LaHouse Building Systems and Features (Garage)

Insulating concrete forms

Teaching Center (Garage)

Insulating Concrete Form (ICF) building system:

  • 6” concrete within 2.5” insulating foam forms, with plastic connectors and steel rebar reinforcement
  • High impact resistance, good safe room system
  • R-22 continuous wall insulation – highly energy-efficient
  • Fast construction, little waste
  • No need for wall drainage plane, vapor retarder, air barrier
  • Treated window bucks, roof framing for termite resistance
  • Cost 2-7% more than standard wood frame

Slab on grade just above base flood elevation (BFE) with:

  • Extra durable plastic sheeting under slab and grade beams prevents moisture wicking to walls, flooring
  • Low water-to-cement ratio (<.47) + reusable wet curing blanket – increases strength, prevents curl
  • Fly ash, slag, cement mix – recycled content, adds strength
  • Post tension system for expansive soils – to prevent spreading of cracks (Note: expect concrete to crack)


  • Torchless crimped copper pipe fittings - fast, safe
  • Low-flow, power assist toilets – in wall, low noise
  • Low-flow urinal with smart sensor valve
  • Hands-free & universal design faucets, sink


  • Borate-treated wood for termite resistance
  • Grid marked decking for fast, precise installation
  • Synthetic roofing felt
    • Extremely tear resistant (withstood Katrina and Rita)
    • Lightweight, fast installation, 180 day UV exposure
  • Standing seam metal roofing, no exposed fasteners
    • “cool color” hi-tech pigment reflects heat like light color
    • long life, recycled content, wind resistant


  • Hip roof sheds water away, shades all sides
  • Detached garage protects home from auto exhaust, chemicals
    • Also creates breezeway for screen porch

Fortified features (to resist 130 mph wind & flood damage):

  • Steel rebar ties concrete walls to slab
  • Top plate connected with anchor bolts in concrete wall
  • Hurricane plates, straps wrapped over each rafter anchor roof
  • Hip roof naturally more wind resistant
  • Ring shank nails, close nailing pattern secure roof decking
  • Roof decking seams sealed with bitumen roof tape (secondary water barrier from storm water damage)
  • High-wind & impact-rated garage door, doors, windows
  • “Dry floodproofed” bottom 3 ft. exterior
  • Flood resistant materials – concrete, rigid foam, paperless drywall, stucco

Energy saving features of Teaching Center:

Passive solar (sun control)

  • Cool Roof” – solar reflective with high emissivity (painted metal)
  • Radiant barrier coating under roof deck
  • Roof overhangs shade windows, walls – hip roof
  • Low-e glass (SHGC < 0.4)

Tight construction

  • concrete walls plus air sealed openings and ceiling
  • ICAT recessed lights & surface mount lighting

Continuous insulation

  • R-22 continuous foam walls
  • R-38 stabilized cellulose over ceiling
  • Insulated doors, windows

Efficient HVAC & HW systems

  • SEER 18, two-stage A/C with ozone-friendly refrigerant
  • Gas tankless water heater – for both water AND air
    • space saving, no standby loss – 30-50% more efficient
    • endless hot water, whole house, no temp. fluctuation
    • used with heat exchanger to heat air (without furnace)
  • Fresh air duct & smart flow controller for good IAQ
  • Small dehumidifier for healthy RH < 50% (when cooling not needed)

Efficient lighting & appliances

  • High color fluorescent fixtures, compact fluorescent lamps
    • 2/3 less energy, 2/3 less heat, appealing light
  • Energy Star refrigerator, dehumidifier

12/18/2008 12:06:08 AM
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