A new foundation wall system based on high performance composites
technology is all set to replace the conventional poured concrete foundation
walls considered the industry standard for residential homes in the United
Unveiled at the Chicago AIA Show, the patented Epitome quality
foundation walls from Composite Panel Systems (CPS) install in two hours,
increasing the efficiency of residential home builders.
CPS recently launched the specially engineered solution with the help of
their panel systems fabricator, Fiber-Tech Industries, Inc., and fire-retardant
resin systems supplier, Ashland Performance Materials, a commercial unit of
Ashland Inc., to replace vertically installed concrete walls during the
American Institute of Architects (AIA) Convention and Expo in Chicago.
Combining integrated stud cavities for mechanicals, insulation, the top
plate and a vapour barrier all in a single step, the technology is currently
approved for use in Wisconsin and compliance on the national level with IBC and
IRC is on track for October 2014.
Epitome quality foundation walls have been designed for simple
installation with minimal training required for anyone skilled in the trade. The
use of composites also minimises moisture development or mould issues common
with traditional foundations, providing homeowners with a warmer, drier, more
energy-efficient and ready-to-finish basement.
CPS founder and president Glenn Schiffmann said that the multiple
benefits of the foundation walls for builders and homeowners alike make Epitome
one of the most exciting developments in the residential building industry
since the introduction of plywood. He explains that composites offer incredible
performance, especially in basement applications as an alternative to concrete.
Epitome’s inherent R-16.5 insulation value delivers better energy
efficiency. An airtight transition between the floor and foundation makes it
more efficient than a standard concrete foundation. These foundation walls also
pass the NFPA 286 room corner burn test, eliminating the need to cover with a
thermal barrier such as drywall prior to occupancy. These qualities allow homeowners
to finish their lower level at their convenience.
Andy Beer, global business leader, Ashland Performance Materials adds
that the composite technology is designed to withstand six times a sand
backfill load, and can be installed in any soil type suitable for backfilling.
Composites have become the material of choice in
many critical industrial, infrastructural, aerospace and military applications,
thanks to qualities such as high strength, dimensional stability, corrosion
resistance, durability and longevity. Composites are preferred for their
ability to raise performance levels, address traditional material design
limitations and enable the development of new solutions such as Epitome quality