ALTERNATIVE CONSTRUCTION TECHNIQUES, LLC
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ACT now or react later! ™

The Moisture Barrier Wall (MBW) is a construction method that prevents subsurface water migrating adjacent to a concrete footing and or slab, from affecting the foundation’s zone of influence, thereby, virtually eliminating the distress associated with water introduction in expansive soils. 

 

 

Its uniqueness comes from a solid continuous barrier from deep below the surface to the top of the footing or slab and is installed during construction and integral with the foundation.

The Methods are simple to install and will prevent the distress caused by foundation movement from soils.

Typically, post-tensioned concrete slabs are used to deal with expansive soils.  This type of construction is very expensive, requires engineering, and specialized construction techniques. Moreover, floor plan design is limited due to the constraints inherent in post-tensioned slabs.  The MBW eliminates these constraints.

 




Depending upon the method chosen the MBW can have any concrete additive, any strength concrete may be used (including a grout mix); MBW can be used with or without steel reinforcement or fibers and can also have an additive of Xypex or similar waterproofing or crystalizing product which makes the below grade wall completely impervious to water 

Patent # US 8,689,506 B2

MBW can be used with conventional wood framing, masonry and steel studs on both residential and commercial applications.

 

For those builders who are initially reluctant to step away from PT slabs, our MBW can also be used in conjunction with PT slabs.  While our MBW remains a genuine alternative to a PT slab in terms of controlling the effects of expansive soils, cost savings and design flexibility, PT slabs can be incorporated into its design.  This belt and suspenders approach may provide a way for current PT slab builders to slowly make the transition.

 

Another factor to consider is the ability to use a thinner slab when used in combination with the MBW.  For example, 11” thick PT slabs can be reduced to 8” providing a cost savings. Often this cost savings more than offsets the cost of the MBW.

 

We all know PT slabs do not solve the problems associated with expansive soils and that movement and resulting distress still occurs.  The MBW will change all of that.  Similar to the transition from standard three pour systems to PT slabs, builders will begin to recognize the advantages to the MBW and ultimately make the next transition.