Here the first two courses of foam blocks have been installed for the Great Room wall. The
blocks are glued in place with polyurethane foam adhesive after being carefully positioned and
leveled. Rebar is placed horizontally between each course. An opening will be cut in the side of
the block in the immediate foreground to allow a good concrete connection to the connecting wall.
We will be adding a few more blocks on either end of the section you see below, then we will
crank up the concrete mixer and pour some grout. By pouring only two courses at a time, we
should be able to make sure the wall remains vertical as we go up.
The section of the wall shown below is actually a retaining wall that will go up over 6 feet above
the footings before slab level is reached. Below slab level, the foam blocks are simply used as
forms for the concrete, a job they do quite well. I visited a job site in Auwatukee where the
contractor was using these same foam panels for forms because they were cheaper to buy than
renting steel forms. It's kind of weird to think of all that foam insulation mostly keeping the dirt
under the floor at an even temperature, but there is some value to that, I guess. Above floor
level, we switch to forms with a smaller concrete core and more foam, and there we'll clearly
Here's a quick look down into the foam block. The next row of horizontal rebar hasn't been
installed yet ... it will rest just a couple of inches above the sheet metal webs..