We have created this Foundation Help & Advice centre to answer your questions about GreenRaft and its insulated foundation solutions. We are also providing information on various foundation types to explain the reason why a particular foundation might be used or has been selected by your structural engineer.

This image shows one foundation solution. There are countless options to support your structure and our foundation help and advice centre is there to explain the many options

It is not an exhaustive list, so if you have a question that needs an answer, please let us know. Hopefully, we will add your question to the section.

There will be some linking between the topics where subjects overlap, This should give a better understanding of the various foundations and how they are used.

It is a huge topic, so you will also find links to other authoritative sites where more in-depth articles are available.

The main factors that influence what type of foundation might be used are the load of the structure, the bearing capacity of the soil, the width of the foundation upon that soil and other site conditions. These site conditions may be soil and strata mixtures, water tables, nearby trees or removed trees.

Help Centre Main Topics

Across the top are five topics related to foundations, that make up this Foundation Help & Advice Centre. The topics cover foundation types, foundation design, thermal performance, costings, and installation.

Pick which one seems most appropriate for your question and see if the answer is in there.

Insulating Foundations

Importance of Insulating a Foundation

For centuries, building practices prioritized structural integrity over thermal performance. Foundations were primarily designed to bear the weight of the building, with little regard for their role in regulating temperature. This led to cold, draughty homes, where the earth’s natural chill readily seeped into living spaces. Insulation materials, when used at all, were often rudimentary and expensive, reserved for the elite.

The Rise of Above-Ground Insulation

The 20th century saw a shift in building practices. The invention of affordable and effective insulation materials led to a focus on insulating walls, ceilings, and attics. This undoubtedly improved energy efficiency and comfort, but it also created a new problem: an “insulation gap” at the foundation.

Focusing on the Foundation: Closing the Gap

As above-ground insulation improved, the importance of foundation insulation became undeniable. Heat loss through poorly insulated foundations could significantly negate the gains made elsewhere. Moreover, foundation walls became a thermal bridge, conducting heat from the home..

Modern building regulations now mandate foundation insulation, recognizing its crucial role in a comprehensive energy-efficient strategy. Homeowners looking to improve comfort and lower utility bills are increasingly opting for foundation insulation retrofits in older homes.

Obviously, if you had to make a choice between insulating your roof or insulating your foundation then it really has to be the roof. However, once roof, walls and windows are taken care of then the thermal bridges into the ground need addressing properly.

Traditional trench footings are notoriously difficult to insulate properly. There will invariably be thermal bridging where the concrete meets the ground. Most trench foundations have no insulation around them at all.

A properly insulated foundation offers a multitude of benefits:

  • Improved Energy Efficiency: Reduced heat loss in winter and heat gain in summer translates to lower energy consumption and lower utility bills.
  • Enhanced Comfort: Consistent indoor temperatures throughout the year, eliminating cold floors and drafts in basements.
  • Reduced Moisture Problems: Insulation helps prevent condensation on foundation walls, which can lead to mould and mildew growth.
  • Increased Structural Integrity: By regulating temperature fluctuations around the foundation, the risk of cracks and foundation movement is reduced.

The Future of Foundation Insulation

As building science continues to evolve, foundation insulation materials and techniques are constantly being improved. The future holds promise for even more efficient and cost-effective solutions, ensuring a warm, comfortable, and energy-efficient home starts from the ground up.

So next time you feel draughts or the chill of the floor, remember – a well-insulated foundation is no longer an afterthought, but a vital component of a sustainable and comfortable living space.