding insulation after the foundation was completed.

The concrete used was supplied by one of the closest ready mix plant, approximately 11 kilometres away, to help minimize our overall carbon footprint. The concrete mix comprised of a product called flyash. Flyash is a by-product of coal-powered power generation plants. Once a waste product, it has found a second life in concrete as SCC (supplementary cementitious content). Cement producers have been substituting flyash in ready mix concrete as a partial replacement for cement powder, which helps reduce the demand for cement production, helping to reduce carbon emissions of the cement plant.

Depending on the concrete mix design, up to 50 percent of the cement portion of concrete could be replaced with flyash, although 15-20 percent is typical. Flyash also improves some of the performance aspects of concrete, such as improved sulphate resistance and better long term strength gain. In our foundation mix design, 20 percent of the cement content was replaced with flyash.

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