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Project Spotlight: Building an ICF Castle Part 1

How to build a modern energy efficient castle using BuildBlock ICFs

In southeastern Michigan, homeowners Michael and Sue Drew started on a journey more than three years ago. “Initially, we wanted to build a small 1,000 square foot Frank Lloyd Wright inspired cottage on the property. We went all they way through the design process, but just couldn’t make it work on the site.” 

Once they decided a different sort of home was needed, the search began. That search took them to a unique home designer based in Oklahoma, Dan Tyree. Dan specializes in designing imaginative modern castles, beach, and craftsman homes throughout the world. He also designs many of his homes with ICFs in mind.

Michael and Sue fell in love with one of the castle designs. In college they each loved courtyards and that was a special feature of this castle design. They added more windows and reduced some of the space and found the perfect design for a “modest starter castle”. Over the next few weeks we will take a look at the design and construction of the Drew Castle. 

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“There were numerous challenges with the site.” says Drew. “The water table is only 16-inches below the surface and we knew we wanted a full basement. So we had to build the house at grade and fill around the house to bring it up. We found all of the fill material on site and didn’t stop digging ponds until we had enough.” In the end they dug three large ponds on the property creating a beautiful setting for the home. A scenic road protected by a fierce gate, worthy of the “castle under construction inside” marks the nondescript entrance to the Drew Castle.