Architect Embraces Precast Concrete Foundations

Written by 

From her first exposure to Superior Walls precast concrete walls in the late 1980s, architect Judith A. Miller knew she had discovered a reliable foundation system.

“I’ve specified Superior Walls foundations in several projects over the years, but I really got a first-hand look at their value when we included them in plans for the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition television show project house in Baltimore in 2010,” says Miller, principal of Architecture by Design, Inc. in Ellicott City, Maryland. “The Superior Walls foundation system was the only component in that project construction to go in without a hitch. The team at Weaver Precast was incredible to work with and the product was impressive.”

Miller, who established her firm in 2000 and has more than 20 years of architectural and engineering experience, has specified Superior Walls in a variety of projects, including a custom home for a builder and even close family friends. “They asked me to design a lake house in Deep Creek, Maryland, and I immediately recommended Superior Walls for the foundation,” says Miller, AIA, CDT and LEED AP. “The house was built in January when you wouldn’t normally be able to do a foundation in the mountains of western Maryland. Not a problem for the Superior Walls panels. They arrived precast from the factory, ready for drywall, and were installed within a day and the construction process continued smoothly.”

For Miller, the simplicity of the system is one of the largest assets of being able to specify the precast concrete foundations into her residential design projects. “The integrity of the system and the ability to start an energy-efficient foundation almost year-round is a true asset of this product,” says Miller. “I try to use these walls whenever the budget allows and the owners want comfortable living space in their basement.”

Next up for Miller is the ultimate architectural endorsement --- she plans to construct her own new home in 2013 and wants to use a Superior Walls foundation. “I’ve been recommending this product to my friends and family since my first experience with the wall panels in 2010,” says Miller. “So, it only makes sense that I’m extremely interested in having this product as the foundation for my own new home!”

Understanding Superior Walls Products

Superior Walls Xi wall panels feature steel-reinforced concrete and 2 1/2" of DOW® Styrofoam™ insulation to create a permanent barrier against sidewall water penetration. The panels are custom-designed and constructed in a factory-controlled setting. Unique features of the Xi wall panels include the following:

  • 5,000+ psi concrete;

  • Steel-reinforced top bond beams, concrete studs, and footer beams;

  • Horizontal steel rebar inside top and bottom beams;

  • Vertical steel rebar inside each stud;

  • Access holes for ease in wiring and plumbing;

  • Galvanized steel stud facing ready for drywall finishing; and

  • Insulated corners, studs, and bond beams.

Superior Walls products are resource-efficient, using up to 70% less concrete in a new home than conventional foundations. The energy-efficient walls help lower energy costs and reduce energy leakage while providing increased living space in a comfortable setting.

Last modified on Mon, Oct 29, 2012
Superior Walls

Available nationwide through licensees in a variety of states, Superior Walls foundations have been installed since 1981 when the company introduced the original R-5 Superior Walls precast foundation system. Superior Walls products are the first and only foundation systems to have attained the Green Approved Product designation by the NAHB Research Center, earning builders points on a project toward a National Green Building Certification. The company is a member of the International Code Council and the US Green Building Council. For more information, call 1-800-452-9255 or visit

blog comments powered by Disqus