ICF walls Tag

MRB contracting, Clifton St., ICF

21 Nov Clifton St. | ICF walls

In the last Clifton St. update we talked about the footings. Since then the team has been busy assembling the ICF blocks for the basement. Aside from a few days of heavy rain, the project has run quite smoothly. ICF stands for Insulated Concrete Forms. There are several key benefits to using ICF. [list type="check"] ICF acts as a form for concrete, reducing the use of lumber normally used to form concrete walls Minimal (if any) air leaks and significantly reduced heat loss High insulation R-value No thermal bridges due to the continues insulation Better humidity regulation - especially important for a basement Sound absorption [/list]   Each row of interlocking ICF blocks is reinforced with steel. The steel runs in a continuous loop around the wall with minimal 30" overlap. The styrofoam blocks can be easily cut with a handsaw. The photo below shows the plastic webbing inside the blocks. The webing serves as a stabilizer and a placeholder for the steel bar. The excavation crew came back to connect the sewer lines. After the walls are complete, a system of scaffolding/bracing is erected. This scaffold will allow us to walk around the wall to fill the void with concrete. It also helps us straigthen the walls to ensure that everything is aligned perfectly before...

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MRB Contracting, Shoebox, Kingsburg, cladding, siding

23 Jul The importance of proper rain screening

What's a rain screen? Here's the Wiki definition: ..the rainscreen is the first interruption between conditions that exist on the outside of a walled building and conditions that are required on the inside of a walled building. [caption id="attachment_2577" align="aligncenter" width="510"] VentGrid rain screen provides a 1/2" air space between the moisture barrier and cladding.[/caption] Weather in the Maritimes is of often characterized by driving rain and gale force winds. Keeping water from entering behind exterior walls is practically impossible. A proper rain screen allows both drainage and air flow -ensuring that water drains and dries. We use various forms of rain screen depending on the cladding program. Below is an interesting abbreviated history of previous technology solutions that failed. Our friends over at Keel Agencies originally posted this article written by Dan Morrison for Builder Magazine. [caption id="attachment_2211" align="aligncenter" width="478"] 5/4" pressure treated strapping provides over an 1" of air space.[/caption] 1930s Paint peels off walls after wall cavities are filled with a new product — insulation. Because walls do not dry evenly in an insulated wall, moisture pushed its way outward. Result: Paint peeled off in sheets, first “insulation is evil" cries break the airwaves. Solution: vapor retarders, like kraft-faced insulation 1970s Vapor retarders graduate...

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machine

15 Apr New West End Reno

Last week we embarked on a West End Halifax renovation. Without giving it all away, we can tell you that the reno encompasses expanding the footprint of the home, updating the floorplan in the living area, and deleting an old (and I mean Old) shed from the backyard. Beneath the asphalt shingles on the shed roof were discovered slate shingles. Amazing! It was like being in Wales. The crocuses seem to thrive in spite of the crazy spring weather shifts and demolition happening all around. The old sky lights are gone. Next, the entire roof line will come down to make room for the expanded footprint. The new living area received a full basement treatment with ICF walls and FormADrain footings. A day or two more of demolition and the framing begins. Stay tuned for more updates!   photos by Omar Gandhi & Scott Billard  ...

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MRB Contracting, ICF construction

18 Feb MRB attends ICF training course

Last week a few of the guys attended an all day training session put on by Nudura - manufacturers of insulated concrete form blocks, otherwise known as ICF. ICF utilities EPS foam, plasctic and heavy gauge wire, to construct giant Lego-like buidling blocks that act as both concrete forms for walls and  insulators. While ICF technology has been around for over 20 years, it's only in the last few years that it's become a more mainstream building material. At MRB we like using ICF construction and we often use it for basements on new builds. EPS foam has very low VOC's (volatile organic compounds). It can be recycled and it's a flexible building material. ICF walls provide great insulation value by sandwiching a concrete wall between 2 layers of closed cell foam. The workshop was a great refresher for us and we're looking forward to our next ICF project.  ...

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MRB Cotracting, galva aluminum siding, halifax north end, renovations

11 Feb Ironstone updates

It's been a little while since we updated the Ironstone project. Essentially the projects entails a complete gut job of a 120 year old home in Halifax's North End. Most of the structural work on the interior is complete. Among other things, we will be doing some super insulation on this one to keep the heating bills ultra low. In between times the sleek cladding arrived and the boys got to work installing it. We chose a galva-aluminum cladding finished in white. The metal cladding stands in contrast to the sister homes on either side -both clad in wood. And yet the lines and styles are not dissimilar -providing the three row houses their own identities withing a modernist palette.         Even when it's crazy cold, Brian and Angus still find humor in a day's work.   If we can work outside all winter, we can ride our bikes to work. There's free bike parking out back.    ...

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MRB Contracting, Kingsburg, concrete forms

13 Sep Kingsburg 1: cured concrete & waterproofing

[caption id="attachment_921" align="aligncenter" width="510"] At the moment it's hard to see much. But not for long![/caption] The team returned to Kingsburg 1 to find soggy ground but no damage from Hurricane Leslie. So we set to work on removing the bracing from the ICF walls that we'd installed before pouring concrete. [caption id="attachment_919" align="aligncenter" width="510"] Rob likes working with concrete. He was looking forward to removing the forms to see what the piers looked like.[/caption] Just another day at the MRB office - building modern living in timeless viewscapes. [caption id="attachment_918" align="aligncenter" width="510"] Rob removed the bottom two thirds of each form -leaving the top sections braced. This will help the piers remain stable while we back fill the holes to the finished grade.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_920" align="aligncenter" width="510"] Here's a close up of the wood grain left on a concrete pier after the plywood form was removed.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_917" align="aligncenter" width="510"] The exterior of the ICF is waterproofed -first a membrane which seals the walls from the top down to the outer edge of the footing.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_922" align="aligncenter" width="510"] The second and final layer of waterproofing is a semi-rigid plastic sheeting called dimple board. The dimpled surface allows air flow between the two barriers. [/caption] [caption...

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MRB Contracting, Kingsburg NS, modern home, ICF walls, concrete forms

10 Sep Kingsburg 1: Preparing for Leslie/ concrete work

[caption id="attachment_884" align="aligncenter" width="510"] Thursday Sep 6th forecast[/caption] We are in the midst of Atlantic  hurricane season. Hurricanes tend to dissipate or veer off before they reach the Maritimes. But it's not always the case and being prepared is part of being a Maritimer. And so it was that we found ourselves staring down a giant red blob heading our way. By Thursday, most weather forecasters were sure we'd get a "direct hit." Without wasting any time the team worked hard to get the ICF walls in place and braced for concrete. The ICF walls create the foundation for the front of the home. The rest of the home rests on 9 concrete piers. We fabricated  concrete forms for the piers and erected and braced them for concrete. The concrete and pump trucks arrived in the nick of time. By days end our project was ready for whatever Leslie had to offer. [caption id="attachment_888" align="aligncenter" width="510"] Smitty and Scott debriefing on the installation technique[/caption] [caption id="attachment_896" align="aligncenter" width="510"] This photo shows the ICF wall and 9 piers braced and ready for concrete.[/caption] It's hard to imagine what the house will look like at this point. So stay tuned for more. This week we will be...

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