Precast System Provides Green Foundation, Job-Site Efficiency
- Written by CP Staff
Licensed producers of Superior Walls Xi precast systems provide builders what product developers note is an efficient means to create warm, dry, and environmentally sound foundations. Fabricated exclusively in plant settings and delivered to the job site, Xi precast insulated panels are custom designed and constructed to complement any architectural style, Superior Walls officials contend. To date, licensees in 26 states have installed 75,000-plus proprietary foundations since the company's 1981 introduction of the original R-5 wall.
Notes Superior Walls Director of Marketing Aaron Schoeneberger, Xi steel-reinforced, precast wall panels create a permanent barrier against sidewall water penetration. They feature 2_ inches of continuous Energy Star-rated Dow Styrofoam for warmth and energy efficiency. Nearly every part of the foundation wall is insulated, including corners, studs and bond beams. Special engineering renders each wall thermally isolated and thoroughly insulated for performance in below-ground installations.
LICENSED TO EXCEL
Licensed producers follow precise fabrication and installation procedures in a multiphase process: (1) Customized plans for factory production are created by CAD designers upon receipt of approved blueprints; (2) Set up involves preparing forms and placing steel rebar, after which Dow Styrofoam is installed; (3) Pouring a high-strength, fiber-reinforced, 5,000-psi concrete mix allows direct bonding to the foam insulation; (4) Finishing involves application of a vibrating screed to assist flow and fill potential voids, plus a final broom finish for greater surface consistency; (5) Loading onto specially designed carriers for transportation to the job site requires careful lifting from the forms after factory curing for maximum quality control.
SWIFT AND STRONG
Following panel fabrication in a climate-controlled environment and delivery via special carrier, cranes at the job site carefully lower the walls onto a bed of clean, crushed stone. Specially trained, factory-certified crews permanently secure the panels.
Fast installation Û typically requiring less than one day Û allows builders to begin home construction on the same date. Customized components for each home include built-in openings for windows and doors, pre-engineered access for wiring or small plumbing elements, and smart stud facings for easy drywall installation. As needed, custom details such as support or brick ledges, brick or siding ties, and lath also are provided to accommodate exterior elements. The system suits a variety of wall heights.
High-strength, low-w/c ratio concrete, reinforced with steel rebar and polypropylene fibers, accounts for the panels' structural integrity, Superior Walls engineers note. The concrete mix provides protection against freeze/thaw cycles and water vapor transmission, while a urethane sealant between panels ensures protection against sidewall water penetration. Each Xi panel has horizontal steel rebar inside top and bottom beams, vertical steel rebar inside each stud, steel-reinforced concrete studs, and footer beams.
Superior Walls foundations meet or exceed energy conservation requirements of both the International Energy Conservation Code and the International Residential Code, company engineers affirm. Besides a 2_-in. layer of extruded polystyrene insulation backing the panel's concrete face shell, 1-in. foam-insulated concrete studs and bond beams help ensure energy efficiency. Moreover, system components delivered damp proof from the factory allow increasing insulation without additional framing.
Originally created as an energy-efficient alternative to traditional foundation methods, Superior Walls offers what company engineers contend is a system that maximizes a home's energy conservation and overall value, while increasing construction speed and efficiency. Because the foundations are custom built to project specifications in nearly any home style, homeowners save on energy bills while gaining additional living space.
Every consumer wants a warm, dry, insulated basement that can be converted into additional living space, Schoeneberger notes. This foundation system provides builders a differentiating feature in their market that stands to bring more business.