For a chronological listing of our building projects with ICF (or insulated concrete forms), be sure to look through the ICF Building Index.
Today on Family Friday I would like to share an update on the greenhouse.
Last week we poured the concrete in the ICF walls (insulated concrete forms). While the ICF has excellent insulation value, we chose it for the greenhouse just for ease. The ICF snap together like big legos and are so easy for the DIY’ers. We are using them for our home which overlooks the vineyard, the filter house and new barn. As you can tell, we are sold on them!
This week, we have been working on the the EIFS exterior for the greenhouse. EIFS is an acronym for exterior insulation finishing system and also provides insulation value. It is like a synthetic stucco but more durable than traditional stucco.
EIFS is applied in three steps over the ICF blocks. The first coat is a polymer modified cement. It is a mix of cement, fine sand and a polymer which adds strength and prevents cracking. It is applied in a thin 1/8 inch coat over the styrofoam blocks using a trowel.
Working in a small area, a fiberglass mesh which is bright yellow is embedded in the wet cement.
The trowel is used to press and smooth the concrete over the mesh covering it. The trick was to work on the walls in the shade – if the wall was in the sun, the cement dried too quickly and had to be wet with a sponge.
After the fiberglass mesh is completely covered with the cement, a wet sponge trowel is used to further smooth the cement coating. This prepares the surface for a smooth finish coat.
The final step will be to complete the stucco look of the EIFS with the final coat which is also the color layer.
Even though the color is grey, it sure does look better and more complete.
Hopefully, next week we will be able to put the final layer on!
To see the progression of the greenhouse: ICF Greenhouse