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- Storm-Ready Design > Episode 2: Building a Reinforced Concrete House
Building a Reinforced, Solid-Pour Concrete Wall
Project: Storm-Ready Design, Episode 2, Part 3
Bob recaps construction of the stem-wall foundation and integral concrete slab, the vertical steel reinforcing, steel mesh, window bucks, headers, and spacers put in place for the cast-in-place concrete walls. Cameron Parker and the crew of Solid Wall Systems spray the aluminum wall forms with an organic oil spray to prevent adhesion from the concrete and set the forms for the pour. Bob joins Wayne Sallade, Charlotte County Emergency Manager, to review cleanup, demolition, and repair one year after Hurricane Charley. sallade explains that housing built in the 1960s through the 1980s, before the Florida Unified Building Code, had stick framing, gable roofs, and siding. "It didn't stand a chance," he says. Looking at surviving 1920s Florida architecture, it's clear that unified construction, concrete walls, protected windows, and hip roofsare the way to design wind-resistant homes. Back on site, bob watches the pour, learns how the walls and window openings will be vibrated to eliminate voids, and sees the bracing set to hold the walls square before leaving the site to let it cure overnight. Once the forms are removed, Jesse Gonzalez explains how a traditional three-coat Florida plaster job will complete the exterior once the structure has cured for two weeks.
- Part 1: Setting Aluminum Forms for Concrete Walls and Foundation
- Part 2: House Failures in Hurricanes
- Part 3: Building a Reinforced, Solid-Pour Concrete Wall
- Bob is joined on the site of the Punta Gorda, Floridaa, storm-ready home by Jim Crain of Precise Forms. Precise Forms partners with Mercedes Builders to create high quality, reinforced concrete homes throughout Florida.
Precise Forms began in 1967 by supplying cast-in-place forms for subterranean foundations and basements. In 2000, they began to set forms for full wall, cast-in-place houses for Mercedes Homes.
Once the forms are set, Bob walks through the layout with Jesse Gonzalez of Mercedes Homes. Gonzalez points to window placements that are encapsulated behind the aluminum forms as they walk past view windows in the family area, past the three bedrooms, bath, laundry, and two-car garage of this four-bedroom home with master suite.
Mark Newton of Solid Wall Systems joins Bob as the pour begins. He explains that they are using a 2,000-pound psi, small aggregate concrete mix for the entire pour. We watch as the concrete is pumped into the forms, which are braced at the top by two-by-fours that hold the tops of the forms square to prevent movement as the forms receive the static pressure of the concrete.
Newton explains that they will vibrate around all door and window openings before allowing the concrete to set. This will help eliminate voids, honeycombing, or any blowout due to bad adhesion or conformity of the concrete.
- Part 4: Removing the Concrete Wall Forms and Planning the Plaster Finish
When hurricanes strike again and again, as they did in Florida in 2004, the effects are devastating. Bob Vila and crew work to completely rebuild a damaged house, using new standards for storm-ready housing. Along the way, Bob investigates a home's vulnerabilities in extreme weather and learns why some building systems fail and others succeed.
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