Following a rigorous testing process, the Epitome Quality Foundation Walls developed by Composite Panel Systems LLC in Eagle River have met national code requirements set for residential foundations, company officials learned Friday.
The composite walls met the strict guidelines of a testing program and building code set by NTA Inc., a nationally recognized testing laboratory and third-party certification agent.
The new composite foundation wall system employs high-performance composites technology developed by Composite Panel Systems LLC.
“Receiving this code approval is a significant milestone in the short history of our young company,” said Glenn Schiffmann, founder of Composite Panel Systems and inventor of Epitome Quality Foundations. “I’m extremely humbled and so very proud of all of our employees and partners who made this happen.”
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., Composite Panel Systems launched the composite wall system to replace concrete foundation walls.
“It’s really the culmination of a long-term partnership we’ve managed to forge with our employees, with Ashland and with FiberTech, all of whom contributed time, energy and resources ensuring a successful commercialization of the product,” said Schiffmann. The composite building product combines structure, continuous insulation, a double top plate, integrated stud cavities, waterproofing and a vapor barrier all in a single step.
“Because there are so many benefits associated with our foundation walls for builders and homeowners alike, we believe this is the most exciting thing in residential building since the introduction of plywood,” said Schiffmann. “Composites offer incredible performance advantages over concrete, and having gained the trust of engineers in other major industries, such as aviation, marine, wind energy, and automotive to name a few, we knew we could develop a better performing system for basements using high-performance composite materials.”
Epitome Quality Foundation Walls were designed with the builder and homeowner in mind, according to Schiffman.
“Installation is simple and relatively quick with minimal training required for anyone skilled in the trade. They can be delivered to the job site altogether in one trip and typical installations take only a few hours,” said Schiffman. “What’s more, they are being manufactured using a repeatable process under controlled conditions. Epitome Quality Foundation Walls virtually eliminate workmanship issues that have become commonplace in the trade.”
The composite foundation walls offer homeowners better energy efficiency with an inherent R-16.5 continuous insulation value, which will not settle, shrink or lose insulating value over time, according to Schiffman. The walls also provide an antimicrobial surface that is mold and mildew resistant, offering homeowners a healthier living environment as well as more usable and livable square footage in the basement. Moreover, they do not require covering with a thermal barrier such as drywall prior to occupancy.
“This allows homeowners flexibility to finish their lower level at their leisure and save money upfront,” said Schiffmann.
The NTA Inc. is accredited by the International Accreditation Service, a subsidiary of the International Code Council.