Building a First-Floor Slab and Walls with Concrete

Project: Building an Addition for an Elderly Parent, Episode 2, Part 2

The finished addition will look like the original traditional shingled home and be indistinguishable from the house, but the construction technologies and innovative products in use are anything but traditional. Bob talks with Ron Ardres from ReddiForm about their polystyrene blocks, or ICFs, that reduce steps and labor.  With contractor Todd LaBarge, Bob learns about Insul-Tarp and efficient concrete pours.  Jason McKinnon of Viega North America and Tim Cutler, of TJ’s Plumbing & Heating explain PEX tubing and radiant heat.  Jim Niehoff of the Portland Cement Association and builder Howard Brickman talk about the almost unheard of speed with which the addition is coming together and the anticipated energy-efficiency of the new building. By using concrete and foam construction for the footing, garage, first-floor slab, and walls, and also being used to set up for the upper levels of the addition, significant savings in time, energy, and cost are achieved.

Part 1: Building with Polystyrene Forms and Concrete
Part 2: Building a First-Floor Slab and Walls with Concrete
Bob talks with Ron Ardres from ReddiForm about the construction of the home's concrete-slab floor. First, sidewalls were erected using ReddiForm expanded polystyrene foam forms. Then, ten-inch-deep foam decking is laid down, forming a ceiling over the basement story. The decking is temporarily supported with falsework until the concrete sets. Steel is placed using stirrups between the grooves in the foam blocks. PEX tubing, used in a radiant heat application, is put down on top of the foam, which is then covered with a rollout mesh. Bob talks with Jason McKinnon of Viega North America and with Tim Cutler, of TJ's Plumbing & Heating about the PEX tubing. Last, the concrete for the first floor slab and walls is poured, all at once, thanks to the ReddiForm blocks. The sidewalls are supported by a vertical bracing and scaffolding system, which prevent the walls from being blown out during the pour.
Part 3: Pouring the Upper-Story Walls and Saving Energy with Concrete Construction
More and more homeowners are converting their houses into multi-generational homes for themselves, their children, and their aging parents. In Norwell, MA, Bob Vila meets a couple making room for a mother-in-law.