Chronicles of the Design & Construction of Two Waterfront Hurricane Proof Dry Stack Modular Green Custom Homes
1. Villa Lagoon, Wilder Italian Style Home
2. Nasello Italian Style Home

First Course of DAC-ART Dry Stack Hollow Concrete Blocks

This is our first load of blocks that our house is going to be made from. Quality control was assured by the manufacturer, so we accepted delivery without inspecting the blocks. We later determined that some of the blocks were too big and some were too small. Some were suppose to have electrical boxes pre-cast from the factory but they were not. 

The long blocks weigh over 1000 lbs. and must be lifted and positioned by very heavy equipment. We used a Lull initially and later switched to a crane as the height of the house increased.


We had to put small plastic spacers (shims) underneath the blocks to make sure that there is a place for grout and to assist in leveling the blocks. When the backfill concrete is poured into the block's interiors there is a lot of pressure. You have to make sure that the grout that goes in the space between the blocks is good and hard to prevent any seepage between the blocks. Also, with a house this tall, we have to be really mindful of keeping things level since if we were off level at all, the error would be multiplied as we go higher. 

The above photo shows the small plastic shims that are used to level the DAC-ART man-made stone blocks.

We are installing the first course of blocks before pouring the slab. The blocks themselves will serve as our form to hold the slab in place during pouring. The slab is 8 inches thick and reinforced with very thick rebar. This is to allow heavy equipment to be driven onto the slab during construction. We had to block the openings for both the functional garage doors and the fake ones on the other wall during the pour.

People often wonder what the cost of DACART Blocks is. For this house the cost of the blocks alone is approximately $238,000.

Photos by Jerry Nasello