Installation Guide

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For the complete installation instructions, please download the installation guide below.

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Do Stairwell Openings Adjacent To Foundation Walls Require Bracing Prior To Backfilling?

Yes.  The top of the Foundation Wall must be braced prior to backfilling in any situation where there is an absence of support from the floor diaphragm, such as in the case of stairwell openings adjacent to Foundation Walls.  Please refer to the Installation Manual for detailed instructions.

Are There Any Additional Bracing Requirements For Floor Joists Spanning Parallel To The Foundation Walls Prior To Backfilling?

Yes. The floor system does require bracing detail within the floor diaphragm prior to backfilling. As typical with treated wood foundations, lateral blocking is installed at:

  • 24” OC between the rim joist and the first floor joist
  • 24” OC laid flat flush with bottom chord between the first and the second floor joists
  • 48” OC between the second and the third floor joists
  • 48” OC laid flat flush with bottom chord between the third and fourth floor joists.
  • 48” OC between the fourth and fifth floor joists.


How Is This Product More Green Than Concrete?

Constructing basement walls with concrete is an energy-intensive proposition.  Manufacturing concrete involves the mining and shipping of Portland cement, the crushing of aggregate, and the infusion of fresh water.  Transportation from the batching plant to the job site also adds significantly to the energy requirements of a concrete basement. CPS panels use far fewer natural resources to produce and call for only one truck/one trip to the job site for installation.  What’s more, CPS foundation walls have 16.5 times the insulating value of concrete walls, which will have far-reaching impacts on energy consumption by residential homes.

Can This Product Contribute To Leed Points?

At the current time, the LEED contributions of the Foundation Composite Walls are unknown.  However, given the information obtained by ENERGY STAR, an independent energy consulting firm, we are confident that a home constructed with the Foundation Composite Walls will exceed not only the energy efficiency requirements but also outperform other offerings in the market today in the areas of vapor transfer, air infiltration, and lower carbon emissions.


Does It Need To Be Covered With Drywall Before Occupancy?

Yes, the composite walls must be covered with drywall.

How Does It Fasten To The Footer?

The walls are set and fastened atop a conventional concrete footer through the use of Simpson Strong Ties® which anchor the wall to the footer prior to pouring the slab.

How Many Have You Installed?

Since early 2013 over 700 homes in 36 states have been constructed using EPITOME Foundation Walls.  The original model home has been in place atop the EPITOME Foundation Walls since October 2010.

Who Sells The Foundation Composite Walls In My Area?

We are currently identifying and appointing progressive builders with whom to work. To get specific information about builders in your area, contact us here. If you are a builder and wish to explore the opportunity of integrating the Composite Wall Foundation, contact us here.

Do You Need Special Screws To Fasten Drywall Or Other Finished Material?

No. You can use the same self-drilling screws commonly used with metal studs, which are available at all local hardware stores and building centers. This style of fastener can also be used for multiple applications including drywall, paneling, and exterior siding to name a few.

How Do You Seal The Joints?

Fabrication of the Foundation is done in a controlled environment, where an optimized number of engineered fiberglass connection profiles are fastened to the walls using an adhesive/sealant along with interior-applied mechanical fasteners.  During field installation, the remaining connections are waterproofed from the exterior.

Do You Need To Add Headers For Fenestrations?

Possibly, depending on the size and location of opening(s). If so, is that done at the time of fabrication? Yes. Headers can be added to foundation walls, per your building specifications, at the time of fabrication. Ideally, headers for lower level fenestrations are installed within your floor system above. Is there an additional cost for fenestrations? No, at this time there is no additional cost for the fabrication of fenestrations.

Where Are The Walls Shipped From?

F.O.B. – Composite Panel Systems – Eagle River, Wisconsin

Who Does The Fabrication/Engineering?

The staff at Composite Panel Systems.

Do We Need Special Saws/Blades/Bits To Run Our Mechanicals?

You will need to use readily available carbide or diamond-tipped grinder blades and bits on your current saws and drills.   Noteworthy: This material is ground and not cut.

How Does The Floor System Attach To The Wall?

CPS panels afford the ability to fasten up through the top plate and into the floor joist above with approved fastening screws, resulting in a state-of-art Through Path Fastening system, thereby eliminating air leakage at the sill plate.

Can You Drill Through The Stud Cavities To Run Wiring, Plumbing, Etc?

At this time, all mechanicals are to be run vertically. However, we are working on further testing to validate the horizontal application.

Can You Drill Through The Wall For The Septic Sleeve?

Yes. (Waterproof the penetration with the use of a silicone sealant.)

How Long Does It Take To Install?

It varies based on the size of the basement. However, a typical 160/l.f. basement can be installed in as little as two hours.

Can You Use It For Exterior Walls Above Grade?

Yes, you can use them for exterior walls above grade so long as they are covered with either cladding or painted.

When Ordered, What Is The Turnaround Time?

Composite Panel Systems carries an adequate inventory of foundation walls. Orders can be turned around in as little as seven days, with a signed purchase order.

Who Installs The Foundation Composite Walls?

CPS can provide a full crew or an experienced installer to work with your construction crew on the first few foundations or until you are comfortable to do it on your own.

How Much Does It Cost?

Foundation Composite Walls are a premium product with abundant advantages for both the builder and the consumer. Construction prices vary from market to market. You should expect to pay only 1 – 2% more on the total project cost when taking advantage of the benefits found in Foundation Composite Walls.


What Is It Made Of?

The Foundation Composite Walls are  an innovative, structurally superior, highly-insulated panel encapsulated in high-performance fiberglass reinforcements, inclusive of molded integral studs which act as pilasters.

Is It An Approved Building Product?

YES. IBC/IRC Listing Report CPS053013-7 and Wisconsin Uniform Dwelling Code # 201302-O

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Does The Exterior Need To Be Covered/Painted?

Yes. The exterior must be covered with an off-the-shelf latex house paint or any commonly used exterior cladding within a few years of installation.

Are The Walls Water/Moisture Resistant?

Yes. Foundation Composite Walls, as well as many other construction products, are manufactured using engineered fiberglass composites because of their ability to withstand moist and corrosive environments.  A few noteworthy examples of these products include window frames, doors, tub/shower combinations, and roofing tiles.

How Long Will The Product Last?

Comparable composite products such as draw bridges and underground storage tanks have been shown to outlast their concrete equivalent.

Will The Installation Of Batt Fiberglass Insulation Within The Integrated Stud Cavities Be Problematic From A Condensation Standpoint?

The closed cell and insulated nature of each panel used in Foundation Composite Walls effectively separates the interior and exterior environments in all seasons. The condensation created by the draw of moist air through traditional concrete or wood foundation systems is eliminated with the use of Foundation Composite Walls.


How Much Of A Load Can It Handle?

The walls have been structurally tested to withstand in excess of 25,000 lbs. of downward force/lineal foot or 8 times the most extreme house load. (Extreme house load example: a two-story home with a 35’ span, no center beams, and a snow load consistent with Upper Peninsula of Michigan is the equivalent of a 3,000 lbs./l.f. house load.) Transversely, the walls can withstand 3x the weight of a heavy clay soil backfill or 6,480 lbs. of lateral force/l.f.

Where Are The Foundation Panels Made?

FiberTech Industries – Washington Courthouse, Ohio

How Are Steel Beams Incorporated In The Foundation System?

Through the placement of engineered beam pockets fabricated within the wall panel. (There is no additional cost for beam pockets.)