Superior Walls – Concrete – Block
DRY. Superior Walls’ special 5,000+ psi concrete mix is moisture resistant. Because additional damp proofing is not required, this can help you save both time and money. With the specified crushed stone sub-footer and perimeter drain, water will be directed away from your foundation, helping to keep your home dry. With our patented technologies and superior manufacturing methods, our basements are the very finest in the world and guaranteed for 15 years.*
WARM. Research indicates that over 20% of your new home’s heat loss can occur through your basement walls. That’s why Superior Walls foundations feature a continuous layer of insulation bonded directly to the concrete, resulting in high energy efficiency to help you reduce energy costs. Our walls have treated wood nailers built into the concrete studs so you can easily increase the amount of insulation without any need to install additional framing.
SMART. The building industry’s leaders are building today’s new homes with Superior Walls. Certified trained crews install our superior systems typically in just five hours, in virtually any weather. Your builder can save valuable time building your home with the dry, warm, smart, superior solution.
SUPERIOR. Superior Walls are created in a controlled factory environment to ensure that your new home’s foundation will be built to the industry’s highest standards. The concrete is reinforced with steel rebar, making it stronger than traditional foundations. And Superior Walls can be customized to nearly any architecture, providing you with a maximum of home design flexibility.
- Superior Walls are manufactured with 5,000 psi high-strength low water to cement concrete, polypropylene fibers and are reinforced with steel rebar.
- The Superior Xi Wall has 2.5 inches of continuous DOW Styrofoam for superior warmth and energy efficiency.
- Superior Walls feature built-in insulation which significantly reduces basement dampness, moisture, and mildew.
- Superior Walls are available in heights of 4’0″, 9’0″, and 10’0″.
- Superior Walls may be specified in almost any shape and size. Window and door dimensions are custom-designed to your plans.
- Superior Walls require less on-site coordination–your excavator can provide the groundwork, including stone sub-footer and drain.
- Superior Walls feature holes for wiring, accommodate standard receptacles, and allow for recessing electrical panel box into the wall for a cleaner, more finished look.
- Superior Walls have no hollow cores that may cause loop convection. Air within conventional basements, warmed and cooled by varying interior and exterior temperatures, can create costly and annoying moisture and mildew
-Energy Efficiency (See IRC Chapter 11)
One of the biggest changes with the adoption of the new IRC is the greater emphasis on energy efficiency. While this may cost builders a little bit more, a house with an insulated basement is more energy efficient and may add a greater perceived value to home buyers. Many people today wish to use their basements as additional living space, and a fully insulated basement lends itself to this purpose. The ability to finish a basement can even influence the sale of a home. Superior Walls foundations contain built-in insulation to meet this challenge. Our smart stud cavities also make it easy to add even more insulation without additional studding, insulating up to R-31 for colder climates. With Superior Walls, your foundations will always be warm, eliminating your code compliance worries.
-DAMP PROOFING (See IRC Section 406)
All concrete and masonry foundations are required to meet damp proofing requirements. Superior Walls special high-strength, low-water concrete mix protects against water infiltration and meets IRC requirements right from the factory – without any additional damp proofing measures. While the special concrete mix resists water, our built-in rigid insulation acts as a vapor barrier, and urethane sealant forms a flexible expansion joint. Our foundations rest on a sub-footer of clean crushed stone, which provides extra support while allowing moisture to drain easily away. A 4 inch perimeter drain completes the job, channeling water to a daylight drain or sump pit. Superior Walls foundations are tested and proven dry, as noted in BOCA research reports 98-4 and 2172.
-BASEMENT EGRESS (See IRC Section R310)
Recent events have created a renewed focus on safety and efficiency in the event of an emergency such as a fire or natural disaster. While much of this is focused on larger buildings, residential building codes have also been affected in some ways. Currently, it is required that every basement containing habitable space must contain a means of egress. Simply put, this is a way to escape or be rescued in an emergency. This may require builders to install egress windows or doors and make sure that window wells are large enough for a person to exit. Superior Walls are made to builder specifications, arriving on-site with custom openings for windows and doors – making it easy to meet IRC requirements.
