Integra from the Ground up part 3
Now that the floor is poured, the Block are delivered along with the Integra rods. These rods are 7/16″ wide, galvanized, and are screwed into the couplers in the stem walls. they are designed to be 3-4″ higher than the top of the wall so that the wood top plate can be attached.
The blocks are then layed around the rods in sections called “runs” until the walls are built to full height.
Notice in the photo below that the block are open on the ends in the shape of an “H”. This helps increase the efficiency of the wall by reducing “Thermal bridging” which occurs when heat travels from one side of the wall to the other through material that conducts it. The foam that is sprayed into the wall is a great insulator!
Once the walls are complete, Superlite block comes out and places a tension plate, a washer, another “Tension indicator” washer, and a nut over each rod. The rods are then tensioned to 7000 psi. Notice that the top block at each rod is a different “Tension Block” designed to distribute the tension through the rest of the wall.
After the walls are tensioned, Superlite’s technicians spray foam into them. It is important for the masons to lay a “tight” wall because the foam will enter and come out of any voids left in the mortar joints. This can leave a big mess, and some annoyed Superlite Techs! In the picture below, you can see only three places where just a small amount of foam came out of our wall. The foam that you see coming out of the top of the wall is normal. It is allowed to dry, and then is cut off and recycled.
A happy Superlite Block Tech shows how much they enjoy working with the Darrin Gray Corporation. Here, he is adding the wood top plate after the foaming and tensioning of the walls. The house is now ready for the Carpenters.