Dig This Basement


We wanted to share our next construction update as an opportunity to bring you up to speed with what we did in 2007. As you know, we are seeking LEED certification on the project, therefore certain products are preferable over others for their performance. 
We began with choosing Superior Walls, which has historically been the building standard for Panaro Construction, Inc. Above is a picture of the walls being set on another site to give you a feel for how they are installed.
To learn more about Superior Walls, click on page 2. To download a PDF of a cross-section of Superior Walls, click here.
Once the walls were installed, and prior to pouring the concrete floors, we installed a 10 ml poly (essentially, heavy plastic sheets), which was taped to create a water vapor barrier. (See photo below.)
On top of the poly, we installed two-inch foam board insulation, which we also used as the screed board. We taped the insulation boards. (See photos below.)
Then, the concrete was poured. 
The first floor decking was installed, the market crashed, then, the tarp was installed.
 Page 2: About Superior Walls

About Superior Walls

Superior Walls are pre-cast basement walls that come with Polystyrene insulation, are studded out for future finishing applications, and include provision for running electric and other utility lines.

Each wall is poured at a 5,000 psi with additional fibermesh reinforcement imbedded in the concrete. The concrete is only about 1 ¾” thick. The walls have a built-in footer beam, and do not require additional footers.

The walls rest on a crushed stone base, which assists with drainage. Each wall is custom poured at a local facility (our nearest one is in Ephrata, Pennsylvania) and delivered to the site. The walls are installed with a crane. Installation is about a day, if not less.

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The “set crew” shows up early in the morning and checks the stakes set by the builder that indicate where the walls are to be placed and fine-tune the pins. Then, they tamp the stone areas on which the walls rest. Finally, the truck with the crane shows up, the walls are set, caulked and bolted by early afternoon.  

Superior Walls are considered a green product for a variety of reasons, including, in this case, the proximity of fabrication to the site, the lack of waste in fabrication (since all are custom made and use less material but poured at a higher density than on-site poured concrete), the pre-existing insulation factor (ours are R-12.5 value), and the waterproof nature of the product.

Superior Walls has been identified as an approved concrete product in the Greenspec Directory for several years, which is a guidebook used by builders for green building products.




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