What’s New in the Construction Business?
For this month’s newsletter, we thought we’d do something a little different. Right now some really exciting things are happening in the construction industry and One Specialty has made a concerted effort to be a part of several innovative building projects. Partnering with Victor Myers, owner of Victor Myers Custom Homes, we have recently begun to explore new opportunities with Childress Engineering Services, Inc., a pioneer in the structural engineering field.
Potential Vertical Rise (PVR)
One of the greatest challenges that home builders face is determining whether or not the soil a home is to be constructed on will cause potential problems in the future. A soil’s potential vertical rise (PVR) is affected by changes in the soil’s moisture which can cause an entire foundation to shift as the soil moves or ‘rises.’
Constructing a conventional slab-on-grade foundation on soils with a high PVR can be very costly as they often require extensive excavation, bringing in new soil, and/or periodic water or chemical injections. Pier and beam foundations also minimize the effects of soil movement; however, they require a longer construction time and are typically very costly.
SlabTek: The Progressive Foundation
In May of this year, David Gaona, owner of One Specialty, and Victor Myers were working on a new-home construction project on soil with a high potential vertical rise in Castle Hills in Lewisville, Texas. Interested in learning more about a new kind of raised foundation, they approached Tony Childress, the engineer behind SlabTek structurally engineered slabs.
SlabTek is a new structurally suspended foundation system in which a flat slab is poured on the ground and is then raised to a desired height by the patent-pending SlabTek lifting mechanisms. The slab is secured by several drilled concrete piers that reach the structurally stable soils beneath the surface soils. With the foundation suspended above the ground, the home is, thus, completely isolated from future soil movement.
From a contractor perspective, SlabTek is a better, less-costly alternative to traditional foundations designed for expansive soils and is a more effective solution to building on North Texas clay soils with high potential vertical rise.
In June 2010, One Specialty completed our first SlabTek structurally engineered foundation for Victor Myers Custom Homes. The foundation for this project was successfully raised 6 inches above the ground - the same height of the measured 6 inches of potential vertical movement of the soil.
Written by Christina Gaona