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Information on the materials, methods, and technologies used in concrete home construction, including concrete walls, foundations, insulated concrete forms, and concrete admixtures.

Innovative Products & Processes - Technology Inventory [Back to Top]

Consider using the products below to take advantage of their potential to provide one or more of the following in the homes you build: Affordability, Energy Efficiency, Quality & Durability, Environmental Performance, and Safety.

Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (AAC)
Concrete Admixtures
Concrete Aggregate Substitutes
Concrete Floor Finishes
Concrete Footing and Pier Forms
Concrete Waterproofing Systems
Fibrous Concrete Reinforcement
Fly Ash Concrete
Formwork for Ventilated Concrete Slabs
Insulating Concrete Form (ICF) Decks
Insulating Concrete Forms (ICF)
Masonry and Concrete Adhesives
Precast Concrete Foundation and Wall Panels
Precast Concrete Passive Solar Home
Split-Face Concrete Block
Spray-Applied Concrete Walls

Design & Construction Guides [Back to Top]

Guides for designing and building various types of construction

Building a Better House with Concrete - A Concrete Homes Technology Brief
Comfort and Quiet with Concrete Homes - Concrete Homes Technology Brief
Concrete Homes Save Energy - A Concrete Homes Technology Brief
Concrete Masonry Homes: Recommended Practices
Designing Homes Using Insulating Concrete Forms
Plastic Foams for Concrete Homes - A Concrete Homes Technology Brief
Prescriptive Method for Connecting Cold-Formed Steel Framing to Insulating Concrete Form Walls in Residential Construction
The Quality of Concrete Costs a Little More - A Concrete Homes Technology Brief
Best Practices [Back to Top]

General recommendations and accepted practices

Wire Slab Reinforcement

Performance Reports & Case Studies [Back to Top]

Evaluation of how products and systems perform in real life applications

Building Concrete Masonry Homes: Design and Construction Issues This document identifies the major issues related to the design and construction of a home with above-grade concrete masonry walls, and presents different approaches to construction details including the installation of insulation, floor framing, and doors and windows.
Economical ICF to Cold-Formed Steel Floor Connections This project identified and tested two fastening methods in the interest of optimizing economical connections of cold-formed steel floor systems to Insulated Concrete Form (ICF) walls.
Insulating Concrete Forms for Residential Construction Demonstration Homes This study examines construction methods, builder perceptions, homeowner perceptions, costs, thermal performance, and energy efficiency, as these issues are impacted by the decision to use an ICF product.
Lintel Testing for Reduced Shear Reinforcement in Insulating Concrete Form Systems The purpose of this test program is to investigate the structural capacity and performance of the concrete lintels typically used in ICF construction.
TechPractices: AFM Study House, Minneapolis, MN Using readily available building technologies, such as insulating concrete forms (ICFs) and structural insulated panels (SIPs), this 4,964 sf home has an average winter heating bill of approximately $48 per month. Many of the technologies have the added benefit of reducing on-site labor.
TechPractices: Ryan Homes, The Cornell, Rochester, NY The Cornell is an efficient but small two-story colonial built as a more energy-saving version of an existing Ryan model noted for its efficiency. The Cornell is less expensive to build than the older model and more energy efficient.
Testing and Design of Lintels Using Insulating Concrete Forms This report summarizes the results from a test program focusing on the structural performance of concrete lintels without shear reinforcement. The performance (i.e. strength and ductility) of simply-supported concrete beams without shear reinforcement and with minimal tensile reinforcing steel subjected to third point loading is evaluated.

Field Evaluations [Back to Top]

Evaluation of how products and systems perform in real life applications

Hopke Buildings & Grounds

Questions & Answers [Back to Top]

Frequently asked questions, answered by home building professionals

Can water cause deterioration of concrete?
Are there different types of portland cement?
Can fibers replace wire mesh or welded wire fabric in a concrete slab on ground?
Can I add water to my concrete?
Can I install concrete in cold weather?
Can I use colorants/pigments in a shotcrete application and change the color over the length of a wall?
Can it be too hot or too cold to place new concrete?
Can we add air-entraining admixture at the jobsite?
How are exposed-aggregate concrete finishes produced?
How can I achieve a smooth looking finish on my concrete?
How can you tell if you're getting the amount of concrete you're paying for?
How do I design for moisture sensitive floor coverings?
How do you control the strength of concrete?
How do you protect a concrete surface from aggressive materials like acids?
How do you remove stains from concrete?
How does rain affect fresh concrete?
How is portland cement made?
How is white cement different and why is it used in decorative concrete?
I heard that there is an admixture for concrete to reduce the effects of salt-induced spalling and general deterioration of concrete. Is there such an admixture?
Is there a universal international specification for portland cement?
Is there any way to patch a concrete sidewalk that is crumbling?
Isolation/Expansion Joints: What Type are Used and Where?
On what basis is air content for concrete specified?
What are recommended mix proportions for good concrete?
What are the decorative finishes that can be applied to concrete surfaces?
What are the most common tests for fresh concrete?
What are the Sound Transmission Class (STC) ratings for concrete and masonry walls?
What are Type I/II or Type II/V cements?
What can I do about moisture problems in a new concrete building?
What can you tell me about Autoclaved Aerated Concrete?
What causes efflorescence and how can it be avoided?
What construction practices can affect the air content of concrete?
What could have caused dark spots in a driveway?
What differences can I expect in the behavior and properties of recycled-aggregate concrete compared to concrete made with natural aggregates?
What does 28-day strength mean?
What does it mean to "cure" concrete?
What effects do deicers have on concrete?
What is 3,000 pound concrete?
What is a cold joint in concrete construction?
What is air-entrained concrete and why I am I required to use it when placing sidewalks?
What is air-entrained concrete?
What is alkali-silica reactivity (ASR)?
What is ettringite and does it or the sulfate in cement contribute to expansion and disintegration of portland cement concrete?
What is the best way to store bags of cement on site?
What is the difference between a control joint and an expansion joint in concrete construction?
What is the difference between cement and concrete?
What is the minimum depth of footing for a residential structure?
What precautions do I have to take during cold-weather concreting?
What precautions do I have to take during hot-weather concreting?
Where can I go for concrete countertop information?
Why do concrete surfaces flake and spall?
Why does concrete crack?
Why test concrete?
Will concrete harden under water?

Web Links [Back to Top]

Recommended Web resources for additional information