Laying the foundation for a Net Zero Ready multi-unit residential building

May 28, 2020

The cliche of laying a good foundation is true. As you can imagine, the foundation is one of the most important parts of any building. The entire structure rests on this, so if you ever end up with issues in the foundation, it cascades throughout the whole building.

In May 2021, our tradespeople laid the foundation for National Affordable Housing Corporation's Willowview Heights project. The basement crawl space was excavated and the footings were poured; sewer, water and storm lines were done; and we installed the ICF block that forms the foundation walls.

Thanks to SCS Contracting for doing the sewer and water lines, Janzen Earthscaping for the excavations, and 14 North Construction and Concrete Edge Construction for the ICF foundations.

Willowview Heights features the province’s first Net Zero Ready multi-unit residential building (MURB). One of only seven such projects nationally, the building will be studied to provide direction to the National Building Code of Canada. Read more about the project here.

Excavating what will be the Net Zero Ready building.

An important part of creating a Net Zero Ready building is insulation. ICF incorporates insulation so we don’t have to go back and add it again. Not only does this help with energy efficiency and performance, but it also makes for less time on site and therefore, fewer disruptions for our neighbours.

The insulated concrete form (ICF) system is made with rigid thermal insulation. These interlocking modular units fit together kind of like Lego bricks and are filled with concrete.

In a Net Zero Ready home like the Willowview Heights project, the energy efficiency of the ICF system is especially noteworthy. ICF foundations have minimal, if any, air leaks, reducing heat loss; and have a high thermal resistance value (R-value).

Once the ICF is installed, crews can pour multiple buildings in one day.

Once the foundations are ready, the next step is to bring in the modules that form the buildings, which is always an exciting and dramatic step in the process. As a modular build, parts of the building are constructed in a factory setting then shipped to the site, so it can seem as though the building springs up overnight. 

Read more:

breaking news
While Big Block is busy building like Bigfoot...
(Read also: blurry in photographs and causing double-takes when our beast of burden, the crane, makes a flash appearance in the outside world.)

. . . you can scout for more evidence of our expertise in community-minded housing development through our archive of multi-family and mixed-use residential construction projects.