Laying the foundation for a Net Zero 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.

Our tradespeople have been busy working on laying the foundation for the Willowview Heights project. The basement crawl space has been excavated and the footings have been poured; sewer, water and storm lines are done; and we installed the ICF block that’s going to form 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 will feature the province’s first Net Zero 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. The Net Zero units at Willowview Heights will be highly energy-efficient and any energy consumed will be offset by renewable solar energy generation. Read more about the project here.

Excavating what will be the Net Zero building.

An important part of creating a Net Zero 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 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.

Soon, we’ll be bringing in the modules that will 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. 


a construction revolution
Old-school ways of building are broken
Traditional construction methods are resource-heavy and inefficient, so we decided to change that.
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