Building SIPsmart: Concrete Forms

Reader Contribution by Michael Morley
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Michael Morley is posting regular updates about his progress building a unique green home with structural insulated panels (SIPs). You can find previous posts here.
Progress is being made at the job site. On Tuesday, March 2, the excavator dug trench footings in at the site. The engineered building pad, made from recycled, crushed concrete, allowed for nice clean trench sides with no cave-ins. The next day Burlingame Concrete Company sent a crew who installed 2 inches of rigid foam on the exterior of the trench and poured all the footings in one morning’s work.

On Friday, I gathered materials and took stakes, 2×10 boards and needed equipment to build the concrete forms. Double checking our setbacks and layout, I moved the building concrete forms to the east about 6 inches to give us a 5 foot setback on the west side. This offset means the slab cantilevers slightly over the footing on the east side. To compensate for this, I am digging an extra 12 inches into the fill and creating a reinforced grade beam on the east side. We finished installing the formwork as the rain started this afternoon.

Our plumber installed the underground drain system and the PEX main water supply on Sunday. It passed inspection today and we had ¾ inch crushed, recycled concrete fill to bring the subgrade up to the elevation needed to pour the integral colored concrete slab as soon as the rains stop. The photo is from Sunday at the end of the day.

Click below to see a short video showing work on the site.