Healthier more environmentally friendly buildings have a better return on investment

Sturdier, quieter builders are a safer investment in tornado prone Texas

When it comes to creating an energy-efficient building, say a quiet medical facility or a tornado-resistant school, there’s a one-size-fits-most solution: well-designed walls.

Many of the environmental and human-health benefits building owners and architects seek can be achieved with the right choice of wall material. Walls aren’t exactly a hot topic, though, so their importance is often overlooked. Now, one new Texas-based firm hopes to change that.

With smart-design, Bautex Systems has combined multiple benefits—insulation, mold and mildew resistance, fire resistance, sound-proofing and windstorm protection—into its wall system.

Simplicity plants a seed for added benefits

“The absolute genesis for our style of construction is it’s simplicity,” says Paul Brown, Bautex president and a director of the U.S. Green Building Council’s Texas chapter.

The Bautex Wall System uses proprietary Bautex Blocks, which are a composite of 15 percent cement and 85 percent polystyrene. Because the block is essentially filled with polystyrene, it’s highly insulated. In fact, the Bautex Wall System is up to two-and-a-half times more insulating than most current building code requirements.

That’s true even in Texas, which updated its energy codes in late 2016. Brown says some architects and contractors in the South worry they’ll have to change their building practices every three to six years as building and energy codes are updated. Because the Bautex Wall System exceeds what’s already required, it’s likely the industry will be able to use the system long into the future.

By contrast, contractors using conventional wall construction methods might have to adjust again and again.

Muffling noise makes for happier, healthier patients

Insulation certainly isn’t the only benefit to the Bautex Wall System, which consists of the composite cement-polystyrene blocks which are reinforced with steel and poured with structural concrete. Thanks to the insulation and dense concrete core, the Bautex Wall System received high sound transmission class (STC) and outdoor-indoor transmission class (OITC) ratings from ETS-Lindgren Acoustic Research Laboratory, an accredited third-party testing lab.

Progressive building standards like those by the International WELL Building Institute now make sound reduction a priority. According to WELL Building guidelines, “loud or repetitive exterior noises can be a source of stress and a risk factor for certain health outcomes,” including higher risk for diabetes, stroke, heart attack and hypertension.

Increasingly, healthcare providers are recognizing the strong correlation between the quality of their facility and both patient satisfaction and health outcomes. Experts like Rosalyn Cama, a healthcare interior designer and author of “Evidence-based Health Care Design,” acknowledge that quiet waiting and treatment rooms are key to creating a healing ambience.

So, medical professionals like Dr. Tri Nguyen of Texas Surgical Dermatology have opted for Bautex Blocks as a way to create quiet facilities with a solid presence that only concrete construction is said to provide.

Huffs and puffs won’t blow Bautex down

Schools see the benefits of quiet classrooms too, but for schools and other buildings in disaster-prone areas, the Bautex Wall System has another benefit: windstorm protection. The Bautex Wall System is rated to withstand windborne debris by both Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, and the International Code Council (ICC).

In Texas specifically, buildings along the coast endure strong hurricane winds, and in tornado-prone areas, winds can reach up to 250 miles per hour. According to Brown, the state’s latest building codes require that all school buildings have safe rooms to protect occupants from windstorms and the debris they hurl.

“All of the school districts in the Dallas-Fort Worth area that are building new schools due to recent population growth have to design these buildings with safe rooms in mind, and that’s been a real shock for the industry,” he says. “That’s a pretty high standard.”

With the Bautex Wall System, districts can develop small safe rooms throughout a school or make entire classroom wings that qualify as “safe rooms.”

For building owners, the list of benefits goes on. As they become more educated, Brown suspects they’ll push architects and contractors towards specifying innovative products like the Bautex Wall System. Chances are architects and engineers will also embrace the benefits of the Bautex Wall System. As it does for building owners, the Bautex Wall System has a list of benefits for the builders, too. Read about those in another US Builders Review blog post here.


The final product was an exceptionally well written and thorough story integrated with many of our project photos. It is a great endorsement of our company and our work that we are promoting on our website and through social media. We were impressed with the quality of the editorial and the professional follow-through.
— Susan Howell, Marketing Director for Howell Custom Building Group
Ryan at TrueLine was a pleasure to work with and we wouldn't hesitate to recommend him or TrueLine to anyone in the future. They were professional, organized and great to work with through the process!
— James Cahill, President and Partner, J. Calnan & Associates
It was an absolute pleasure to work with the writers and editorial team at TrueLine Publishing for our recent article in US Builders Review. From the start of the project, it was apparent that everyone involved was very concerned with accuracy and getting the facts right. They were also very conscientious about soliciting our feedback and ensuring that we were happy with the content and with the manner in which Giroux Glass was described in the finalized piece.
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I would like to commend the US Builders Review staff for their work in developing and writing a fantastic article for Miller Contracting Group, Inc. It was truly a pleasure to work with their professional and well organized staff.
— Chuck Daniels, Business Manager, Miller Contracting Group Inc.
Kyle Gahm was instrumental in coordinating this project from beginning to end. He was always available and a pleasure to work with. It would be a pleasure to work with Kyle down the road. Bill Keaton was very impressive in raising money from advertising which resulted in ASE getting the cover story, so thank you Bill. Lia Prysunka and Jeanee Dudley are both very impressive individuals who deserve a lot of credit for this featured piece. They were both very patient and accepting of any changes we suggested. The format, quality, and resolution was awesome. To sum it all up: Our upper management, who never have been high on PR and things of this nature said that it was "absolutely fantastic" and were blown away. They now are requesting multiple copies of the full magazine and are very proud of the work you all put in. Thanks again.
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On behalf of Alfred Sanzari Enterprises, I would like to thank you for showcasing our company as a cover story in US Builders Review, and express our gratitude for a job well done in putting together an impressive editorial product. We already have received a great deal of positive feedback on the article and are confident it will be a very effective tool for sharing Alfred Sanzari Enterprises’ story, and our new hotel project, with a national audience of industry professionals. Please also extend our thanks to everyone on your team that helped in any way to produce this article. This was truly a collaborative effort.  Your staff listened to our feedback and was incredibly professional and accommodating to our requests throughout the entire process. We welcome the opportunity to collaborate with US Builders Review on future projects.
— Ryan Sanzari, Director of Operations, Alfred Sanzari Enterprises
I would like to commend the US Builders Review staff for their work in developing and writing a fantastic article for Miller Contracting Group, Inc. It was truly a pleasure to work with their professional and well organized staff.
— Chuck Daniels, Business Manager, Miller Contracting Group Inc.
TrueLine Publishing was a delight to work with. They were extremely patient and worked diligently to get our article written and published. The team always responded in a timely manner and was courteous. I look forward to working with TrueLine Publishing in the future and will recommend them to other businesses.
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The process was simple: we were provided questions that the writers wanted to discuss, we were interviewed, and then we got to see a few drafts before the final version went to print. Given the quality of this publication, on behalf of Giroux, I can assure everyone that all of my partners would be happy to participate in similar articles in the future.
— Barbara Kotsos, Director of Marketing & PR, Giroux Glass


Fall 2017



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