Shakespeare Homes, the Poetry Project

This project by Shakespeare Homes is the first Energy Star home in the District of North Vancouver, BC. This 5,200 ft2 three storey home (including inground living area) plus an 800 ft2 coach house is unique in several respects. The design is reminicent of Frank Loyd Wright's Robie House, with a low pitched roof and generous overhangs, ideal for rainfall protection near the north shore mountains. Designer is Alex Voth Design Consulting of North Vancouver, BC

Cross section of Shakespeare home
Achieving the energy star rating

With rainfall levels near the North Shore mountains of over 60 inches per year, taking precautions to prevent ground moisture wicking into the foundation concrete is essential. As can be seen in the photo above, three precautions have been taken by Shakespeare Homes:

  1. First, a 6" granual layer has been spread over the bottom of the excavation. This ensures that ground water will never be in contact with the bottom of the concrete footings:
  2. Second, the footings were formed with Fastfoot® damp proof membrane which prevents ground moisture wicking into the concrete. Had the footings been poured without the membrane, the concrete would have flowed into the granualr layer, enabling rising damp;
  3. Third, Shakespeare is using the Nudura® ICF that in itself prevents ground moisture from entering the concrete wall itself.

Note that the Nudura® blocks fold down flat, taking up minimal space on the job site. Even the corners (far end) fold down flat.

Set up bracing

After four levels of Nudura® have been installed, the framer installs the two rows of Zonts™ around the perimeter along with the walers and strongbacks. The walkway can then be built, enabling the top layers of block to be installed along with the floor ledger board (see photos below).

Drone view

This drone view provides an excellent perspective of the formwork as the concrete is being placed. The Nudura® formwork provides an effective R-value of 24, exceeding the value required to achieve the Energy Star rating.

With the District of North Vancouver, the building offset is measured from the outside of the concrete. Therefore space savings of 3" (70 ft2) are obtained over a plywood formed concrete wall with an interior 2x6 stud wall. Furthermore the stud wall is prone to mold growth next to the damp concrete wall. With Nudura® you achieve a warm and dry living area.

Close up drone view

The concrete is placed in 3' lifts around the perimeter of the foundation. It is recommended to place the concrete near each corner and let the concrete flow into the corner.

Ledger detail

This photo shows the attachment of the ledger board to the inside of the ICF: the EPS foam has been removed around each anchor bolt, thereby allowing direct contact between the ledger board and concrete. As the polypropylene ties run the full height of the Nudura® block, there is no danger of settlement: hence the height of the ledger board will remain exact both before and after the pour.