Locking in Energy Savings

April 02, 2008 // Franchising.com // NEW HOLLAND, PA. – As energy costs continue to rise, savvy builders are incorporating energy efficient products into new home construction that will help their customers save on long-term energy bills. Those builders smart enough to be looking from the ground up for savings have a way to help their customers potentially save up to 50 percent on the total heat loss in the home simply by constructing with the right foundation system.

"Builders should evaluate every aspect of the building process for potential long-term energy savings for homeowners," says Aaron Schoeneberger, director of market development for Superior Walls®. "Smart builders can add value from the bottom up in their new home projects by using energy-efficient foundation systems. The concrete panels created by Superior Walls are matched up in the manufacturing process with Dow Styrofoam boards, which provide excellent rigid foam insulation. Together, the Dow Blue Board and the steel-reinforced Xi™ wall panels combine to form an exceptionally energy efficient foundation for a home.

"According to the publication 'Native Power – A Handbook on Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency for Native American Communities,' an uninsulated basement can account for one-third of the total heat loss in a home. This study, funded in part by the Office of Energy Research, U.S. Department of Energy and the Office of Utility Technologies, illustrates the tremendous value builders can achieve by shunning unheated basements and crawlspaces in favor of installing energy-efficient foundation panels."

A separate "Residential Foundation Insulation" report issued in 2000 by Kansas State University with support of the U.S. Department of Energy, suggests that the benefits of foundation insulation are often overlooked. According to the report, "heat loss from an uninsulated, conditioned basement may represent up to 50 percent of a home's total heat loss in a tightly sealed, well-insulated home." The report further goes on to explain that a well-insulated foundation offers more than just energy savings --- it increases homeowner comfort and reduces the potential for condensation and corresponding growth of mold.

At Superior Walls, Xi wall panels are constructed with a concrete face shell, backed by 2-1/2-inches of DOW® extruded polystyrene insulation. In addition, the steel reinforced concrete walls create a permanent barrier against sidewall water penetration, making the home damp proof.

Each Superior Walls panel is custom made to the specifications of an individual home, 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 installation process. Foundation systems generally install in a day or less by certified installation crews, making it possible for builders to begin construction within 24 hours.

The pre-cast insulated foundation systems provided by Superior Walls help homeowners save on energy bills and allow them to fully utilize their basement space as functioning and comfortable living areas in the home.

Available nationwide through franchises in 26 states, more than 85,000 Superior Walls foundations have been installed since 1981 when the company introduced the original R-5 Superior Walls precast foundation system. For more information, call 1-800-452-9255 or visit www.superiorwalls.com.

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