Structural Forming System
Formworks is the most advanced building system of its kind. The system is designed to give the builder confidence in constructing one of the most technologically advanced structures in existence. The bolt together skeletal steel system is a user friendly system and can be erected by any home owner/contractor. It controls the shape of the structure and provides the primary forming strength as well as controlling the spacing and attachment of the reinforcing steel. Formworks offers many advantages over similar structures that are available today. Many of the advantages are quite subtle but have been proven in the field to be faster to construct at substantially less finished cost. Learn More…
YOUTUBE CONSTRUCTION SEQUENCES
Our unique structural forming system consists of 4 primary components: Structural Steel, Shotcrete, Water proofing, and Whole House Ventilation & Heat Exchanger Systems.
A Formworks structure typically takes the same amount of time to construct as a similarly sized conventional building. The building system controls the structural elements and makes building simple, thus faster and less expensive to complete. Every piece of steel is marked for installation. The primary steel is lifted into place manually or by lifts, then bolted together. Once the steel beams have been erected, the rebar is ready to be installed. The outer flange of the steel has rebar receivers already welded into place. This allows the horizontal rebar to simply be placed in the open end of the tab, creating the correct placement and spacing without guesswork. Continuing the rebar from tab to tab around the perimeter of the structure creates the wire frame of the building.
Once the rebar is in place, a Styrofoam liner is attached to the interior steel of the structure to serve as both form and backstop for the Shotcrete. The Styrofoam is properly spaced away from the reinforcing steel to allow for proper coverage of concrete as required by building codes.
The Shotcrete is applied from the exterior, which makes the job common work by any Shotcrete crew around the country. A good Shotcrete crew is usually in and out in a day or two depending on the size of the project.
Shotcrete is pneumatically placed concrete sprayed under pressure through a hose and delivered through a nozzle. The same process is used to create concrete swimming pools. After the Shotcrete has set, the temporary Styrofoam liner is removed from the interior of the structure, exposing a smooth concrete surface. Because the Styrofoam is used as the backstop, the resulting interior concrete surface is very easily finished with a thin coat of plaster. Add a little texture and paint and you’re done. With the Shotcrete complete and the foam liner removed, the free-span structure is complete. The remaining work is conventional to be done by sub-contractors (framing, electrical, plumbing, finish work).
Formworks multi component waterproofing system (Polysecure4) is user friendly and will hold its integrity throughout the lifetime of the structure. This advanced waterproofing system, developed for the exclusive use with Formworks Building structures, can successfully be applied by the homeowner, laborers or any contractor with assurance. It is a true waterproofing that is applied directly to the exterior concrete surface. A drain fabric is installed over the top of the waterproofing material and serves to remove hydrostatic pressure and wick any water directly to the footer drains. The Styrofoam material that initially served as the form and back stop for the Shotcrete will now be used over the top of the waterproofing system to provide backfill protection (eliminating the need for a select fill material) and at the same time providing insulation on the exterior. Formworks’ Polysecure4 waterproofing system is absolutely the best performing material and application for protection from water intrusion. This system is a multi component water barrier so that if any one step should fail, the system still holds its integrity. With a structure that is designed to last hundreds of years, it is imperative that the waterproofing system perform correctly for just as long.
Whole House Ventilation and Heat Exchanger System
This system is the icing on the cake. It is the final system that ensures that a Formworks home operates at its full potential. Each structure designed by Formworks will have full whole house ventilation and heat exchanger system detailed in the completed plans. The system we use recovers energy from the stale air and transfers it to the fresh air brought in from the outdoors. This system is designed to increase the quality of indoor air by removing gaseous pollutants like: carbon dioxide, smoke, radon, odors, excess humidity, formaldehyde and other chemicals.
How it works:
The exhausted stale air and the fresh ventilation air pass through multiple air passages separated by an engineered composite resin partition plate. Heat transfers from the warmer to the cooler air stream. Also, latent energy (water vapor) transfers from the wetter to the drier air stream. The fresh incoming air is automatically pre-heated or pre-cooled depending on the season. On a cold winter day, fresh outside air will be tempered to close to room temperature and brought inside. The reverse will happen on a hot summer day. The use of this system will minimize the size of heating and cooling requirements and helps maintain an even more efficient structure.
