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FAQ2021-05-03T15:58:48+00:00

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FAQs

Can the footer be used with steel beams in basements or crawl spaces?2021-05-03T03:21:47+00:00

Absolutely, as long as they stay within the perimeter of the loading capacity detailed in the ICC report.

How to account for thermal bridging when attaching the panel from a basement wall to a SIPS panel for the upper floors?2021-05-03T03:21:24+00:00

Whatever procedure is currently used shouldn’t change because we’re using composite vs concrete. When doing zero efficiency homes builders tend to use a drop floor system with composite, meaning they cut the studs down and run our top plate on the interior of the composite panel and the floor system sits inside the foundation eliminating any transfer you would get from the sill.

If using the composite footers, does the bottom of the excavation plane need to be perfectly flat and if so what would be the best way to get that? Perhaps over dig and then level?2021-05-03T03:20:50+00:00

Over dig is not necessary, simply use a transit to level the area and then stake off where the footings will go and lay the footings down, take a 10 foot level and confirm its level, if not remove or add where needed to make it level. It’s fairly easy when you’ve done it a few times. Pea gravel can also be used to help with water drainage and leveling.

Specifically for crawl spaces, how do you prevent the separation/slippage of the bottom panel from the footer after backfilling if you do not want to pour a concrete slab?2021-05-03T03:20:05+00:00

In any panelized process there needs to be attachment details to keep the product from falling whether its wind, storm or backfilling. In the case of a crawl space they can simply pour a rat slab or if wanting to eliminate concrete, we could use our footings and run a brace between the walls which would eliminate the concrete all together. Headquarters is currently working on global bracing designs with engineering details geared at eliminating the need for concrete.

What happens in the case of a fire? Is it fire-retardant?2021-05-03T03:18:57+00:00

The new product is not fire retardant, it needs to be covered with drywall or we have an approved fire retardant paint that can be applied.

How many fabrication plants are currently active in the US and how did they get their plans approved with the local jurisdictions (engineering stamp)?2021-05-03T03:18:34+00:00

Currently there are 4 active fabrication facilities in the US and each facility supplied the local jurisdiction with the ICC evaluation report. In most cases, this report was accepted alone, but in certain jurisdictions a professional engineering stamp was also needed. Each jurisdiction is different, but with that said we have a 100% acceptance rate for every new jurisdiction we entered. The current fabrication plants are:

    1. Tolland, Connecticut.
    2. Smithfield, Rhode Island.
    3. Eagle River, Wisconsin.
    4. Denver, Colorado (opened in May 2021).
Is there any off gassing or debris from the panels or the built-in insulation?2021-05-03T03:17:26+00:00
  1. When developing and testing the EPITOME walls, over everything else the product needed to be safe and durable. Certainly, a known problem in construction in products like OSB, plywood and even some drywall is off gassing, results for EPITOME walls were below detectable levels. Safety Data Sheets are not required for building code compliance, so we haven’t gone down that road yet relative to the end product. There are 4 raw materials in EPITOME walls Links to SDS sheets for each raw material:
    1. The urethane insulation from Johns Manville:  https://www.jm.com/en/building-materials/commercial-roofing/insulation-and-coverboards/ENRGY-3/
    2. The fiberglass from Owens Corning:  http://ocvreinforcements-a.hansonstatus.com/pdf/library/SUIS_OC_CFGF-R3-EN.pdf
    3. The resin from Ashland Performance Polymers:  https://www.b2bcomposites.com/msds/ashland/38502.pdf
    4. The urethane foam is used widely in commercial construction. There is off-gassing that occurs with urethane foam, 90% of off-gassing occurs within the first month after production. Then the remaining 10% off-gasses over time. The urethane foam is encapsulated within EPITOME walls.
    5. UPR resin is acrylic:  As a liquid, it’s nasty stuff. Once cross linked and cured, it’s stable like the resin in boats, tub showers or window frames.  We’re surrounded by thermal set resins. So many things are made from it. Our resin is used widely in trains in Europe and also the choice in many medical applications.
    6. Foam plastic insulation is used widely in construction and is an off-gassing concern. But the building code requires insulation. I like to think it’s less of an issue with EPITOME walls because it’s encapsulated in thermal set resin. 
What is the longevity/life span of the footer and foundation walls? Is there a guarantee/proof?2021-05-03T03:16:30+00:00

Longevity/life span for the EPITOME product is mainly determined by examples of similar products that have existed for a period of time like boat hulls or in ground storage tanks. The EPITOME product is not a new product. It’s a new application of a product that uses many of the same raw materials found in boat hulls and storage tanks. EPITOME offers a 15 year warranty, which is 15 years more than concrete.

Is there any proof or engineering backing to support compatibility with expansive soils?2021-05-03T03:15:30+00:00

Determining expansive soil and allowable foundation applications is site-specific and is not related to the composite foundation product directly. Typically, an engineering firm that specializes in geoengineering is used in those specific areas with expansive soils to determine the necessary steps in utilizing specific products like the composite panel systems and footings.

Are the panels and footers compatible with expansive soil? How do we connect the panels and/or footers to deep foundations such as piers, piles or caissons? Any proof or engineering approval?2021-05-03T03:14:36+00:00

They also have expansive soils in Oklahoma where our composite systems are used and their local structural engineers have devised ways to connect our system with deep foundations, counterforts, etc. They do it on a case-by-case basis. Currently corporate is working on general guidelines on how to connect our system with deep foundations for global use.

When was the composite panel first used and where?2021-05-03T03:12:22+00:00

Saint Germaine, Wisconsin, in 2008. Since that first foundation, over 800 composite foundations have been installed in 36 different states.

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