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Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)
These two books are the perfect starting place to help you get to grips with one of the most vitally important aspects of our society - our homes and living environment.

PLEASE NOTE: A download link for Volume 1 will be sent to you by email and Volume 2 will be sent to you by post as a book.

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    • CommentAuthorTriassic
    • CommentTimeFeb 19th 2014
    As part of my proposed build we are looking at a semi basement, mainly because of the sloping site.

    Having watched a few videos on line, they make it look simple. Is it? Are some forms better than others? What would experience suggest to watch out for?
    All form manufacturers will have a long list of why their system is better than someone elses..... block systems are faster to install then plank systems, but plank systems are a lot more adaptable and cheaper to ship. EPS blocks are never as strong as XPS (strength is important when you want to vibrate them).

    Make sure your first course is accurately set out and level. The fewer the openings the quicker it will go up! Pre-build bucks for your windows and doors as soon as you know you are going ICF and you have a few hours spare. Rent bracing from your form supplier, make sure you have scaffold boards for it if the braces include a walkway or get trestles. Makita do a good battery poker, also a reciprocating saw is great for vibrating the forms.

    I would suggest low pours, 4ft ideally in a day, regardless of what claims manufacturers make about what others do and what their forms can hold. 8ft pours are very hard to do well and it is too easy to end up with aggregate at the bottom and cement paste on the sides of the formwork. Use a boom pump if at all possible, it will be worth the expense, even with multiple visits.

    Search for phil sacres basement expert website, he has gone off ICFs but there is still a lot of useful info there that will help you. Are you planning on doing it yourself?
    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeFeb 20th 2014
    I have seen the leak and my basement doesn't leak and I used hollow concrete blocks, major insulation inside them no tanking but a fail safe land drain below slab level
    • CommentAuthorTriassic
    • CommentTimeFeb 20th 2014
    The reason I ask is that a friend of mine is considering using formwork to create a concrete wall, which he will then insulate inside and out. I reckons this will be better than IFC as he will be able to pore the whole lot in one go and Is able to inspect cor defects before insulating. I'm wondering if Tony`s blockwork method would be simpler and cheaper.
    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeFeb 20th 2014
    I was for me a LOT cheaper
    HI . I can lend you my experience, rather errors. Wille is right.
    Few pointers , bitumen under the first brick, Decide on your window detail early, 3 G windows should be mounted in the insulation layer, need steel brackets or similar to mount . Air tight layer should attach to windows. Put plastic sheet or similar in concrete cavity to allow the window to connect to the air tight layer. Voids generally occur around windows and heads. I have pics of my errors and repairs etc if interested. Good luck
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