Constructing Footings with Fox Blocks Foundations
The first row of a Fox Blocks insulated concrete form (ICF) foundation sits on the concrete footings. Properly built footings are essential to a building's strength and durability. The ICF footings are responsible for distributing all the loads from the building to the ground. Appropriate construction of ICF footings is the first step in ensuring a building is structurally strong and durable.
Typically, building footings involve placing concrete into an excavated trench around the perimeter of the future structure and reinforcing with rebar. The objective of footings is to support the foundation and prevent settling. Footings are especially crucial in areas with troublesome soils. Placement of footings is essential to provide the proper support for a Fox Blocks ICF foundation and ultimately the structure.
ICF Footings Requirements
Because each construction project is unique, local codes mandate requirements for foundation footings. However, many local code authorities use the 2018 International Building Codes (IBC) and 2018 International Residential Codes (IRC) as the model codes they modify to suit local conditions and legal requirements.
Utilize a Local Structural Engineer for Footing Design
Many factors determine the design of the footings and foundation. Therefore, it is critical to consult with a local structural engineer to specify the load requirements and footing sizing for the location of the project. A qualified structural engineer is familiar with all the components that ensure strong footings:
- Code Compliance
- Soil Bearing Capacity and Soil Type
- Structure Loading
- Moisture Control
- Proper Reinforcing
- Frost Lines
Building Fox Blocks ICF Foundations Footings
Poured concrete footings support Fox Blocks ICF foundations. Fox Blocks recommends the following seven steps when building footings for an ICF foundation.
- Excavate a trench, deeper than the planned basement or crawlspace depth, around the perimeter of the home or building site. The footings support the foundation and prevent settling for the structure.
- Depending on the footing depth of the footings, wood can be used to form the footing.
- If the foundation area is prone to water retention, add a drain tile system around the perimeter to keep the foundation dry after completing construction.
- Place the specified rebar. The vertical rebar dowels will pin the ICF foundation walls to the footing. Space the vertical rebar dowels according to the building code and design requirements.
- Place concrete directly into the trench and footing formwork. Then, screed and level the concrete.
- After the concrete cures, remove the wood forms used.
- Lastly, place gravel around the footings for improved drainage. The footings are ready for installing ICF foundation walls.
The Benefits of an ICF Foundation
An ICF foundation ensures a building is structurally sound and that it will effectively transfer all the loads from the structure into the ground. An ICF foundation also anchors a building, which is particularly crucial in areas prone to earthquakes and extreme winds. A Fox Blocks ICF foundation offers several important benefits.
- The insulation qualities of Fox Blocks ICF foundation walls keep a structure cool in the summer and warm in the winter. ICFs have high thermal mass, provide a continuous air barrier, and have a high R-value.
- ICF foundations contribute to an energy-efficient structure.
- With a waterproofing membrane and a reliable drainage system, ICF foundation walls significantly reduce the possibility of moisture intrusion, and therefore the growth of mold and rot, which is unhealthy and can degrade a foundation.
- ICF foundations are durable and resist rot, which can minimizes the need for maintenance and repair of a structure.
- ICF foundations have the structural integrity to protect the building and its occupants from tornadoes, hurricanes, and other extreme weather events.
- ICF foundations are fire-resistant.
Strong and correctly placed footings are essential to a durable and sturdy Fox Blocks ICF foundation. ICF footings also prevent settling and can protect a building from natural disasters like earthquakes and tornados. Please visit Fox Blocks for more information on the correct footing placement to ensure proper support for a Fox Blocks ICF foundation.