New City of Akron Energy Efficient Homes Begin with Superior Walls Foundations

June 29, 2011 // Franchising.com // NORTH EAST, PA. - When Calvin Smith became involved in the City of Akron Energy Efficient Homes project, he was pleased to learn that Ferut Architects had been secured to design the two homes his company, Calvin Smith Builders, Inc. would construct. Why? Because, according to Smith, he and lead project architect Joe Ferut share the common belief that energy-efficient homes should start with Superior Walls® foundations.

"I've used Superior Walls for four years and found they provide the ideal energy-efficient foundation for our new home projects," says Smith, owner of Calvin Smith Builders, Inc. out of LaGrange, Ohio. "Our company focuses on green building practices and the precast concrete foundation panels from Superior Walls complement our construction efforts."

Smith will also be using straw bales and earth plaster to help increase the energy efficiency of the two homes under construction on North Maple Street in Akron. "It's all about energy efficiency," says Smith. "We're building conventional 2 x 6 construction walls with blown-in cellulose insulation. Then we add straw bales set on two-inch foam to produce an unheard of R-71 value in the exterior walls. The earth plaster --- which is literally mud mixed with chopped straw --- is applied over an inch thick to create a zero percent air infiltration factor."

Smith believes that the energy efficient construction details he incorporated match up perfectly with the goals of the City of Akron Energy Efficient Homes Project. In Akron, 20 energy-efficient homes will be constructed in a renewal area with rebates of up to $25,000 per home made available based on the HERS (Home Energy Rating System) value of each home constructed.

To encourage the use of energy-efficient products in these newly-constructed single-family homes, the city established financial incentives to assist prospective private property homeowners with energy efficiency benchmarks. Rebate funding for the homes has been available from January 2011 through June 2011, with construction of the homes being completed by December 2011. Smith hopes to take advantage of the city's program by using Superior Walls products and other energy-efficient products in the homes he is constructing.

According to architect Joseph Ferut Jr., who specified the Superior Walls foundations into the two homes Smith is constructing, the precast basement systems perfectly complement the energy efficiency needs of this project. "We've been impressed with the results of including Superior Walls products in previous homes we've designed," says Ferut, principal of Ferut Architects in Vermilion, Ohio. "The products install quickly --- usually in less than a day --- by certified company crews. This means the builder has a firm foundation to begin construction on immediately. The thermal barrier that is created by the precast concrete wall foundation absolutely supports our goals of designing the homes for this project as energy efficient as possible."

Custom-made of durable, insulated concrete panels by the team at Superior Walls of Upstate New York in Lima, N. Y., the XiTM panel walls supplied to Calvin Smith Builders for this project assure the future homeowners of having reliably-constructed homes that are energy-efficient and help reduce noise infiltration into the home.

Superior Walls® insulated precast concrete wall systems have earned the Green Approved Product designation by the NAHB Research Center. Builders choosing to use Superior Walls Xi foundations can earn up to 10 points on a project toward a National Green Building Certification.

The Green Approved Products Certificate #00071 provides builders the following points for the use of Superior Walls foundation systems:

  • Practice 601.2 - 3 points - Structural systems/advanced framing techniques optimize material usage.
  • Practice 601.5 (1-3) - 4 points - Precut/preassembled components, panelized, or precast assemblies are utilized for a minimum of 90% of floor, wall, and/or roof system.
  • Practice 607.1 - 3 points - Products containing fewer materials are used to achieve the same end-use requirements as conventional products.
  • Practice 701.4.3.1 (1) - Mandatory - Insulation is installed in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions or local code. Mandatory for certification.

The first NAHB Green Approved foundation system in the country, Superior Walls products are resource efficient, using up to 70 percent less concrete in a new home than conventional foundations. Stud facings eliminate the need for additional wood framing prior to interior finishing. Using fewer materials helps reduce the carbon footprint of the new home's construction process.

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