Wednesday, June 20, 2007


It's been a week since my last posting, and several weeks since I've played in the big giant sandbox. After numerous conversations with the City Administrator, Building Official, State Code Office, Structural Engineers, experts, friends, and psychiatrists, I have come to the conclusion that somebody is plotting against me (and that's not just the meds talking). The issue at hand is with my foundation design. I am trying to build what is referred to as a Frost-Protected Shallow Foundation (FPSF)- a concept developed half a century ago in Scandinavia and used with much success for decades even in this backwards country. Without going into (more) boring detail, let's just say it is a more sensible design with respect to environmental impact, raw materials useage, and energy efficiency. Seems like a no-brainer, right? Hah! That's what I thought. Instead of being accepted as the foundation-of-the-future, it seems to carry the stigma of some newfangled idea that has yet to be proven. It's new and different and therefore it must be bad.... Seems that it wasn't until the last few years that this type of foundation was even included in the code book (referred to hereafter as The Book). It also appears that The Book has misinterpreted the way a FPSF design is intended to work (that is, if you believe the dozen or so professional publications I have studied on the subject). This was eluded to by my Building Official (who is on my side, but trying to work within the RULES of The Book) in his email to me today regarding my project, in which he stated, "1) The code does not permit insulation under the slab in a shallow frost protected foundation system. 2) Insulation is needed under that slab to keep you from heating a big chuck of earth underneath your home and spending lots of extra fuel, which another code frowns upon." I still haven't gotten a permit approved for an insulated foundation, but I'm getting closer. In the process, perhaps I've unearthed a conspiracy, and we'll have to keep the oil flowing to heat all those uninsulated foundations that are being built according to The Book....

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