New Holland, Pa. — For the past 12 years, builders John MacDonald and Pat McCarthy have incorporated precast concrete walls from Superior Walls® into their new home projects. Now, more than a decade later, they specialize in creating exceptionally energy efficient homes for residents of upstate New York using Above Grade (AG) Wall Systems.
“Our geothermal home construction relies on the affordable, energy-efficient wall products produced by Superior Walls,” says MacDonald, co-partner of GeoCottages. “The housing market demands innovation. Thanks to products like the AG Wall™ Systems, our projects stand on their own.”
Specially designed for use in above grade applications, the Superior Walls precast concrete product can be used in conjunction with foundation panels and stacked to create multiple stories as part of a complete wall system building solution. Whereas conventional wall construction with block and wood framing can take weeks, the AG Wall Systems can typically be installed in just hours. This is because the AG wall panels are pre-engineered and custom manufactured off site and delivered directly to the jobsite for immediate installation.
“For our current DuLac GeoCottage project being developed in Pompey, N.Y., there’s 2,050 square feet of heated space built within the AG wall panels,” says MacDonald. “We’re building green in every aspect. We estimate the cost of the electricity to run the geothermal heat pump unit will be about $400 a year. That’s for heating, cooling and hot water. And, if this location had incorporated solar panels, the cost would have been zero. That’s green energy we’re excited to incorporate into our projects!”
A short video documenting the construction of the DuLac GeoCottage can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zc1kySZ-lHI.
Back in 2001, MacDonald and McCarthy started using precast concrete panels from Superior Walls of Upstate New York as foundations for the homes they created. The value they found in using the panels for walk-out basements started them thinking about using the energy-efficient panels for above grade applications.
“We first used the concrete panels for above grade applications in a home in 2005,” says MacDonald. “From there the idea took off and this is the only way we now build homes.
“The different wall types available from Superior Walls allow almost unlimited residential design options for a builder. More importantly, when used to create affordable, beautiful and very efficient homes with lasting value, these walls have no equal.”
Superior Walls products are resource efficient, using up to 70 percent less concrete in a new home than conventional foundations. The energy-efficient walls help lower energy costs and reduce energy leakage while providing increased living space in a comfortable setting. For details on Superior Walls products, visit www.superiorwalls.com.