The Caretaker’s Cottage, a small home designed by James Hubbell and Hubbell & Hubbell Architects, is currently being built on Hubbell Hill in Santa Ysabel, CA. It is a great example of alternative materials that were also used on the Ilan-Lael Center next door, 3 structures finished within the last couple years. Insulated concrete block (ICF) is used for the walls while Tridipanels are used for the roof and vaults. These materials not only enable a creative and versatile design, they have incredible insulating qualities that have proven itself in energy savings and comfort levels as well as sound quality. The first two images are the Caretaker’s cottage during construction, the third is James’ sketch, and the last is the Ilan-Lael Center during construction as well as completed. Stay posted for more images as the cottage progresses!
ICF is composed of cement, admixtures & water, and post-industrial / consumer Styrofoam™. This mixture of materials creates a fire-resistant structure, the blocks themselves proving to not even burn at an open flame (4,000 degrees!), a very valuable quality especially in Southern California. Not only that, but 100% of the Styrofoam in the ICF has been recycled while 9/10ths of each block of ICF is recycled Styrofoam. Similar to CMU block, the ICF cores are grouted with concrete and rebar & creates load-bearing, shear, retaining, perimeter, sound attenuation, and highly insulated stem walls. The overall cost has proven to be less than wood framing in most projects and it is considered to be 7 times stronger than wood or metal stud frame construction, capable of withstanding up to 250mph.
Tridipanels can be used for floors, ceilings, and roofs and share similar qualities to ICF blocks, withstanding winds at 200mph. They are pre-fabricated recycled expanded polystyrene (EPS) panels framed by welded wire space frame and are field-applied with cement (Shotcrete) after panels are put in place.
For more information on Hubbell & Hubbell’s use of these materials, click here.
Some article references from Eco Building Systems Corporation.