• ICF house build in Adelaide

    G'day everyone.
    I am an owner builder in Adelaide, building a large ICF (Insulated Concrete Forms) house, using a system from Danish Constructions Insulbrick
    After seeing sundancewfs ICF extension project thread I thought I better start my own rather than hijack his.
    I will start with a few pictures of the work to date and go from there.
    If anyone has any comments or questions I will be happy to discuss them with you.
    So here goes.

    The start of the first slab, sewer trench cut and mid level main beam (27/8/2007)

    Bottom level slab (2/10/2007)

    First two beams in place, formwork stripped off drop piers, first row of blocks started

    Walls up to row 5 ready to be poured (6/6/2008)

    Ready for pour to full height (2/10/2008)

    Veranda columns and beams up (3/11/2008)

    Dwarf walls, ready for Bondek between slab on ground and suspended slab.

    I am true owner builder and I am doing as much of the construction myself as I can. These are the braces I made (50 of them) to hold the ICF in place until the concrete has been poured and set. They have already be hired out to 3 other jobs since my pour, so they are now paying for themselves. The material cost to make them was less than the hire cost in the first place so I think the time was well spent.

    Lifting steel beams using a 2 tonne chain block and a gantry frame that will eventually be cut down into veranda columns.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: ICF house build in Adelaide started by Belair_Boy View original post
    Comments 115 Comments
    1. Belair_Boy's Avatar
      Belair_Boy -
      Quote Originally Posted by sundancewfs View Post
      That's it! I'm buying a bigger welder!

      Managed to pick up a CIGWELD TRANSMIG 330 at auction the other week for $200.
      It didn't have a gun but I borrowed my mates and it welds like a dream.
      Just need to get a new gun for it and I will be in business.
      The wiring diagram inside the cover has deteriorated, so if anyone has the same machine I would really appreciate a copy for future reference.
    1. ringtail's Avatar
      ringtail -
      What a score ! I have a transmig 250 so I'm not sure if the diagrams would be applicable. Mine also has no remote feed but it might be worth a look
    1. Belair_Boy's Avatar
      Belair_Boy -
      .... it might be worth a look
      Thanks Ringtail

      Probably not too much difference between the 250 and 330 when it come to the actual welder if it has the course and fine voltage step selectors.
      Not really much to them when you look inside but it may come in useful if I ever have any problems.
      The remote wire feed has one small circuit board which would be a swap over if things went wrong but I am yet to use the stitch and spot functions so don't know if it would even be an issue.

      I just need to decide on a gun now and where the law of diminishing returns sets in.
    1. bratuliviu's Avatar
      bratuliviu -
      Hi Belair_Boy,
      What sort of turn buckles did you use for the braces? I'm building an ICF house in a suburb of Melbourne and I would love to build ~ 20-30 braces. Just not sure what sort of turnbuckle or tilt prop to use for adjustment.
    1. Belair_Boy's Avatar
      Belair_Boy -
      What sort of turn buckles did you use for the braces?
      G'day bratuliviu
      I didn't use a turn buckle for the brace adjustment but used a differential thread arrangement.
      A turnbuckle uses a right and left hand thread to lengthen (or shorten) when turned where as the differential thread arrangement only uses right hand threads. I didn't want to use a turnbuckle as they are more expensive than the threaded rod I used and the threads can be rather sloppy.
      By using two right hand threads but of different pitches turning one way has a lengthening effect and turning the other has a shortening one.
      I used standard galvanised threaded rod with a M20 (with a 2.5 mm pitch) on one end and a M16 (with a 2mm pitch) on the other. Thus one turn of the brace strut move the M20 end 2.5mm but the M16 end 2mm, resulting in a 0.5mm difference (either shorter or longer depending on the direction of turn).
      You have the effect of a fine pitch thread without the associated problems, eg keeping them clean and working on a building site.
      The brace strut has a M20 nut welded on one end and a M16 on the other so very cheep to make.
      I hope I have explained the principle clearly enough but if not I can draw a picture
    1. ringtail's Avatar
      ringtail -
      Crap, I was meant to get you a photo of the transmig wiring. Sorry about that. ASAP, promise.
    1. Belair_Boy's Avatar
      Belair_Boy -
      No rush Ringtail, whenever is convenient.

      I bought a gun for the welder and put it through its paces making up a trolly to help move a lathe I scored on gumtree.

      The trolly ready to position under the lathe, no time to paint this one. The wheels are the ones I used on my gantry.

      Ramps made from some UB offcuts bolted to the trailer. The lathe is bolted to the trolly and it was pulled up using my one tonne chain block.

      To take the lathe off the trailer I was able to lift it complete with trolly using my 2 tonne chain block and the girder trolly suspended from the beam above the workshop doorway. Lift, drive the trailer out and then lower to the ground, perfect balance being achieved by moving the saddle. The lathe weighs about 1200kg but it was a very painless and straightforward move.

