paper igloo architecture and design

The Isoquick insulating formwork is laid

March 15, 2014

This weekend we had 4 of our good friends over to help us lay the Isoquick insulating form work system, which we did over 2 days.

The team (except for Martin who is taking the photo!)

First we set out the perimeter using builder's line from the corner rails that the ground works contractor had set at finished floor level for us last week using his laser level.

Double checking the setting out dimensions

The next step was then to lay the large polystyrene Isoquick insulation blocks in place, starting with the 4 corners and specially shaped edge modules to establish the perimeter. This is done from the outside so as to avoid disrupting the fine 6mm gravel layer too much.

Starting with the north east corner... Checking for level and square

Each of the pieces interlocks into the next with a pair of tongue & groove style joints, so you simply work around the building in one direction interlocking as you go. We had an additional 50mm piece glued to the top of the standard edge module to accommodate our 300mm thick raft foundation slab. As you can see this was not glued perfectly flat so we also checked for level on the egg-crate module surface at the base. We also checked for square at the corners and measured the diagonals.

Working down the east side

Starting to take shape

Waiting for more blocks

Checking the corners for square

Bringing more base modules

After the perimeter has been completed the centre is filled in. We began with the 200mm thick rectangular modules which are laid with the egg-crate side facing upwards to match the edge modules. Then the 100mm thick rectangular modules are laid the other way up over the whole area and the two layers interlock. We had to do some finer levelling of the gravel layer as we went along to make sure that the modules were firmly bedded as this is how the loads will be distributed from the building to the ground.


The base layer going in

The last space in the base layer!

The last space in the top layer!

Finally, the last piece going in!

Ready for the next stage...