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How do other Foundations Compare?

Superior Walls has been installing foundations since 1981.  Superior walls has been tested, and passed, for its fire performance in accordance with specific tests.  The following information contains the results and findings of those tests on the Superior Walls Foundation System.  Superior Walls continues to provide advanced solutions over outdated and undesired building methods, as well as over the increasing number of newest foundation products.  For comparison purposes, Contact the Manufacturer of another Foundation System/Product and ask for their products Fire and Foam Plastic Test results. 

Fire Tests Superior Walls Applied to and Passed:

 UBC 26-3   /   ASTM E119-95a   /   UL 1715

The Dow Styrofoam insulation may be left uncovered on foundation walls if it is installed in the Superior Walls System.  Superior Walls panels consist of fiber-reinforced concrete face shell, Dow Styrofoam, and concrete studs spaced at two feet on centers to interrupt lateral flame spread.  The Superior Walls System was successfully tested according to UBC 26-3 “Room Fire Test Standard for Interior Foam Plastic Systems (reference Omega Point Laboratories Fire Test Project #15524-99646).  This test is equivalent to UL 1715 that is mentioned in many codebooks under “Alternate Approvals” for a 15-minute thermal barrier.

The Superior Walls System also successfully met the requirements of ASTM E119-95a “Fire Tests of Building Construction and Materials” for a 2 hour load-bearing party wall fire resistance rating with the addition of two staggered layers of 5/8” thick Type ‘X’ gypsum wallboard (reference Omega Point Laboratories Fire Test Project #15524-99645).  This is commonly used in town homes, or between an Integral garage and the Basement.

The Superior Walls Xi System did not flame and did not smoke during the test period.  Therefore, the tested materials successfully met the conditions of the test standard, UL 1715, Fire Test of Interior Finish Material Third Edition (reference Guardian Fire Testing Laboratories, INC. Report # GL-79703.5).

Foam Plastic Test (see 2006 IRC Section R314 & R315)

Surface Burning Characteristics (Tested according to ASTM E84)

The Code limits Flame Spread to a maximum of 75

The Code limits Smoke Development to a maximum of 450

Superior Walls Dow extruded polystyrene has:

Flame Spread = 5

Smoke-developed Index = 165

Superior Walls expanded polystyrene has:

Flame Spread = 20

Smoke-developed Index = 240

The Thermal Barrier noted in IRC Section R314.4 is not required on Superior Walls because all of our products have been successfully tested to the ANSI/UL 1715 or UBC 26-3 Fire Test in accordance with Section R314.6.

 Details on Exposed Dow Styrofoam

 Even though the exposed DOW Styrofoam insulation passed the interior fire test requirements, when converting this area to a bedroom, family room, kitchen, etc., Superior Walls of America recommends covering the DOW Styrofoam insulation with a code acceptable fire barrier by using the attached Galvanized stud faces.