-SOIL LOADS (See IRC Chapter 4)
The IRC addresses two types of soil loads; load-bearing pressures and backfill lateral load pressures. Load-bearing pressures may be determined by either a soil load test or by consulting Table R401.4.1 of the IRC for presumptive values. Depth of stone beneath the foundation wall can be adjusted to compensate for soil capacity the deeper the stone, the more load the soil can hold. Backfill loads are determined by either the same soil test or by classifying the soil type (see Table R405.1 of the IRC). Superior Walls allow 60 pounds per cubic foot lateral load strength for the 9 foot height walls, and 45 pounds per cubic foot for 10 foot height walls.
-FOAM INSULATION AND FLAME SPREAD (See IRC Section R 318)
Foam plastic insulation is usually required to have a thermal barrier of gypsum board installed to separate it from the inside of the building. In the Superior Walls system, however, the concrete wall is bonded directly to the foam insulation during the pouring process and no gypsum board is necessary to meet fire safety regulations. The concrete redirects the heat from a fire and reduces the oxygen fueling it from the back. Therefore, installation of a thermal barrier is not required. Additionally, the DOW insulation we use surpassed regulations in a fire test, recording a flame spread rating of 5 (IRC max is 75) and a smoke developed rating of 165 (IRC max is 450).
At Superior Walls, we have experienced professionals who make sure that our foundations adapt to the latest code changes in regions around the country. Our flexible design capabilities make it easy for you to meet the challenge of complying with IRC codes. When you need added strength, Superior Walls builds in additional reinforced concrete studs. For more warmth, our pre-insulated walls have smart cavities that easily allow additional insulation to R-31. Need emergency exits? Our foundations are custom built to your specifications, complete with spaces for egress windows or doors. Whatever the situation, Superior Walls is the answer to tackling your code problems, and building your foundations dry, warm, smart, and superior in every way.
Q: What is the Superior Walls foundation system?
A:Superior Walls foundations feature patented precast insulated panels that are formed in a factory-controlled setting and delivered to the new home job site, where the panels are carefully locked together and permanently sealed. The walls are custom-designed and built to virtually any architectural style, complete with window and door openings.
Q: What are the components of the Superior Walls system?
A:Superior Walls panels are created in a factory, where high-strength 5,000+ psi concrete is formed directly to DOW ® insulation. Solid concrete studs provide support, as does a built-in concrete footer that rests on a sub-footer of clean crushed stone. The attention to detail is evident in features that make finishing basements easy, such as pre-engineered wiring access holes and furring strips for easy drywall installation.
Q: What makes Superior Walls better than conventional foundations?
A:Superior Walls foundations are dry, using a special low water/cement- ratio concrete that requires no additional damp proofing. They are warm, with full-length insulation built in to increase energy efficiency. Superior Walls high-strength 5,000 psi minimum concrete is reinforced with steel rebar and polypropylene fibers for added strength. They are smart, with convenient features like built-in accesses for wiring and treated wood nailers for drywall. An important feature for builders is the speed of installation. It takes just five hours to install a typical home foundation.
Q: How many foundations have been installed?
A:Since 1981, over 40,000 foundations have been installed.
Q: How are Superior Walls delivered and installed?
A:After manufacture in a factory-controlled environment, Superior Walls panels are delivered to the new home job site on special carriers. There, cranes carefully lower the custom walls onto a bed of clean crushed stone, where they are permanently fixed into place by specially trained crews. A triple bead of Superior Sealant T forms a tight permanent seal against moisture. As soon as the foundation is in place, building can begin immediately – usually the same afternoon.
Concrete: Poured Wall basements…the concrete solution
The solution to today’s foundation needs is cast-in-place concrete. Poured concrete walls provide builders and owners with stronger, drier, better basements. They offer performance that block walls and pre-cast panels simply cannot match. . .at a competitive price.
