Foundation Lowers Embodied Carbon of Home

Watch this video to learn more about a new, carbon-saving foundation system debuting at the VISION House Transcend.

In this video, Brandon Wiss, co-founder and chief innovation officer at Dvele, explains the new foundation system being showcased at VISION House Transcend


Dvele, a modular home company focused on creating high-performance, healthy and self-powered homes, is working to solve the various challenges plaguing the building industry, such as the dwindling labor force, high material costs, and quality control. 

The team prefabricated recycled light-gauge steel panels in their factory in Loma Linda, Calif. and assembled them onsite. The foundation system utilizes magnesium oxide panels that actually absorb CO2 in the curing process, making it a carbon-negative product. Magnesium oxide has the same sheer strength as plywood and is impervious to insects.

The walls are mold and mildew resistant and waterproof. “The system is ‘vapor open,’ so it allows vapor to flow through it, which will be a great performance advantage,” explains Weiss. 

Previously, Dvele used ICFs as the foundation, which required contractors, time, money and a lot of concrete. By using prefabricated, recycled light-gauge steel panels, the company is able to reduce embodied energy by 20%, and 80% when compared to a code-built foundation system.

“We’ve always been focussed on the operational energy and been aware of and trying to reduce our embodied energy, and now we are actually modeling it and taking steps in which to mitigate that and reduce additional carbon footprint of our homes,” Weiss notes. 

Transcend foundation

When all the walls are up, they will remove the supports and finish the sub-slab work while patiently awaiting the modules. When the home arrives, it will be placed on top of the foundation and the set and stitch process will commence. 

Watch the video and stay tuned to follow along the journey of preparing for and delivering this factory-produced home of the future.