“Speed and eco-friendly construction are the result of the design.”
RAISED WOOD FLOOR CASE STUDY:
As part of the Houston HOPE program, New Citi Homes builds entry-level houses with energy-efficient products and cost-effective floor plans for low-income families.
Purchasing Manager Kang Shen says that flooding is a concern in many Houston neighborhoods and that “raised floors mitigate some of the damages that can occur from flash floods.” One design used by New Citi Homes as part of a raised wood floor system is a poured one-piece pier footing, a method that is effective in the area’s problematic soils and is cost-competitive compared to deep-drilled piers.
“Speed and eco-friendly construction are the result of the design,” says Shen of the footing design that features tube-formed reinforced concrete piers on top of bell-formed concrete footings. Many local builders choose to build raised foundations over reinforced concrete masonry, but Shen says his method is quicker. “The tube-formed concrete piers are very easy to set and pour. With one concrete crew, we can set and pour about two to three foundations in a day, given good conditions. Considering the speed and ease of pouring the concrete piers, we manage to keep the costs consistent.”
Shen says that another reason why New Citi Homes builds raised wood floors is that they are “much more eco-friendly than conventional slab-on-grade construction.” Wood is a renewable, sustainable resource that takes far less energy to produce than the other most common floor system materials, concrete and steel. “Raised wood floor systems use minimal concrete and steel compared to homes on slabs.”
Repairs can be made on a raised wood floor system with minimal labor and cost. According to Shen, that's a significant advantage in areas with expansive soils, like Houston. “As a house settles, the entire foundation may settle unevenly. With the raised floor home, minor adjustments can be made to the foundation without major destruction of the yard. And the equipment needed to level the foundation is much less invasive than that needed to repair a slab.”
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