By Tacoma/Pierce County Habitat for Humanity in Partner
At our new three-home development in Gig Harbor, Tacoma/Pierce County Habitat for Humanity is utilizing an innovative building technique: Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF) with zero-carbon concrete. This system, rather than using wood and exterior sheathing, constructs the exterior shell of a home with 8″ wide concrete poured between forms made of 2 1/4” EPS panels. The panels are tied together through the concrete and stay in place, acting as the final wall insulation.
Using Solid Carbon’s concrete admixture, the first home’s walls are zero-carbon. This project represents another step by the concrete industry to achieve carbon neutrality, while also providing safe, affordable, and resilient housing for families and communities in need.
The benefits of ICF are varied and include creating both fire resistant and energy-efficient residences, as well as provide for a low-carbon construction footprint. But another important benefit to this innovative system is the noise dampening, thanks to the acoustical insulation properties of the EPS panels, as well as the thick concrete walls. As these homes are located adjacent to Hwy 16, noise pollution was a serious concern. The sound dampening properties provided with ICF construction made the trial of this new construction method well worth the shift from our standard building protocols.
This project is part of a wider initiative between Build with Strength and Habitat for Humanity International to construct at least 50 sustainable concrete homes in 50 states in 5 years. The partnership currently has 76 homes in various stages of construction in 33 states in just under 2-½ years.
Due to the tight layout of the site and the narrow road into the neighborhood, this is a closed site with very limited volunteer opportunities. Rest assured, we will provide photos and videos along the way. Be sure to follow us on social media so you don’t miss a thing—@TacomaHabitat on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.
Thanks to our partners:
Gig Harbor Councilmember Julie Martin, Tacoma Habitat's Policy and Advocacy Manager Liz Crouse, Gig Harbor Mayor Tracie Markley, and District Director for Rep. Derek Kilmer Andrea Roper visited the site on 9/21/23.
Tacoma Habitat's Chief Philanthropy Officer Sherrana Kildun, Pierce County Councilmember Robyn Denson, Tacoma Habitat's Policy and Advocacy Manager Liz Crouse and NMRCA's Senior Director of Building Innovations Patrick Matsche visited the site on 9/21/23.