The Doren Home, Suspended Garage Slab

Advantage ICFWritten by: Greg Doren
Follow me on Twitter @GregDoren


Hi everyone. In the fourth part of this blog series I will be providing progress updates on the building of the Doren Home.


Maximizing space

Smaller lots in urban areas are here to stay. Infrastructure costs, urban sprawl and other factors have made it so that residential lots have grown smaller. My new family home in Chestermere Alberta is on a typical urban lot that has 15M (approx. 49 ft.) of frontage and is 33M (approx. 98 ft.) in depth. The setbacks are 1.5 M (approx. 5 ft.) on the sides. There are also guide lines for how much percentage of space can be utilized for the home and how much is required for front and back landscaping.


The Advantage Insulting Concrete Forms (ICF) System I am building with have two panels of Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) that are 2 5/8th inches thick with a 6” cavity for concrete, this makes the wall 11 ¼” thick before internal & external finishes. On the main and second floors this wall thickness does take away some square footage on the interior. Where can you find more space? On our project we decided use the typically unexcavated area under the attached garage slab.


Engineered Suspended Slab

Local code requires a frost wall of 4 ft. under the garage and usually the frost wall is trenched out during excavation for the foundation. The middle area is left undisturbed to support the concrete slab. At the Doren home we had the entire area under the slab excavated and had a “suspended slab” engineered that provided us with 506 more sq. ft. of usable area. We did the same thing under the front veranda that gave us another 162 sq. ft. of indoor usable storage. The room under the garage will be utilized as a mechanical room, shop and storage area. There is also a large utility sink and dog wash, which is kind of weird as we currently don’t have a dog. My children are persistent and I am preparing for the inevitable.


The method of construction was to make large beam pockets before we placed the ICF concrete walls for the foundation. After placement we slid 3 large steel I beam’s and 1 smaller one. Angle iron was attached to the inside walls around the garage perimeter. The angle iron is bolted to the ICF concrete walls and supports the Q decking along with the steel beams. A 4” concrete slab was placed on top of the Q decking with hydronic heating that will now support two vehicles.


I will be giving more updates in my next blog. For more information about the Advantage ICF system, visit

3 Comments on “The Doren Home, Suspended Garage Slab

  1. Pingback: 2017 Year In Review | Plasti-Fab

    • Hello and thank you for your question. In this instance, the homeowner used a mastic and then a membrane around the perimeter. The drywall gap at the bottom was approximately 1/2 “. They then caulked around the perimeter again and used commercial grade rubber base board. Hope this helps!

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