Two ICF Foundations, Two Days, Two Men

Jamieson Merrit, President, Arbutus Point Developments Ltd., is a green custom home builder located in West Vancouver, BC.

He recently completed two foundations on a small island in Howe Sound, BC. The foundations included all footings, 12 exterior rectangular columns, interior footings and skim coats. Jamieson began Wednesday morning and poured Friday morning.

The project was complicated by its remote location as all materials had to be barged in.

Howe Sound Island

Howe Sound Island

This small island, just over a mile long, is located about 15 miles west of the city of Vancouver, at the entrance to Howe Sound.

The thirty co-op owners have cottages typically with wooden posts and pads to support the floor structure. However the damp climate and rising ground moisture causes the posts and floor systems to rot over time.

As well, muscrats find holes in the wooden skirting and bring their clams and crabs into the crawl space to enjoy a dry meal.

The smell of the rotting leftovers is too much for some of the island residents.

Cottage and Bunk house

New Cottage & Bunk House

"Our cabin had sadly met the end of it's life", said Jamieson. "We wanted a new cottage with a permanent foundation that would be 'muscrat unfriendly."

His plans called for a main cottage with 830 square feet on the main floor and 570 square feet upstairs, with a bunk house located about 40' north with 390 square feet on one floor.

The two buildings were designed by Osburn/Clarke Productions of Vancouver, BC, a firm specializing in remote location homes. Project engineer was Andy Gray of Inform Engineering Ltd.

Pouring the Bunk House skim coat

Fab-Form Monopour

"I was attracted to the monopour because it allowed me to pour the fooings, wall, interior footings and skim coat all in one go."

As the footing is formed with Fastfoot®, there was no lumber in the concrete - and no future rotting.

Fastfoot® is a damp proof membrane so ground moisture can't wick up into the crawl space. This is important as the homes are unoccupied for half the year.

"The speed and light weight of the system was also very appealing. As the foundation is completely pre-manufactured, the only site work was the erection of components and form alignment. We began the foundations Wednesday morning and poured Friday."

Unloading concrete from barge

Foundation Design

The design was restricted by the volume of concrete carried on the barge: three concrete trucks, each with 9 cubic meters.

Jamieson wanted as much storage space in the main cottage crawl space as possible: so the height was set at 46" (40" stem wall, 8" footing less the 2" skim coat).

In the bunk house, the crawl space height was reduced to 28" to save concrete.

In addition there were 12 rectangualr columns supporting porch overhangs requiring more concrete.

Concrete was supplied by Lafarge and placed by Jim's crew at Sutherland Concrete and AJ's Concrete Pumping.

The 80' x 32' barge was loaded high with construction materials in Horseshoe Bay, West Vancouver for delivery to the Howe Sound Island.
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