A Blueprint for Better Building

Follow these simple steps to create strong, beautiful and energy-efficient buildings.



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The author's model shows the workshop as it will look after completion.
LEN CHURCHILL
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The greatest value of a scale model is the peace of mind it offers you.
STEVE MAXWELL
PexAlPex
Orange PEX-AL-PEX pipes will be covered in concrete to form the radiant floor heating system.
STEVE MAXWELL
ICF
The author chose insulated concrete forms (ICFs) for his foundation because they are easy to work with and offer good energy performance.
STEVE MAXWELL
compactor
A walk-behind earth compactor ensures that poured concrete floors won't crack due to settling of the underlying fill.
STEVE MAXWELL
concrete pier
Concrete piers are a good, inexpensive choice for foundations in some situations.
STEVE MAXWELL
SIPEdge
The edges of strucutral insulated panels (SIPs) are recessed to accept wood.
STEVE MAXWELL
frame
Cut in basic shapes, SIPs serve triple duty as the framing, insulation and sheeting for the walls and roof of the author's workshop. Notice how the roof sections have been numbered for easy placement.
STEVE MAXWELL
SIP
Looking sort of like an ice cream sandwich, these structural insulated panels (SIPs) are made of foam and oriented strand board. Highly energy efficient, they also are easy to use; just cut them to your desired shape and hoist them into place.
STEVE MAXWELL
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Steve Maxwell.
ROGER YIP











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