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It’s time to change the way we build walls. Bautex Systems is here to help

Bautex Systems simplifies wall construction while boosting wall performance

The history of modern wall construction goes something like this: in 1880 concrete masonry units were invented. In 1915 modern wood framing became standard practice. In 1925 metal framing gained acceptance and in 1966 insulated concrete forms were introduced.

In the 50 years since, wall construction hasn’t changed much, but the demands placed on walls have.

Building codes and green-building programs require buildings be energy efficient, fire resistant, windstorm resistant, waterproof and more. In order to meet those requirements, architects tend to slap layer upon layer of added materials onto walls. The result is an inefficient hodgepodge.

So companies like Bautex Systems LLC, in San Marcos, Texas, are beginning to manufacture what are known as integrated wall systems. These systems don’t require extra layers. They can be installed quickly by one trade. They exceed building code requirements. And they may be a way to meet progressive environmental and human health and safety requirements for LEED, Living Building Challenge and WELL Building certification.

The missed opportunity of well-designed walls

The problem with adding layers of, for instance, fireproofing and waterproofing materials to walls in order to meet building codes is the walls become “Frankenwalls.” They’re hard to design and detail, and installation usually requires multiple trades. All of that adds cost and time, yet consumers demand tighter budgets and faster turnarounds than ever before.

Bautex walls, in contrast, are streamlined and can be installed by one trade. The walls are made with easy to insatall lightweight blocks made from a proprietary composite material that combines the benefits of cement and foam. The block wall is then reinforced with steel and poured structural concrete and sprayed with an air and moisture barrier.

Because the composite Bautex Blocks are made with 85 percent foam insulation, they don’t require an additional layer of insulation. And because the insulation is encapsulated in the cement block, it doesn’t require an additional layer of fire-proofing.

The Bautex System is FEMA-rated hurricane and tornado safe, noise reducing, mold and mildew resistant and made with 28 percent recycled materials, too.

Old building habits die hard

It has taken time, education, and experience for these integrated wall systems to catch on.

“People don’t ask for walls when they go to their architect or contractor, but half of what they’re asking their building to do is impacted by the selection for the wall,” says Paul Brown, Bautex president and a director of the U.S. Green Building Council’s Texas chapter.

Even as architects and contractors learn about these new, integrated wall systems, there’s an adoption curve for all new technology. The building materials industry tends to change slowly, and even self-proclaimed “forward-thinking” companies are often faster-followers as opposed to pioneers.

Yet the corner has undeniably been turned in Texas and other fast growing areas where developers demand structures that are premade and assembled onsite in little to no time. For instance, increasingly-popular unitized glass systems are assembled and glazed in fabrication shops, delivered to the field and “snapped” into place. It’s only a matter of time before the industry demands that kind of speed and simplicity from insulated concrete walls, the kind of convenience Bautex provides.

“I think owners are getting a lot more involved,” he says. “They’re educating themselves more. They’re getting on the internet, and they realize there are better ways to do it than the ways we’ve been doing it.”

Testimonials

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
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
Thank you all your efforts in putting together such a great article about our company in US Builders Review. DH Construction appreciates the professional manner in which your team worked with us to achieve the stateside exposure we were after; especially taking the time to get all of the facts correct. In short, the article was extremely well put together and we have already received a great deal of feedback, interest, and compliments as a result of the piece. Once again, we appreciate all the effort, and without a doubt, we will not hesitate to work with your organization again in the future.
— Daniel Harrigan, Principal, DH Construction
I was contacted as a nominee for the Greenbuild Editor’s Choice 2016 recognition and I couldn’t have asked for a better experience. Working with US Builders Review has been a blessing for my company. Erica Berry took an awesome interview in the initial call as she gathered data for the article. She was concerned about how we became us, and she made me feel important by listening and taking notes. Then there is Ian Nichols who made me feel so comfortable in sharing my story, and Molly Shaw who interviewed me as well, as she was getting ready to create an awesome article about my company -- and I must say she nailed it on the first run! What a pleasure it has been to work with everyone. This feature on Container Homes USA will help me push the company into the forefront at the Greenbuild Expo 2016.
— Derrick C. W. Childs, Director Construction & Design, Container Homes USA
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.
The team at US Builders Review is professional and did a great job with your published article. They asked for and listened to my feedback and responded quickly to any requests I made.
— Susan Courter, Director of Business Development, R.E. Crawford Construction
We are excited to be featured as a case study in US Builders Review and look forward to sharing our company’s story with a national audience.
— Ryan Sanzari, Director of Operations, Alfred Sanzari Enterprises
Kyle and his team were very professional and patient in explaining their program to us. Their communications were clear and concise and did a great job of guiding us through the process of getting published in their magazine.
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Professional with attention to customer’s needs. Well prepared vision for article while open to suggestions. Provided plenty feedback and review prior to final draft. Thanks in advance for the assistance and promotion of our organization!
— Jason Lee, LEED AP O+M, Director of Sustainability and Optimization for Harvard Maintenance
I’m blown away with the value that could come out of our partnership through this article. Working with the US Builders Review team is something that I have never experienced before and every day I feel even more privileged to be with EJH Construction, I never take for granted the opportunities that have come my way.  I am so excited about what our future looks like based on the relationship that has been built with the US Builders Review team.
Jennifer Wilhelmsen – Director of Human Resources, EJH Construction Inc.

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