Solid concrete has an ultimate flexural strength often greater than block, making it better able to resist cave-ins caused by lateral pressures of wind, earth and water. Its ultimate compressive strength is also greater, making it better able to support vertical building loads. In addition, poured concrete
Poured concrete basements need virtually no maintenance. Concrete’s composition is resistant to rot, decay, rodents, termites and fungi. Poured concrete is also nontoxic, containing no preservatives to become free upon contact or by leaching. Solid concrete wall basements take care of themselves.
Because of its increased density and joint-free construction, poured walls offer twice the fire resistance of hollow core block.
Controlling costs is one of the biggest concerns of home builders and buyers alike. Efficient modern construction methods make poured wall basements cost competitive with block walls. When you can get this much performance at a comparable price, why look any further!
Solid concrete walls are essentially impervious to the passage of water. Solid concrete has fewer and smaller voids than block and is less porous. It offers almost twice the density of a hollow core block wall and weighs approximately 50 lbs. more per cubic foot. This makes concrete basements drier.
Poured wall construction is adaptable to most home styles, including ranches, duplexes, split levels, condominiums and apartments. It can be finished in a variety of attractive choices such as smooth, stucco, brick, board and batten, fluted and many others. Poured concrete fits in perfectly with today’s diverse lifestyles.
Using poured wall construction gives the builder a head start on framing. A typical installation involves a three-day cycle. When compared to block construction this saves the builder time, increases productivity and results in a superior basement.
Concrete – it’s how ideas get built.
Nothing compares with the quality of a concrete block foundation.
Here are the reasons why…
- Construction Time: Concrete masonry block offers a time efficient way to construct a basement. Most block foundations can be completed and back filled in just a couple of days. By contrast a poured foundation should not be backfilled for several days to avoid cracking. Time is Money. Your bank is keeping close track of its investment; you should too.
- Cost: Our findings show that masonry block basements can be up to 15% less to build than comparably sized poured basements. Savings may vary, but one fact remains; money NOT spent on your basement can be used to upgrade carpet, cabinets or even build a fireplace.
- Energy Efficiency: A typical masonry block foundation has more than twice the R-value of a poured foundation, saving you even more money when it’s time to insulate. The top of a block wall is also much straighter and more level than a poured wall, so air leaks are almost eliminated. The hollow spaces in a block wall also help keep water condensation away from the inside of wall surfaces. That’s a real plus when you insulate because insulation works better when it’s dry. Poured walls have no choice but to “sweat”, which wets insulation. That can be abig problem.
- Higher Strength: Poured wall field practices, like adding water to the mix, greatly reduce the strength by increasing the size and frequency of cracks in poured walls. A standard concrete block wall has guaranteed built-in strength, block after block. The block used in large commercial buildings is the same type used in your foundation wall. There is no down grading of product used to build your block basement.
- Construction Flexibility: When building a concrete masonry foundation, a mason can stop anywhere, at any time, to make custom changes, like moving a door or enlarging a window, without affecting the quality of the job. Once pouring a wall has started, there’s no stopping until the forms are filled. Also, block is perfectly suited for building basements in tight spots, between existing structures for example, where concrete trucks cannot gain access. With concrete block it’s easier to increase the ceiling height by simply adding another course or two of block. To do the same with poured walls, extra form work and bracing is needed, which increases costs.
- Waterproofing: A leaky basement is usually caused by a poorly drained site or faulty drain tile installation. A block foundation is waterproofed by backplastering or applying a cement based coating. Poured walls are usually sprayed with a thin asphalt paint. Block walls are waterproofed; poured walls usually are not.
- Repair-ability: In the event a masonry block wall cracks, repairs are readily made using regular mortar. When a poured wall cracks, not only does it lose strength, but also requires a complex set of steps and materials for repair success.
- All Weather Construction: Provided the soil under the wall is not frozen, a masonry block wall can be constructed in any temperature, any weather. Block basements are dramatically less susceptible to the effects of freezing than poured walls. Remember, the entire poured wall must cure in the field. Only the mortar in between the dry blocks must field cure.
