CertainTeed

Benefits of Sustainable Concrete Mansion Start at the Foundation

CertainTeed's Platon waterproofing membrane and Form-A-Drain foundation footing system recently contributed to a waterproof, radon-vented basement foundation for Pensmore, a highly sustainable mansion currently being built in Highlandville, Mo., nestled in the scenic Ozark Mountains.

With Pensmore, Steven T. Huff, chairman of Wisconsin-based concrete company TF Forming Systems hopes to use his chateau-like, 72,000-square-foot home as somewhat of a lab for sustainable building practices. The home will be equipped to monitor interior temperature, energy consumption and heat collection to gauge its overall energy efficiency. With the combination of 12-inch thick concrete walls and 9 inches of exterior and interior insulation, the home will be the epitome of thermal efficiency and robustly defend itself against heavy winds and storms, such as the severe tornados that are common throughout Missouri and Kansas.

"We wanted to build a large home that can withstand tornado-force winds and demonstrate that similar designs can be built cost effectively and be applied to schools and other public buildings," Huff says. "It's not feasible to continuously demolish and rebuild structures over time. If you can construct a building that will last for more than a century, that greatly reduces your operational costs and stands as the true definition of sustainable. We tried to build Pensmore with building materials that would maximize its longevity."

When Huff was choosing products to help form a thermal-efficient, moisture-proof and radon-evacuating basement foundation for Pensmore, he turned to CertainTeed's Platon and Form-A-Drain products.

"I'd used Platon before on an addition to my current home and was impressed by it," Huff says. "I wanted a good barrier underneath the slab foundation for protection from radon and to avoid moisture climbing up through the concrete. And, I wanted to try Form-A-Drain to see if having a leave-in foundation footing form would save us time and money, as well as take advantage of the product's water and radon evacuation properties. Everything went well with the installation, and I look forward to seeing how well they perform after Pensmore is finished."

Foundation contractor Advanced Concrete Technology, Inc., of Willard, Mo., installed the Platon and Form-A-Drain products and poured the home's foundation. Construction continues at Pensmore and is expected to be complete in 2013.

Platon is a waterproofing membrane that provides superior wall and under-slab moisture control protection for all types of foundations, isolating living spaces from concrete walls and floors that otherwise can become damp. It's dimpled, 24-mil HDPE wrap seals out water and bridges cracks in poured concrete, insulated concrete form (ICF) construction and masonry block walls.

Form-A-Drain is a three-in-one concrete footing form system, foundation drainage system and part of a sub-slab perimeter radon reduction system. Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) lineal sections are used in place of wood or aluminum to form the footing, and remain in place after the concrete is poured.

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