FAS Houston House: Construction Begins!

Construction has begun!

FAS is partnering with the Citizen League for Environmental Action NOW (CLEAN), an environmentally conscious community organization in Houston, Texas, to build a home to demonstrate the use of structural insulated panel construction. The home uses fiber cement board faced SIP panels with expanded polystyrene cores. These panels passed rigorous test requirements established by the International Code Council (ICC), which dictates standards for building in the United States, as well as additional tests conducted by FAS that looked at structural and fire safety under extreme conditions.

And now, after extensive designing and planning, construction has started!

I’ll be posting pictures here periodically and providing a running commentary on the construction process as the house takes shape. Photos of foundation prep and the first walls going up can be found after the jump…

Click on thumbnails for the full size image.

Panels on the site prior to construction. Photo by Rocky Bambino Perez (CLEAN).

Panels on the site prior to construction. Photo by Rocky Bambino Perez (CLEAN).

The first panels are set in the corner. Typically SIP construction begins at one
corner and works out in both directions. Photo by Rocky Bambino Perez (CLEAN).

Installing splines to connect the panels. Photo by DT Construction.

Moving the steel trusses onto the site. Photo by DT Construction.

Steel trusses set on the site. Photo by DT Construction.

View from the South. Photo by DT Construction.


7 Responses to “FAS Houston House: Construction Begins!”

  1. Paul Wolfgram, Architect March 5, 2009 at 5:11 PM #

    Is the edge of the slab isolated from the slab interior? Pictures indicate that it is not. Isn’t this a big problem / code violation? Quality construction and most codes would require a separate wall foundation except when used for a non-heated garage or in very mild climates. Please explain. Perhaps it may be more useful to build a demonstration home in a northern climate with more severe weather patters such as Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

  2. Dave Jones July 6, 2009 at 6:55 PM #

    Pretty nice article, i have been doing construction for a while now and agree.

  3. Sue | African Housing July 16, 2009 at 6:09 AM #

    I still find it truly fascinating the construction that goes into building these homes, but I guess thats why people can build these homes in 7 days.

    Great post once again:)

  4. Mike Stanislaus | ContractorCity.com August 6, 2009 at 1:19 PM #

    SIPs are phenomenal. In one step, you have wall plus insulation up, with less carbon footprint and higher R-values. I’m really glad that this technology is becoming more widely used.


  5. Byron Dengel May 12, 2010 at 9:29 PM #

    It awesome to get a bit of extra info when doing renovations (or planning too). If you are looking for some expert tips, I also recommend checking out Masterrenovator.com, the site is full of good info for things that I never even thought of.

  6. Craig Jones April 5, 2011 at 6:24 AM #

    Thanks for the info. I’m looking into construction techniques at the moment and SIPs are my current area of investigation

  7. Randy J, Home Designer July 18, 2011 at 6:11 PM #

    That is a great building product. I have designed some homes with similar products and they are fun to see under construction. It is great for those who want an energy saving home. I helped my brother build one and it was pretty easy to do by ourselves.

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