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The Green side of Concrete

The Green side of Concrete
June 23, 2011 SNH Editorial Team

Taking one look or, shall I say whiff behind a concrete mixing truck and it is clear just how much diesel fuel is required to make and deliver concrete.  At the site itself add the waste from building, setting and stripping concrete forms and you realize just how energy and resource consumptive building a traditional concrete basement is.  No insulation has yet been applied either. The good news is this is yesterday’s way of creating concrete foundations.

Today, concrete walls can be created in a factory setting where panels are produced to exact psi (density/pressure) specifications under controlled conditions right off cad (computer added design) drawings.  Insulation will be installed with similar precision on the inside complete with studs to receive finishing materials such as drywall.

You might comment, yes but all still needs to be shipped to the site – correct – but the load is lighter since at transport the panels are cured and no water weight has to be carried.

At the site, the entire process looks much like an Erector set.  Pieces are lifted right off the truck, set and connected one by one.  The slab is built to specifications that are not that different than in pervious set ups.

So, what company makes pre-fabricated concrete foundation panels? Superior Walls. Check them out.  Reportedly the Army Corp of Engineers selected Superior’s foundation wall panels for one of its upstate New York facilities recently. This means the product has really been vetted.

More good news for homeowners is the fact that they can expect a 15-year manufacturer’s warranty against leaks.  Try to get that from your local concrete foundation installer – not a chance.

If I have one criticism it is that the Superior Walls should offer better solutions on its inside insulation.  The blue polystyrene panels (also seen in the photo) are anything but green. I recommend the Superior Walls offer eco-friendly insulation product choices such soy-based and other green insulation products.

The EPA recently expanded on its earlier findings regarding the negative health aspects of styrene came to light. I hope, Superior Walls will take this nudge and offer its customers more eco-friendly insulation choices so that homeowners can really feel good about their “green” concrete foundations from Superior Wall.