Homes are built to last 100 years.  However, the foundation they are built upon in some conditions, crack becoming unstable.  For a large development opportunity in El Paso, Texas, where the soil is quite expansive, it was decided to upgrade the commonly used post-tensioned ribbed slab foundation which had been experiencing failures for a while.

It seemed obvious that any design upgrade would most definitely increase cost.

But on reviewing the post-tensioned Wafflemat foundation, the results were staggering.

Not only did its waffle-like crate concept allow the foundation to resist uplifting caused by the movement of the underlying soils by providing extra room for it to vertically expand which allowed for a far-higher stability and durability than before; But it also proved to cost less!

The reasons for the additional savings were manifold. First, the general earthwork reduced due to the simplicity of creating the Wafflemat pad as well as the elimination of the need to remove poor soil. Trenching for footers in soil was also not needed with this type of slabs, expect in the most highly expansive soils. The hollow Waffleboxes reduce the amount of concrete required by about 35% and reduced labor costs.

The verdict was that in moderate to high production building situations, the Wafflemat system cost about 12-24% less, while in low-production situations, it still yields a superior lifecycle cost.  Not to mention, the long-term operational risk reduction and the fulfilment of a 100-year sustainability goal!

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