      Once off the trailer it was rolled into its new home.
      This is not the final position for the lathe but a convenient clear spot for the moment.
      Now all I have to do is resist playing with it rather than building the house.
    1. Belair_Boy's Avatar
      Belair_Boy -
      Bit of a first this last month, had a kangaroo on the block for a few day. I have heard of them being around from time to time but this is the first time I have actually seen one.

      Roo resting on the North slope.

      While on animals, I have had a kookaburra problem for the first time. In the past I have had the occasional lorikeet nibbling on the top of an ICF block but no real damage done. However this spring a kookaburra has been pecking large holes in the polystyrene.

      After several days of filling in the holes just to find them pecked out again shortly after (and having the kookaburras laugh at me while doing it) I gave up. They can only get as far as the concrete core so not much use for nesting but I thought that if that was what they were trying to do then I would help out.

      I made up a kookaburra box and in the last week there has been a resident. I have not had any more hole made but just hope that having resident kookaburras is not going to result in more damage. The render can't come soon enough.

      One of the less destructive locals just off the west balcony.
    1. Belair_Boy's Avatar
      Belair_Boy -
      Back to the build.

      The chimney is now filled to above the ICF finished wall height with only another two meters to the top. I have stopped here as I will need scaffolding on the upper level to get the blocks over the corner reinforcing bars and the bracing is in the way at the moment.

      All walls are stacked to course eight and only the lintel/bondbeam course to go. I have been making supports for the door and window lintels with only a few more to go.

      In this case I was not happy with the position of the course six reinforcing and have tied it into position through a joint in the blocks.
      I will just cut off the tie wire once the concrete has been poured.

      Upper level walls stacked to course 8. Note the gantry up on blocks, the wheels having been recycled.

      All these window have the lintel supports in place but I haven't taken photos yet due to the recent wet weather.

      One of the lintel supports being made. I was getting frustrated with the 90 x 45 pine not being straight enough and having sufficient twist that the resultant "box" was also twisted. To remedy the situation I have been running the pine through the saw to effectively plane it all round and make it nice and straight without any twist. The dimension of the pine is not critical so making it a bit smaller is of no consequence. I am probably going to more effort than required again but I like things to be right and It keeps me sane when trying to fit it in position. Some would say sanity left when I decided to embark on such a large owner build in the first place.

      More photos to come when the sun is out.
    1. phild01's Avatar
      phild01 -
      Love the kooka nest!
    1. ringtail's Avatar
      ringtail -
      Just went downstairs to take a pic of the welder. Guess what? There is nothing under the hood.
    1. Belair_Boy's Avatar
      Belair_Boy -
      Thanks Ringtail, not to worry, must have gone the same way as mine. Hopefully I will never need it.
    1. Belair_Boy's Avatar
      Belair_Boy -
      As I have been asked if I can provide more details of my braces here are a few pictures of the thread sections.
      The front posts (against the ICF) are 75 x 50 x 2.5 Duragal RHS and the rear posts are 50 x 50 x 1.6 Duragal SHS
      The top and bottom angles are 50 x 50 x 3 EA and the whole assembly put together with M12 galv bolts.
      The brace tube is 33.7 OD x 2.6 galvanised CHS

      The top fork bracket with M16 thread rod

      Bottom bracket M20 threaded rod. This is a separate fixing for use with front posts alone, corner braces or miscellaneous bracing applications.
      If I was making these again I would move the vertical plates to the front edge of the base plate, giving access to the anchor screw without having to remove the brace bolt.

      Top fork bracket for use with front posts alone and other shutter bracing applications.
      The trapezoidal bracket is just cut from a 50 x 50 SHS and can be screwed to timber or tek screwed to metal (as shown here).
    1. Belair_Boy's Avatar
      Belair_Boy -
      Here are a couple of photos of the lintel supports I have been working on.

    1. Bigmaxy's Avatar
      Bigmaxy -
      How's the build coming along? Outstanding attention to detail!!!!! ).
    1. Belair_Boy's Avatar
      Belair_Boy -
      G'day Bigmaxy
      Thanks for the positive comment. The build is coming along well but I have been slack (read very slack) in posting on the forum.
      I am about to upload some more photos and bring everyone up to date with my build over the next few days.
    1. RONCA's Avatar
      RONCA -
      Hi Belair_boy
      How is the build going.
    1. turnstiles's Avatar
      turnstiles -
      Hey BB - any updates? Hungry for more pix!!
    1. Tonzz's Avatar
      Tonzz -
      18th Dec 2015 11:41 AM last time on forum
    1. RONCA's Avatar
      RONCA -
      Hi Belair_Boy

      It has been a while. The build should look great now.