New foundations and slab-on-grade

The first step to Green home design and construction is deciding what sort of base you will rest it on. The Guide pages below help choose between slab-on-grade construction, traditional strip foundations with crawlspace and basement foundations - then show step by step how to build them better. 

Why basements flood and how to prevent that with a sump pump
Basements improvements

Why Basements Flood & How to Prevent Flooded Basements

Basements flood, full stop. As a hole in the ground similar to a swimming pool, once all is done to stop water getting in, we then need to remove any water with a sump pump, a sump pump battery backup & maybe a sump pump alarm to stop basements flooding… Spring flooding of basements is very common and most times can b…

Crawl Spaces or Slab on Grade Foundations?
Foundations and Basements

Slab on grade or crawlspaces, which is better?

One of the first decisions when building a home is what type of foundations to sit your home on - cold-climates, termites, problem expansive clay soils, insulation & vapor & radon barriers all need to be considered… What is the difference between a slab on grade & a crawl space? A slab on grade, or ‘frost protected sh…

Prefab frost-protected shallow foundation insulated form kit
Slab on Grade

Raft slabs - How to build Insulated Frost Protected shallow foundations (FPSF) on problem soils

How to build on sites with expansive soils, high water tables and poor bearing capacity… The soil conditions of some building sites are not suitable for a slab-on-grade foundation with a thickened-edge footing without first beginning with extensive and costly soil remediation. Opting for a raft slab in such conditions…

Slab on Grade

Finishing the exterior of an insulated slab-on-grade floor

Insulating the exteriors of basements and slabs leaves you with needed to finish the exterior. In this video you see an easy fix to have the exterior surface secured by set concrete, while avoiding any thermal bridges in the process… WATCH MORE sustainable building VIDEOS Once a decision has been made to choose betwe…

Slab-on-grade construction technical guide
Slab on Grade

Slab-on-grade technical guide

A slab-on-grade home or building is more affordable, more comfortable and more Eco-friendly. Here is a technical guide & design guide for construction of a slab on grade foundation… Slab-On-Grade Construction - Technical Guide   Deciding to build your home with a slab-on-grade foundation instead of a conventional base…

Step by step guide for slab-on-grade home construction
Slab on Grade

Slab-on-grade construction: the ecoHOME A to Z Slab building guide

How to build a slab-on-grade foundation saving money on basement frost walls for home construction with a Frost Protected Shallow Foundation… Slab on Grade foundation, detail design; the basics There are many different soil conditions and corresponding slab designs. This page is about how to build a thickened edge con…

Slab on grade or a foundation and basement?
Foundation choices

Choosing between a slab-on-grade or a foundation and basement

Outlining the benefits & drawbacks of slab-on-grade construction compared to basement foundations - As the first step of home design is deciding which foundations to build it on… Is a concrete basement or an insulated slab on grade the best foundation choice?  Traditionally, home construction often starts with a concr…

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New foundations and slab-on-grade

Traditionally in North America, home construction starts with a crawlspace or concrete basement foundation. Depending on the situation there are other options that can be more durable and affordable that will better protect your home air quality and energy efficiency - especially important for LEED, Passive House, ZNE or in the future Net Positive Energy homes.

The first factors to consider when designing the foundation of a home are lot size and soil conditions. When space is limited (with total footprint or height restrictions) a basement foundation may be the best option, but if space allows there is a strong case for avoiding basements altogether with a slab-on-grade foundation design.