ICF in Aruba

Insulated concrete forms have been around for a long time. Imagine sheets of styrofoam on the outside and concrete and reinforcing steel on the inside. The advantage of this building system is that the forms remain in place, creating an insulating barrier on both the inside and the outside of the structure. At the same time, the concrete and steel create an incredibly strong wall, that when poured at once, becomes a monolithic feature.

Here in Aruba, I have not seen many ICF structures under construction. However, the other day I was in San Fuego where a number of new homes are under way. There I spotted a bunch of forms. Here’s what they look like when they are delivered un-assembled.

Just a stack of styrofoam. The next step is to use brackets to join two pieces. Take a look:

You can see how the cavity is formed in the photo above. At the same time, note that the forms have been “glued” to the footer and held in place with a wooden block. The rebar sticking up helps to connect the wall to the floor. Next, is a view of the portion of the assembled wall:

The vertical wooden braces help to support the forms when the concrete is poured. Significant pressures can develop as concrete is heavy. The story goes that this will be a wine cellar for the house above. I can’t wait to see the finished home. It should be impressive.

Bon dia from Aruba.

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Future Pool with a View

There’s a new home being built in San Fuego, Aruba. The home will feature a large swimming pool with a nice view out over the island. Here’s a photo of the current status of construction.

poolfuegSan Fuego is centrally located on the island. It’s also an elevated area. From the second story of homes here, you can see the Caribbean sea to the west. To the east, there is the Arikok National Park. The builder tells me there will be a covered pavilion at the end of the pool to offer some shade. In the foreground is the porch that surrounds the house.

There are a number of pleasant areas to build a new home or buy an existing one here in Aruba. If you’re looking for a vacation home or another place to hang your hat, think about one here.

Bon dia.

Hot Water, Aruba

Many homes in Aruba do not have running hot water. Some use small, point of use units to heat water used in the shower. These are typically electrically powered and draw quite a bit of current. However, the other day I spotted this solar hot water unit.

solarhotwater1This unit is actually quite sophisticated. It has a flat collector plate that captures the sun’s rays, transferring the heat to water piped through the collector area. Then the hot water is stored in an insulated tank you see at the top left of the unit. This way, even after the sun goes down, you have hot water on demand. Here in Aruba, where the sun is very strong, this unit can deliver enough hot water for a typical family of four. The best part is, after the initial investment of purchasing and installing it, there are no additional costs.┬áThis one is mounted at ground level for easy maintenance but they can also be mounted on top of the roof.

If you’re considering a home in Aruba, I strongly suggest a system like the one pictured above. It will save you money in the long run and thereby make your island home that much more affordable.

Bon dia from Aruba.

Win Tung Home Center, Aruba

Win Tung Home Center sells everything from complete sets of furniture to common household items to tools to T-shirts. This is a zany place, one of those businesses here in Aruba that never disappoints. You may go here looking for something as innocuous as a plastic laundry basket and come out an hour later with a three frying pans, half a dozen screw drivers, and a lamp. Here’s a look at their building.

wingtungaIt’s tons of fun to check out this place on a regular basis because every time a ship calls at the port it’s possible Win Tung received another container of “stuff.” Upstairs is where you find the furniture, everything from living/dining room sets to complete office arrangements. Much of it is the high-lacquer style popular in Asian countries but they do have a variety of choices. Prices here are usually quite good but it always pays to shop around this island. Sometimes one item is much cheaper than the same item somewhere else.

wintungbFinally, check out the lion statue closely. You’ll see a small lion atop the foot of the big lion. Both are roaring and that’s sure to chase the evil spirits away. Right?

Bon dia from Aruba.

Published in: on March 9, 2009 at 12:42 pm  Comments (1)  
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