Green Foundations

Greenhouse - Green Home - Green Foundations

It is a proven fact that one of the most overlooked parts of building a home is the foundation. Some just assume that it would be ok to dig a ditch, pour four concrete walls, and call it foundation. This is far from the truth. The foundation has a bigger impact on the efficiency of a home than one may think. A well designed foundation can make a huge difference when it comes to controlling the heating and cooling of your home. Properly planned foundation can lower the costs of your heating and cooling bills as well as eliminate potential moisture and mold problems.

Mistakes - There are a few major mistakes or assumptions that people make when planning their foundations. First, the planning for the specific type of foundation you will be pouring should all be relative to the climate in the area you live. If you live in an area where it gets to freezing temperatures, you will want to pour thicker foundation walls than those homes built in warmer climates year round. The standard should be 8 inches for the perimeter and 12 inches for the slab. This will ensure proper regulating of heat flow in your home. You must always have energy loss on your mind when building a sustainable home.

Insulation - Insulation is another big factor that is often overlooked completely. If you just pour a concrete slab and call it a foundation than you will more than likely end up with cold rooms around the perimeter of your home. One way to prevent this problem is insulating your foundation with closed-cell foam insulation.

In some markets you cannot sell a home without a basement. So the building will put one in and doesn't make it a finished part of the home. Meaning - no special attention to the foundation, therefore no insulation. No insulation equals major energy loss. Foundations are definitely thermally connected to the rest of your home. Insulating your foundation can add up to considerable annual savings on your heating and cooling bills, and not to mention you will be conserving energy.

The solution will be to insulate your foundation at least 2 inches with closed-cell foam insulation. This will help keep the basement at a steady temperature as well help moisture proof your home. You cannot forget to insulate the slab as well. The slab is the ground of your home.

Controlling Moisture - Water can create problems for your foundation and then later down the road for your entire home. No matter where you live there will be water pressing on the foundation of your home. This pressure can cause tremendous stress on your foundation and eventually crack the concrete or seep through the cracks and into your home. Water seeping into your home is not only toxic, but creates a very fowl, musty smell.

Some wonderful ways to block the moisture from creeping into your home and causing damage will be to install a rubber based coating over the insulation foam which lasts longer than the more than often used asphalt based damp proofing which is typically sprayed on.

To have optimum prevention of water getting into your home, you will want to install a drain that runs the entire perimeter of the footing. You will want to place a 4 inch pipe and cover it with filter cloth to prevent it from clogging. The drains will carry water away from your home to help keep your basement dry.

If you are going to be building a beautiful home, why would you over look the foundation? The definition of foundation is the basis of groundwork for anything. Start off on the right foot and the rest will surely follow.