- Ease of Remodeling: By using precolored, prefinished block, the need to fur-out and sheet rock can be eliminated. Even a plain grey block wall looks great with just a coat of paint. Typically, poured walls need furring and sheet rock to look as good as concrete block. What it comes down to is that prefinished, painted or furred and sheet rocked block walls are easier to construct and less expensive than poured basements. That’s something to consider when you’re thinking about adding more living space.
- Rational Choices: Now that you know the facts, the choice is clear. Concrete block is the only building material an informed person can use to build their basement. Concrete masonry is truly the only logical choice in building materials on the market today.
When you compare concrete masonry block basements with other foundation systems you will find that concrete masonry block basements:
- SAVE $$ in construction costs.
- – fastest system on the market today.
- SAVE $$ in actual hard costs.
- – in some cases up to 15% less than poured walls.
- SAVE $$ in insulating costs.
- – masonry block has twice the R-value of poured walls.
- SAVE $$ in remodeling costs.
- – prefinished, precolored, textured, and insulated block save floor space by eliminating the need to fur-out with 2×4 studs.
- SAVE $$ in alterations and additions.
- – no special power tools are needed to add more room to your basement.
- VERSATILE: Changes can be made at any time without production delays, which cost you more in time and money.
- FINISHES: Concrete masonry units are offered in a variety of finishes, textures, and colors eliminating the need for additional wall coverings.
- LOW COST: Take the $2,000 to $3,000 extra it costs to use an alternative system and put that money into something you can see.
- ENERGY EFFICIENT: Block basements require no air conditioning in summer and minimum heating in winter to maintain a comfortable environment.
- DURABILITY & STRENGTH: Concrete masonry has stood the test of time, 100+ years of dependable use. A single block can support 60 tons!
- STABILITY: Concrete masonry walls are constructed on steel reinforced solid concrete footers, unlike some walls that are constructed on stone, which can settle and cause stress cracks throughout the home.
- REINFORCEABLE: The cavities in concrete block easily accommodate vertical steel reinforcement where excessive soil pressures occur.
- INSULATES EASILY: Block has better “R” & “U” factors than poured concrete. That’s a fact. So, used naturally, without any insulation, concrete block will always be warmer. Yet the builder can add insulation on the outside of the basement wall taking advantage of the thermal mass and achieving any R value desired, thus creating an exceptionally energy efficient foundation.
- DRY AND QUIET: Concrete block walls breathe. They are dry. Poured concrete walls sweat. Block walls absorb sound. Poured concrete walls reflect noise back into the home.
- FREEDOM FROM FORMS AND RESTRICTIONS: Concrete block is a modular building system. That means the size and shape of your basement aren’t limited by form size, as with poured or pre-cast concrete walls. Door and window openings can be adjusted easily to meet your needs. Builders can quickly and inexpensively customize basements according to the site and to buyer needs. Finally, only block walls give home buyers the satisfaction of knowing that their basement foundation walls are crafted by hand by local labor – no forms and no machines. More and more conscientious buyers are expecting quality handwork and rejecting “prefabricated and stamped-out” form-work.
Remember, when you build with concrete block, you build for keeps.
- Concrete Footer- Solid steel reinforced footer eliminates settlement cracks (drywall, brick).
- Steel Reinforcement- Bars and concrete filled block cores per specifications.
- Mortar- Use type S mortar (masonry cement or portland & lime) in mortar joints. Use a 45 degree bed of mortar at the base. A step in water control.
- Waterproofing- Use a quality product, installed to the manufacturer’s specifications, making sure the base is free of debris. A step in water control.
- Block- Use American Society of Testing & Materials C-90 load bearing units. One block supports 60 tons!
- Drain Tile- Install below the outside of the footer draining toward the sump pump or gravity drain. A step in water control.
- Stone- Clean 2B/1″ stone, a minimum of 2 feet above the top of the footer. A key step in water control.
- Use filter fabric between 2B stone and backfill.
- Backfill- Use clean backfill, with finish grade sloping away from the house. A step in water control.
- Optional Joint Reinforcement
- Optional Insulation.
Using This Recommended System Will Produce a Strong and Dry Block Basement