Michigan WarmFörm project gets its slab

This week saw the concrete slab pour for a WarmFörm build in Michigan. Enjoy this beautiful video of the concrete work this past Monday. More photos of this WarmFörm installation can be seen in the project gallery.

In Praise of Swedish Work Clothes

Matti Viio Defying Convention on working clothes

In 1972 Matti Viio worked as an electrician— first building high-tension lines and then installing domestic and industrial wiring. He found the clothes that workers wore insufficient for his needs, and he suggested modifications.

But no one listened. No one cared. In the end, Viio claimed he “got mad as hell”, but he channeled his anger into designing his own clothes as a protest against the established work-clothing industry. “I wanted to show that we workers have pride and know-how, and that our need of respect is the same as that of all other groups in society”, he said, articulating that his designs are part of a deeply Scandinavian relationship to work that involves dignity and respect, as well as a never ending dissatisfaction with the status quo.

No one working in Sweden has escaped his act of defiance – all of the brands in Sweden have had to imitate his inspiration – which has absolutely no regard for the fashion implications of clothes, low cost, or cutting corners.

Viio called his brand “Sinckers” – which in Swedish means “carpenter”. The other brands that vie for share among the working men and women of Scandinavia: Fristad’s, Blå Kladder, Mascot, Jobman – have all in one way or another, copied his vision of making exquisitely functional, high quality clothes that conform to the idea of “pride and know how” in work.
When I arrived in Sweden I dressed like all other American construction workers, which is to say my clothes seemed to be tough and suited to work, but in reality they only looked that way, when I left Sweden, it was dressed exactly like Matti Viio envisioned, wearing clothes that (literally) bore his signature.
The design moves that make work pants “Scandinvian” are the large flap pockets that essentially replace the need to wear a nail apron or toolbelt. Like all carpenter’s pants, they have a hammer loops, and a ruler slot, but the way these have been built is just better and shows off brilliant ergonomic thinking, one pair I have puts the cell phone at an angle to easily get while seated, making them my favorite.

The clothes are subject to constant experiment, each season brings bold efforts win over the fickle Swedish carpenter.

The biggest design move in Scandinavian work pants are the knee reinforcements that accommodate kneepads that come in various shapes and thicknesses. This design idea is to pants what the 3 point seatbelt was to autos – it is the perfect way to protect your knees – mostly because you don’t really notice it when it’s not actually protecting you from harm and it is easy to put on. The visual effect of this design though is like wearing a waffle, not so much about looking good as it is never having a sore knee.

From Viio’s profoundly antiestablishment, no logo, up with work origins – today come a torrent of appeals to style and fashion. Blå Kladder, which means “blue clothes” in the same sense as “saying blue collar” – has a beachhead in, where else, Minnesota, and they accept that everyone in America is going to say “blah” and not “blå”. A recent ad campaign, called “That’s what I said”, mocks the way Americans butcher Swedish, by featuring an excited African American, telling some taciturn Swedes that these clothes are “awesome” and continually saying “blah” while they look on non pulsed.

The guy in the ad is right, the pants are “awesome Swedish design”, which has never been about how it looks as much as it has about how it works. In the long run work will always been about function, and anyone who has tried Scandinavian work clothes knows this. This is exactly what the electrician who “got mad as hell” had in mind in the first place.

Links to Swedish Work Clothes:








WarmFörm FAQs

We received an email with some questions that are very common, and it seemed like sharing the answers could be helpful to others looking into WarmFörm for their projects.

Ryan asked:
• For utilities, are these generally set in the subsoil prior to beginning the gravel base install or is it best to install utilities within the gravel layer?

• Do you recommend a geotextile layer over subsoil prior to gravel or is this overkill?

• Is there a reason to keep the vapor barrier over the first layer of foam and not over the top layer, or is this just for ease of keeping the vapor barrier flat?
Read more ›

ByggStik Wall Braces are the best tool for Panel Element Construction

ByggStik braces with CLT mid rise construction. photo: Jonas Ljungdahl

ByggStik was developed specifically for working with high value building components and rapid building assembly. It is the perfect brace for SIPs, CLT, and other modern forms of construction.

ByggHouse was at the recent Mass Wood Conference in Portland introducing this new product to the North American market. This quickly maturing building system is in process of establishing proper work methods, which good bracing will be part of. CLT construction should have engineered erection documentation that includes the specification of bracing points, determined by calculations utilizing bracing of known load capacity. CLT buildings are going taller, and lateral forces from wind with height is going to be part of building this way. Propping your work with used 2x4s is just not going to suffice anymore.

First WarmFörm Passive House Element installation

This WarmFörm slab in Ohio is our first installation of our new Passive House WarmFörm elements. This one features the 6″ vertical face to match with the house’s 6″ thick exterior insulation. More photographs are posted in the project album.

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New WarmFörm Elements with 4″, 6″, & 8″ Passive House facing


We are preparing to introduce an expansion of the WarmFörm product offering – new face thicknesses to meet the demands of the Passive House standard. These new elements will be available in a 4″ face, 6″ face, and 8″ face. Note these Passive House Elements have no beveled top edge like the standard WarmFörm Elements in order to match up with thicker exterior insulation layers in wall assemblies. R value varies per temperature, but the foam manufacturer’s Design Thermal Resistance per inch for this Type IX foam is R 4.8/inch. So face R value at 40deg F for these Elements is 4″ R19.2, 6″ R28.8, & 8″ R38.4.

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Another new WarmFörm installation in NY

For this installation the customer is an experienced contractor trying WarmFörm for the first time. Located in the Catskills region of NY state, for this site they are avoiding digging down for a 48″ frost line. Read more ›

WarmFörm making foundations in NY State

Concrete pour happening this day for another WarmFörm frost protected slab-on-grade in NY state.

Paper on Swedish Wall Element Construction

Greg and I are often asked to explain how “closed walls” are built in Sweden, often the focus on these questions is oriented around “automation”, and while it is true that automation is used to build wall elements in Sweden, the process is not dependant upon automation.

Here is a paper that lays out much many of the details:  Summary of Swedish Wall Element Construction

WarmFörm graces South Dakota


A new WarmFörm installation in South Dakota for a large ranch style home. Owner and concrete subcontractor laid out and installed themselves for a smooth and painless insulated slab on grade. Feedback – the concrete guy loved this!

856 662 4909 info@bygghouse.com