Tierra Concrete Innovations: The Mobile Casting Wall System - Homes Across America Search Return

Tierra Concrete




Goals of Innovation: Reduce the costs forming and pouring the concrete walls, and use the savings to significantly help pay for the solar and wind technology necessary to make this a true off-the-grid home.

Description: By analyzing construction costs and methods, Tierra Concrete Homes determined that pouring all exterior and interior walls on site would lead to significant money savings, and allow the company to have more control over construction timetables.

In the past, walls were cast off site and trucked in. Frank Fosdick, however, developed a new onsite system - patent pending - of pouring, forming, and standing the walls. This system allows the walls to be poured on top of each other, using the walls, themselves, as part of the forming system. Walls are poured in reverse order of how they need to be installed. Plumbing walls are framed to allow for pipes; electrical wires run through conduits. The walls include a grade foundation beam which sits on leveling pads.

Upon lifting in place with a crane, the walls are welded to each other and to the foundation. For most homes, this takes only a day or two to complete. The floor is poured after the walls are in place.

Obstacles: In order to minimize impact around the perimeter of the house, and save native vegetation, Judy and Frank Fosdick planned how trucks and the crane would move in and out from the site while pouring and raising the walls.

Cost Information: After a one time expense of changing the wall pouring process, this method saves at least 5% of what it used to cost to haul and handle the walls from offsite to the job site. The savings, in this case, were invested back into the house to make it more resource efficient.

Additional Benefits/Drawbacks: The timetables of home construction is usually determined by subcontractors. This process gives the contractor more control over wall construction and raising, with the result being the house takes less time to build.

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