Originally published in the Vilas County News-Review, by Doug Etten.
If there is a new and innovative way to build, Composite Panel Systems (CPS) of Eagle River is looking for it.
Representatives from Ohio-based Owens Corning expressed the same comments as they came to Eagle River recently to tour CPS and meet with CPS founder, president and CEO Glenn Schiffmann and his team.
They announced a cooperation between the companies that will inevitably change the way some contractors not only build basements but also the way more and more home-owners are now using their lower level.
“As a builder, there are constantly questions regarding how we can do more with less,” Schiffmann said. “We try to do that constantly here while maintaining a profitable, productive and reputable business.”
Over the past decade, EpitomeTM composite-based foundation walls have been placed
in the ground in a number of U.S. cities, towns and neighborhoods.
Earlier this month, the brand got a big boost as it inked a deal with Owens Corning to form a supply alliance that will support production of the innovative wall systems which Schiffmann
says is the way of the future.
“The alliance with this global powerhouse positions us to capitalize on the growth
opportunities we anticipate from the conversion of poured concrete walls to engineered high-performance composite materials,” Schiffmann said.
“These materials are a compelling alternative to traditional concrete basement foundation wall structures,”he said.
Globally, Owens Corning develops, manufactures and markets insulation, roofing and fiberglass composites.
Schiffmann feels the joining of the two businesses creates a supply chain that will be seamless.
“The Owens Corning name is one that people have come to learn and trust when it comes to home building supplies,” he said. “We’re proud and excited to have them on board.”
Representatives for Owens Corning echoed Schiffmann’s comments, saying the dedication CPS has shown to being innovative with design and materials makes it a great partnership.
“We have a proud history of pioneering innovation and transforming markets,” said Kim Howard, vice president and general manager of Owens Corning Glass Reinforcements-Americas. “We are committed to extending this heritage, and look forward to accelerating new application growth with this promising market solution from CPS.”
While the branding might seem like a useful pairing, CPS Director of Product Development Dan Wojtusik said it is merely a step taken to help legitimize a product he feels already speaks for itself.
“As the building industry continues its climb back from the recession, both individuals and business owners have learned a few important things; namely, that we must continue to look for ways to stay lean yet efficient, which means optimizing our resources,” Wojtusik said. “Composites offer incredible performance, having gained the trust of engineers in aviation many years ago. The material can withstand extreme pressure and temperature changes with favorable expansion and contraction rates.”
The composite foundation walls provide a wide range of what Schiffmann says are game-changing benefits for builders and homeowners.
“Enhanced builder productivity through ease of installation and high-performance structural attributes inherent in the highly insulated panels that are fire-, mold- and moisture-resistant,” he said. “It all helps in the creation of additional clean, comfortable and livable square footage in the lower level while incorporating sustainable building products.”
Owens Corning, which develops, manufactures and markets insulation, roofing and fiberglass composites globally, will help familiarize the CPS product through its deep expertise in materials, manufacturing and building science.
For years Owens Corning has stood by and helped build products and systems that save energy and improve comfort in commercial and residential buildings, according to CPS Director of Marketing and Sales Scott Weber.
Now that Owens Corning will exclusively supply CPS glass reinforcements for its composite basement wall solutions, Schiffmann looks forward to establishing them in homes across the United States.
“The product speaks for itself,” Weber said. “We’ve really been satisfied with the comments we’ve heard from both builders and homeowners which have been extremely helpful as we expand our distribution outside of Wisconsin.”
The group says one comment really resonates with anyone who has ever walked down the stairway to the basement.
“It doesn’t feel like a basement,” Schiffmann said. “That damp, dark and musty feeling of a traditional basement is gone.”
Another comment from homeowners is about the humidity levels.
“People don’t have to run a dehumidifier, it’s amazing,” said Schiffmann.
The alliance with Owens Corning is the second such agreement for CPS, which established an exclusive supply agreement with Ashland Inc. in 2012 for the supply of resins used in the manufacturing of the same composite wall solutions. Both of which are in addition to a strong partnership with FiberTech Industries for the manufacturer of the panel themselves.
“We are extremely pleased to announce this new supply alliance with Owens Corning,” Schiffmann said. “In combination with our existing supply agreement with Ashland, and manufacturer agreement with FiberTech Industries, this alliance enables CPS to work with three of the most respected names in the composites industry to leverage their substantial product, building and manufacturing technology experience for the benefit of builders and homeowners.”
Based in Eagle River, Composite Panel Systems LLC engineers, manufactures and installs high-performance composite basement foundation wall systems for residential applications.
Epitome composite-based wall systems provide a clean, engineered solution for new construction or replacement of vertically installed, poured-concrete foundation walls.
“The composite foundation walls combine tremendous strength, integrated stud cavities for mechanicals and easy finishing of the basement walls, on your schedule, for the DIY crowd,” Wojtusik said. “They also combine energy code-compliant R-16.5 insulation values, perfectly true top plate and a vapor barrier to eliminate the basement dampness in a single step.”
Schiffmann said it’s just a better way to build.
“If you’re thinking about building a home, lifting a cottage or considering an addition, no other product on the market affords you the additional square footage of Epitome while offering you all the comfort of the main floor. It’s really that simple,” he said.