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Education Session 2

Thursday, December 8, 2022
10:15 a.m. - 11:15 a.m.

Click here for presentation PDF

David Johnston Image - cropped.jpg

Building a Healthy Basement

David Johnston
Retired, Adjunct Professor CMCC Gorham, ME

About this program:

*  Why build a basement at all?  Especially in Climate Zone 6?

*  Okay, I can't talk you out of it, so let's at least do it right...

*  What material shall we use to build the basement.  Concrete, CMU, ICF, AWW?

*  Probably concrete, so...

*  Site assessment, excavation, drainage systems, waterproofing, backfilling, and grading  (Important to all systems)

*  Concrete shrinks as it cures, so managing cracks is essential

*  Insulation is critical.  Where do we put it?  What should we use?

*  Radon resistant construction is not difficult... most of it is already done  

*  And finally, finishing the basement is probably going to happen someday, isn't it?


At this session, you will learn:


1.  The difference between a foundation and a basement, and how to choose appropriately

2.  The importance of proper drainage and bulk water control;  the difference between damp-proofing and water-proofing

3.  Radon resistant construction methods

4.  Insulation and the IECC 2015 Code

5.  How to deal with potential calamities ahead of time

About the Presenter:

David Johnston recently retired as  president of David Johnston & Co., after building healthy, energy efficient homes in Maine for more than 40 years. David currently teaches building construction trade classes at Central Maine Community College, and has served as an adjunct instructor in Residential Design and Drafting and Graphic Design at the USM Department of Industrial Technology. David currently serves on the Advisory Committees for Southern Maine Community College, Central Maine Community College, and Westbrook Region Technology Center.

Program Level:


Content Area(s):

Residential, Design & Construction, Building Science

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