I never would have imagined that talking about foundations would stress me out this much!  Really, pour some concrete right?  Wrong… There is waaaay more to it than that!

We are looking at doing an insulated slab foundation.  Imagine a shallow bathtub made of foam insulation that is inset into the ground and pour concrete into it.  Then, add a some more foam insulation around the perimeter of the foundation as if the bathtub is wearing a skirt.  This skirt is the frost protection as there is no frost wall.  Kinda like this:

Well, as it turns out the National Building Code of Canada does not approve this type of foundation.  The code says that the footings need to be sitting on undisturbed soil…. not insulation.  Problem?  Possibly.  On PEI the National Building Code is only required to be followed in Stratford, Charlottetown, and, Summerside.  If you are within these jurisdictions you need to get an engineer’s stamp of approval before moving forward.  We are in a rural area that does not need to follow this but, I am also the type of person who needs to cross all my t’s and dot all my i’s.  If for some reason this design is not suitable for PEI I want to know why!

So, my question to all of you who may be reading… Do you have any experience with an insulated slab on grade or do you know of an engineer I might contact?  I don’t know where to start with this one!

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5 Responses to Foundations

  1. What you need is EPS that has a high compression rating, ie. GEOFOAM, use under highway overpass approaches and airport runways. This is standard for most Passive House Foundation, because it is a solid earth replacement.

    • rbpeters04 says:

      Hi George, thanks for the interest in our project! Our issue arose due to the inexperience of builders with this method, not with our desire to use it. However, we do have a builder that is very happy with this design and confident with the integrity of it. We are getting our EPS from a relatively local company (still in Atlantic Canada), Truefoam.

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