BuildBlock News

The Hilltop Project – Intro and Excavation

Over the next year, we’ll be following the construction of the Hilltop Project. This is the first in a series of dozens of videos for this project. In this video, we follow some DIY home-builders as they clear and mark the area for their future ICF home.

Video Transcription:

Over the next few months, BuildBlock will be following the Morse family as they construct their ICF home, The Hilltop Project. We’re going to start where every story should, at the beginning. The Morses are a typical, suburban family that wanted to trade shopping malls for barnyard stalls and move out to the Appalachian foothills. They wanted to create a more sustainable and natural life for their kids for years to come. To do this they found a beautiful 180 Acre property, completely off the beaten path.

Their goal was to create a net-zero home that can operate completely off the grid through a combination of wind energy, solar energy, and battery storage. The Morses decided to use ICFs because of the ease of construction, stability, insulation, and energy efficiency that they provide. The ICFs deliver such complete energy efficiency that when combined with radiant heat flooring and a few other technologies, it is extremely easy and cost efficient to manage the temperature in an ICF structure.

The weather where the Morses are constructing their home can be severe and they chose to use ICFs because of the wind resistance and structural integrity that they offer. They also chose to use ICFs because it meant that they did not need to hire anyone to do the construction for them. Instead, the could construct their dream home as a family.

We hope you will join us as we follow the Morses as the construct the home of their dreams. In this first episode, the Morses have decided on the final location for their house but before the excavation process can begin, the Morses must clear the area of all trees, stones, and other debris in the way of construction. After clearing the area, the Morses survey the land and lay down markings where they will need to dig. Once the Morses have surveyed and marked the site the family is finally ready to break ground.


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