The fact that you’re reading our website may give you the chance of a lifetime. You have found a key to a successful future. There is a great deal of information that has been written concerning earth sheltered construction. Unfortunately much of it is inadequate, confusing, misleading or just wrong. Formworks is the most successful and is respected as the number one designer and builder of earth sheltered, green roof homes and structures. Our homes are designed to meet the needs of future generations, are superior in comfort, safety, enjoy very low maintenance and very low operating costs. Simply the best.
No one has the experience and applied knowledge that Formworks has used to develop its building system. Our knowledge is not limited to the advanced structure, but encompasses a thorough knowledge of HVAC, plumbing, electrical and other conventional building systems. As a result, designs reflect complete, thoughtful and workable projects. Each project is the result of the ability to address and solve potential building system problems before they occur. It’s the proper application of intelligence gained through knowledge and experience that allows us to create successful projects and designs.
In recent years, Formworks has acted as a consultant for many home owners that have built with other earth sheltered or green roof dome homes. Because of the lack of support other builders give them after the “shell” has been erected, they come to us with problems or concerns that need to be addressed. Because of this experience, we have learned a lot about the competition and their down falls. More importantly, it reinforces why Formworks’ building systems are successful.
Formworks has evolved its structural system to create a workable system that addresses all of these concerns to make the building process go up easier, using less labor, less guesswork and less time. Once a customer has built their home they should just be able to “sit back and smile”.
Why the Formworks system is superior
Outdated earth shelter systems utilizing spray on urethane foam on the exterior of the concrete lead to many other mistakes. Concrete should be waterproofed directly on the surface. The urethane foam is not closed cell material, not a waterproofing and therefore has to be protected by another covering. Damage to the exterior covering results in the urethane basically becoming a sponge. Once moisture had penetrated, even the insulating qualities were greatly reduced or lost altogether. Just as important is the fact that once a leak has occurred, the process of locating the source of the leak becomes more complicated, if not impossible. That system removes the possibility of a Do-It-Yourselfer waterproofing the structure. The spray on outer coating has a high risk of delaminating and failure. Because the product is sprayed on, the risk for thin spots, pinholes or lack of adhesion is very high. Any failure in the system produces a high risk of having to dig up the entire structure to find and repair any leaks. Weak spots of the spray on system occurs at all exposed edges. This lack of termination detail can lead to ultraviolet degradation and breakdown of the material.
This type of building system made use of tabs that had to be individually bent at 90° to the steel to allow for the installation of a wire mesh and burlap panel. There were many disadvantages associated with that system. The burlap panels had to be installed before the rebar. This made rebar installation even more time consuming and labor intensive. The mesh itself had to be tied back to the rebar at approximately 1 foot on center. This increases the number of ties required by four. The mesh and burlap were tied tightly against the innermost rebar to provide the backstop for the Shotcrete process. As the concrete was applied to the exterior, it could not properly encapsulate and protect the first layer of rebar or provide strength advantages of properly installed and covered reinforcing. It made it difficult, if not impossible, to inspect the concrete quality after its application. In order to meet current building codes, there must be full encapsulation of rebar in concrete. With that system this task is next to impossible. The burlap and wire mesh panel has to be left in place and complicates interior finishes while making them more expensive. This inherently weak forming system also mandated a virtual forest of interior bracing to control shape of the concrete structure. The burlap fabric has a tendency to deteriorate with exposure. This can lead to a series of blowouts during the Shotcrete process. Formworks’ Styrofoam liner is removable to expose a relatively smooth concrete finish, and later, upon removal, it is re-usable on the exterior to provide backfill protection for the waterproofing and additional insulation on the exterior (where it should be). This Styrofoam is provided as a component of the Formworks structural forming system. Outdated systems utilizing the burlap panels require the customer to provide this insulation at their own cost.