Local resident Scott Gertsma has the first polycore home on Vancouver Island.

New method of home building

There's no place like 'foam'

With more than 1,000 homes completed in Alberta, Edmonton-based Polycore Canada Incorporated has worked out the bugs with it’s building system and has brought the process out west.

Scott Gerstma’s new home is the first polycore home on the Island and, because good insulation and good design are important wherever you may be, will likely be the first of many.

“I’m the guinea pig,” Gertsma laughed at the Larkspur Road construction site recently of his decision to go with the building process which makes use of expanded polystyrene (styrofoam) combined with galvanized steel studs.

Gertsma’s home will be 2,800 square feet on three levels. When complete it will boast an insulation value of R34 as compared with an R15 or R16 which is common in most conventional homes. This type of rating adds up to greater year round comfort and economy for the homeowner, and there’s a definite ‘green’ connotation to go with it as well.

It’s interesting to note that although the building site may look a bit like a giant picnic cooler, the strength and life expectancy of the Polycore structure is more than equal to a traditional wood frame home.

“If you look at this house, if you were to take all the styrofoam away,” said Polycore Canada president Mark Cunningham who was on site that day on Larkspur Road, “it’s a steel-studded structure which is really the way most commercial buildings are made. So in effect it’s actually, in many cases stronger than a typical residential construction package.”

Polycore Canada literature indicates that the process and materials are adaptable to most commercial or residential building uses including walls, foundation walls, foundation floors and roofs. The system has many unique advantages, significant cost savings, and its ease of installation makes the product less dependant on costly and hard to find skilled trade workers.

Economies of scale will most likely be available as the Polycore style of home becomes more common in this part of the country. For this local prototype Gertsma said he’s looking at a price premium (compared with standard construction) of about 10 per cent.

Just Posted

Federal government actions hurt Sooke hatchery fundraising efforts

Funding denial comes on the heels of fishing closures

Stop work order at Sooke salmon hatchery devastates volunteers

CRD steps in as some volunteers give up their efforts

Oak Bay researcher’s Canadian English dictionary goes to print

How an unknown American hobbyist sparked a Canadian dictionary

Jesse Roper learns to create fire in the wild, in Sacred Knowledge web series

Ragnarock Studios production shares primitive skills with Islanders

Island athlete goes from hoop dreams to icy track

Cyrus Gray hopes to punch his ticket to Olympics in bobsleigh

Police release photos of suspect in daytime sex assault at Vancouver woman’s home

A young woman, in hers 20s, was followed home by the man, before he violently attacked her inside

Raptors beat Bucks 100-94 to advance to franchise’s first-ever NBA Finals

Leonard has 27 points, 17 boards to lead Toronto past Milwaukee

Third person charged in death of B.C. teen Bhavkiran Dhesi

Inderdeep Kaur Deo facing charge of accessory after the fact to murder

SOOKE HISTORY: Pemberton Pool namesake remains a mystery

Historian believes it was possibly named after surveyor Joseph Despard Pemberton

Kamloops girl, 9, recovering from carbon monoxide poisoning now out of ICU

Her mother who was sleeping in the same tent with her did not survive

‘I think he’s still alive’: B.C. mom pleads for help finding son last seen a month ago

Family offering $5,000 reward for information leading to the safe return of Tim Delahaye

New poll suggests one-third don’t want politicians to wear religious symbols

Local politicians shouldn’t be allowed to wear hijabs, crucifixes or turbans on the job, survey suggests

Raptors fans far from home adjust plans to watch pivotal playoff game

Raptors currently lead the playoff series 3-2, and a win Saturday would vault them into NBA finals

PHOTOS: First responders in Fernie rescue baby owl who fell from nest

The baby owl’s inability to fly back to its nest prompted a rescue by first responders

Most Read