Greening Your Home: The Foundation

November/December 2005
A version of this article appears in the November/December 2005 issue of Home Energy Magazine.
Click here to read more articles about Foundations, Basements & Crawlspaces
November 01, 2005
        Whether you are building homes using foundations made of concrete block, poured concrete, concrete poured into foam insulation forms, precast concrete walls, or some other system, greening these systems means paying attention to several matters that reduce any negative impact that the foundations could have on the environment and the people living in the home.         If the site is large enough,we want to keep most of the topsoil on the site. The topsoil, unless it is laced with lead or other contaminants, or is from a brownfield, is the natural soil for this site. Removing it and then replacing it not only adds an unnecessary transportation (and therefore, environmental) cost, but also spoils the natural conditions that could support plant life common to the area. We also want to use the smallest foundation necessary, so that displacement of large amounts of soil is not required. If a slab-on-grade home is to be considered, green building methods would recommend the use of a frost-protected shallow foundation, which can usually be constructed without excavating more than 1 ft below grade. Builders using this system have significantly reduced their building costs. &...

To read complete online articles, you need to sign up for an Online Subscription.

Once an order has been placed there is an automatic $10 processing fee that will be deducted with any cancellation.

The Home Energy Online articles are for personal use only and may not be printed for distribution. For permission to reprint, please send an e-mail to

SPONSORED CONTENT Home Energy Minute #3: WINTER 2019 Learn more! Watch Video
Email Newsletter

Home Energy E-Newsletter

Sign up for our free monthly