Builders enthusiastic about energy-efficient construction techniques and products are embracing the "bottom up" building concept using pre-cast concrete walls from Superior Walls®. Beginning with a foundation system made with panels that create a dampproof basement and building upwards with above grade concrete walls, builders can construct an entire home or commercial facility with energy-efficient Superior Walls products.
Below the Ground
As opposed to concrete blocks or poured concrete, precast concrete panels from Superior Walls are created in the manufacturing process with DOW® Styrofoam™ boards, which provide excellent rigid foam insulation.
"In construction, the foundation selection is critical," says Jim Costello, president of Superior Walls. "Choosing an energy-efficient precast Xi™ or Xi Plus™ concrete foundation can help ward off heat loss and make the basement a more comfortable area for extended living and storage space. The wall panels provide a dry and exceptionally energy-efficient foundation for a home or commercial structure."
Superior Walls Xi wall panels feature steel reinforced concrete and 2-1/2-inches of DOW® Styrofoam™ insulation to create a 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:
- 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
- Insulated corners, studs and bond beams
Superior Walls Xi Plus wall panels have many of the same features of the Xi walls, plus:
- Dow® THERMAX™ reinforced polyisocyanurate insulation covering rigid foam insulation
- A four-inch insulated footer beam
- Four precast and insulated access holes in each standard stud to provide greater ease in wiring and plumbing
- A four-inch standard floor slab may be poured equal to the height of the footer beam eliminating the need for an additional screed board.
Xi Plus panels are available with a built-in insulation value of R-21.3 and can be insulated up to R-42+. The wall panels provide R-values that meet or exceed energy conservation values from both the IECC and the IRC, and the Xi Plus wall panels can help in the construction of an ENERGY STAR® qualified home.
Above the Ground
Moving up from the foundation, AG™ Walls Systems from Superior Walls allow builders to use panels in stacked applications to create multiple stories of construction. AG precast concrete wall panels are Superior Walls products (typically the Xi wall system) that are specifically designed and customized for use above grade.
Superior Walls launched AG Wall Systems to bring the strength and energy efficiency typically found in Superior Walls foundation systems to above grade building applications. AG wall systems are custom-manufactured at Superior Walls facilities for the specific needs of a project. The walls for each story of the project are delivered to the residential or commercial job site and installed within hours of arrival.
"A conventional wall structure with block and wood framing can take weeks to create," says Costello. "When using AG Wall Systems, you can achieve that same framing in just hours on the job site with many energy-efficiency benefits."
AG Wall Systems have already been used in numerous projects, including the creation of a high school, a yoga center, shopping centers and a wide variety of homes. Each Superior Walls panel is custom made to the specifications of an individual project, including built-in openings for windows and doors. Pre-engineered access for wiring or small plumbing elements along with smart stud facing for easy drywall installation are included and help speed up the construction process.
Green from the Ground Up
Superior Walls insulated precast concrete wall systems have earned the Green Approved Product designation by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Research Center.
For homeowners and facility operators, the benefits of Superior Walls foundations systems are substantial. The energy-efficient walls help lower energy costs and reduce energy leakage while providing increased living and storage space in a comfortable setting. Builders also benefit from saved job site time and labor when certified Superior Walls installation crews set the walls in place in less than one day, so that construction can immediately begin the following day.
Superior Walls panels are built in an indoor production facilities, eliminating any on-site soil contamination such as the form oil used for poured walls. No on-site sprays or bituminous coatings are required to make the walls dampproof.
Since Superior Walls panels are engineered and manufactured with insulated concrete studs, Superior Walls reduces the amount of materials used to build a structure, including wood and concrete, and reduces the carbon footprint of a new home or commercial facility's construction process.
For more information visit www.superiorwalls.com.
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 www.superiorwalls.comWebsite: www.superiorwalls.com