For a chronological listing of our building projects with ICF (or insulated concrete forms), be sure to look through the ICF Building Index.
Since the vineyard work has slowed and we are not so pushed for time, we have started building a greenhouse and a new filter house. John's brother Joe was a great help in getting both projects started. Both will be utilizing Rewards ICF (Insulated Concrete Forms). We have been so pleased with the first phase of our ICF house (minus the chickens eating it!) we are using them once again.
A couple of years ago, a friend gave us the pieces of a greenhouse that had been used in the local Walmart parking lot. It had blown away in one of our windstorms and they bought it "as is". Since they never put it together, they generously gave it to us.
All the pieces are accounted for and only a couple were bent in the storm. John and our oldest son were able to weld the bent and cracked ones back together. You can see in the picture above, the pieces lined up with the garden to the left and to the right, its future home. The finished greenhouse will be 22ft by 48ft.
We are using ICF as the base of the greenhouse for simplicity - they snap together so quickly an easily - just like legos. The first step was to dig footers and pour the concrete on which the ICF walls will sit on. There will be a 10ft pad of concrete with a door on either end of the greenhouse. One end will have a sink and counter space and the other, well, you can always use concrete to put things on 🙂
As always, it was a family affair with everyone helping when the concrete truck came!
With so many helpers, we were able to finish one end while the other end was poured.
The walls are 2 courses high which is 32 inches tall. Eventually (when the house is completed), we plan to use a stone facade which will match the house to give a more finished appearance.
From the inside, you can see one of the concrete slabs with the opening for a door.
Next come the poles which will give shape and hold the fiberglass panels in place. Then the ICF walls can be poured and filled with concrete.
I am so excited at the prospect of having a greenhouse! No more trying to find room for seedlings! No more trying to keep the plastic from blowing off the hoop house! I am even inspired by "Four Seasons Harvest" by Eliot Coleman to try growing a winter garden inside the greenhouse complete with lettuces, cabbage, carrots and ...
To see the progression of the greenhouse: Greenhouse - ICF Walls Poured