Frequently Asked Questions

What are Superior Walls?

Superior Walls foundations feature patented, insulated, precast concrete wall panels that are formed in a factory-controlled setting and delivered to the new home job site, where the panels are lifted into position with a crane and carefully bolted together and sealed. The walls are custom-designed and built to virtually any architectural style, complete with window and door openings.

What makes Superior Walls better than conventional foundations?

Superior Walls foundations are dry, using a special low water/cement ratio concrete that requires no additional dampproofing (See ESRs-1553 & 1662). They are warm, with full-length insulation built in to increase energy efficiency. Superior Walls high strength 5000+ psi concrete is reinforced with steel rebar and polypropylene fibers for added strength and performance. The wall panels also feature convenient features like built-in accesses for wiring and stud facings for easy drywall installation with screws. Another important feature for builders is the speed of installation. A typical home foundation can be installed in less than one day. The walls can then be built upon or a modular home may be set on the walls immediately after installation.

ESR-1553 (4/10) Download
ESR-1662 (11/2010) Download

Why does Superior Walls use a crushed stone footing?

Superior Walls uses a footing of crushed stone, along with a steel reinforced footer beam. The purpose of any wall footing is to distribute the wall's load over a sufficiently large area of soil so that the soil bearing capacity is not exceeded. Superior Walls utilizes a crushed stone footing to accomplish this. This properly prepared layer of clean crushed stone transfers the load from our wall system to the soil. See the SWA Builder Guideline Booklet (MAN 42-9000) for more information. A copy of the BGB may be obtained from this website.

MAN 42-9000 BGB - June 2010 - Jan 2011 PDF Update Download

How are Superior Walls panels joined together?

Superior Walls panels are bolted together at the top and the bottom of each panel and a one-part polyurethane sealant is used to seal the panel joints of the foundation system. This one-part polyurethane sealant is specifically manufactured for use with precast concrete products.

What is the R-value of a Superior Walls foundation?

The original R-5 wall system is delivered with 1" of DOW insulation with an R-value of 5. The Xi wall system has 2-1/2" of DOW insulation which has an R-value of 12.5. Please check with your local Superior Walls supplier for availability, as not all Superior Walls products are available in all market areas.

What is the Superior Walls warranty?

The Superior Walls warranty covers the walls for a period of 15 years. This warranty is backed by the facility that manufactures the walls and covers defects in workmanship or materials and side-wall waterpenetration.

How is the depth of the crushed stone footing determined?

The depth of the crushed stone footing is determined by considering the allowable soil bearing capacity on the building site and cross-referencing that with the combined footing load per lineal foot, using a table in the SWA Builder Guideline Booklet (MAN 42-9000). A copy of the BGB is available from our website.

MAN 42-9000 BGB - June 2010 - Jan 2011 PDF Update Download

Where can I obtain design values for the Superior Walls panels?

The ICC Evaluation Service has created an Evaluation Service Report (ESR) for our original R-5 wall system (ESR-1553) and for our Xi wall system (ESR-1662), both of which are available from our website. Each of these Reports contains valuable design value information about our products, such as allowable loads and uses for our wall systems.

ESR-1553 (4/10) Download

ESR-1662 (11/2010) Download


What are the standard heights and lengths of Superior Walls panels?

Because Superior Walls are custom made, wall lengths vary. Maximum wall length is determined by panel weight, allowable crane reach and foundation geometry. The standard wall heights are 4'-0", 4'-8", 8'-2", 9'-0", and 10'-0". Not all wall heights are available in all areas. Please check with your local Superior Walls supplier for availability.

How soon can the walls be backfilled after installation?

To comply with building code requirements, the wall must be supported at both the top and bottom of the wall prior to the placement of backfill. This means that the framing/decking connection at the top of the wall must be completed and the floor slab at the bottom of the wall must be installed prior to backfilling.

MAN 42-9000 BGB - June 2010 - Jan 2011 PDF Update Download

What types of exterior finishes can be applied to a Superior Walls foundation?

Superior Walls panels are produced with a brushed finish that may simply be left as is, or that readily accepts multiple exterior finishes like paint, stucco, cultured/manufactured stone, or stone or brick veneer through the use of ledges that are cast onto the walls during the manufacturing process. Major paint manufacturers typically recommend the use of elastomeric acrylic paints and other similar paint or stain products with precast concrete products. Stucco and cultured/manufactured stone should be applied per the manufacturer's recommendations, which could involve the prepping of the wall surface with an acid etching material and the use of wire lath to span the panel joints.

How do I attach drywall to my Superior Walls foundation?

Regular 1/2" drywall is recommended for the 24" on center stud spacing. Drywall should be attached to the studs using 1" regular drywall screws. Construction adhesive applied to the stud facing and the face of the top Bond Beam is also recommended.

Drywall Blocking Details Download

Can additional insulation be added to a Superior Walls foundation?

Additional insulation may be installed in Superior Walls products. Since open cell products, like fiberglass batts, could contribute to moisture issues, we recommend closed cell insulation products, like DOW Styrofoam. The idea here is to prevent the moisture present in the air from penetrating the insulation and reaching the cooler wall surface and condensing. Closed cell insulation will keep any airborne vapor on the room (warm) side of the insulation, eliminating condensation.

Adding Insulation Download

Where can I find information about finishing my basement?

The Superior Walls "Homeowner's Guide", available from this website individually or as a part of the complete "Builder Guideline Booklet", contains helpful information about finishing your basement.


Can I add a window or door to an existing Superior Walls foundation?

Yes. Following an evaluation of issues like point loads, bearing walls, and frost protection, a window or door can be added to an existing Superior Walls foundation. See your SW rep for guidance when considering adding a door or window. As with other procedures that involve revising the existing foundation wall, an engineer or other person competent in applying the structural design principals involved should be consulted.

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