Insulating the Foundation

Project: Greenhouse, Episode 3, Part 3

The custom-made steel uprights that will support the weight of the greenhouse arrive, and, soon after, they are attached to the foundation. Rigid insulation is also added to retain heat, even in the dead of winter. Bob takes a walk down Boston's Commonwealth Avenue for a look at two upscale solariums from the last century-- one at Burrage House, the other at Webster House.
Part 1: Attaching Steel Support Beams to the Foundation
Part 2: Burrage House Tour
Part 3: Insulating the Foundation
Bob and contractor Bob Ryley insulate the foundation of an attached solar greenhouse. They use two-inch-thick Dow styrofoam (extruded polystyrene) around the inside perimeter and across the soil surface. The area has been filled with a two-foot deep layer of crushed stone, which serves as a thermal storage mass.
Bob Vila heads to Cape Cod in the dead of winter to watch over the construction of a custom, high-tech greenhouse. The design and construction of a new addition to the front of an existing house afforded the creation of this conservatory and of a new front entry pavilion that features a mahogany pergola supported by limestone columns.

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