Mix of conventional and ICF construction


Timeline - 10 months

SCOPE: contracted 3 custom, inner city homes (infill shown above and duplex), inner city Calgary. These are Energy Guide rated homes build on a tight budget.

ICF used in the basement and the party wall. An ICF party wall provides superior fire and noise detination. Duplex neighbors cannot hear eachother through a thick concrete party wall.  The ICF is tested to be far superior in insulative performace and fire resistant to other building methods.  Hydronic heating was used in all three homes, no furnaces to blow allergens through the home.

Large windows placed strategically allow for maximum natural light, solar gain and minimal heat loss. Tile flooring maximizes heat transfer from in-floor heating lines, minimizes chemical offgassing and increase life of floor. Allergy and asthma symptoms were drastically reduced for the enviromentally sensitive owner.


All three homes are solar-ready. The hydronic systems also heat the attached garages. Mineral wool insulation (ROXUL) was used in exterior walls while spray foam insulation was used in joist spaces and difficult places such as wall corners. This process provides an EnerGuide 80+ rating without the expence of full ICF.

Outdoor overhead lines (electrical, phone) were buried under ground so they do not pass over the back yard.  The 2-car garage is also hydronically heated on its own zone.


This  residential project in Rockyview County demostrates how our building philosophies can be priced competitvely with new houses of similar square footage in the area.

MEDIA ATTENTION - Alberta Venture Magazine Article (March 1, 2011)

  • Straw bale walls, double framed walls (insulated with rock wool and spray foam insulation) and ICF walls Off-the-Grid, zoned hydronic heating (solar with wood-fired boiler supplement)
  • High-tech air exchange system & Rain water collection system
  • Concrete floors, Warmboard second floor
  • Three foot overhangs over southern exposure windows
  • Triple glazed, Low-e, high performance windows & 100% recyclable metal roof (long-life)
  • Plastered walls (low toxicity) and concrete floors (thermal mass)
  • Re-used materials taken from previous tear-downs, very low waste production (no waste bin used - at 80% completion, we have created only 11 garbage bags of waste.

Hydronic lines in Footings for Dumping of Excess solar heat 

ICF Basement Installation
ICF with Bracing System
ICF walls before adjustments for concrete
Hambro steel flooring being installed and Steel I-beam salvaged from an industrial construction project
Vapour barrier basement wrap, main floor being prepared for heating lines and concrete
Main floor heating lines installed in zones (MACMAN TECHNOLOGIES)
Conventional garage framing - will use thermal imaging to compare performance to other parts of house during the height of summer and winter
Concrete pour over heating lines (ABS CONCRETE SYSTEMS)
Warmboard for second floor allows precise indoor temperature control and fast response to changing heat loads (HYDROSMART)
Second Floor: warmboard flooring with heating lines installed
Frost wall around main floor sections to be straw-bale insulated (4" rigid insulation, 4' deep)and steel screw pile structural support
Post and beam structure (orange posts)
Double framed wall - two insulated wall framed in a staggered pattern for better R-value
Base for Straw Bales
Installation of straw bales
Indoor representation of straw bale section
Interior of double framed walls wrapped with reflective insulation for vapour barrier and increased R-value

Black section: Double framed walls sitting on ICF basement

Grey section: Straw bale insulated

Contact Us Today!

Cambio Contracting

Phone: 403-899-2295


E-mail: matt@cambiocontracting.com

Print Print | Sitemap