Ashland Global Holdings Inc.

Industry-changing, high-performance alternative to concrete foundations that installs in two hours, unveiled at Chicago AIA Show by Composite Panel Systems

Patented composite basement walls decrease construction time and provide warmer, drier, more energy-efficient, ready-to-finish basements

DUBLIN, Ohio - Poured-concrete foundation walls have been the industry standard for residential homes in the United States (U.S.) for more than 100 years. That may be about to change however with the introduction of patented Epitome* quality foundation walls from Composite Panel Systems (CPS). This may be especially true for basements in the northern "basement belt" of the U.S. where homeowners are more frequently using their lower levels as additional living space.

The new composite foundation wall system employs a high-performance composites technology developed by Composite Panel Systems, LLC, and can help residential home builders become far more efficient. With the help of their panel-systems fabricator, Fiber-Tech Industries, Inc., and fire-retardant resin-systems supplier, Ashland Performance Materials, a commercial unit of Ashland Inc. (NYSE: ASH), CPS has recently launched the clean, engineered solution to replace vertically installed concrete walls during the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Convention and Expo in Chicago. The system solution combines strength, integrated stud cavities for mechanicals, insulation, the top plate and a vapor barrier all in a single step. The technology is currently approved for use in Wisconsin and compliance on the national level with IBC and IRC is on track for October of 2014.

Epitome quality foundation walls were designed with the builder and contractor in mind ensuring simple installation and minimal training for anyone skilled in the trade. They can be delivered altogether in one trip and typical installations take less than two hours. The composite walls also decrease moisture and mold issues common with traditional foundations, and provide homeowners a warmer, drier, more energy-efficient and ready-to-finish basement.

"Because there are so many benefits associated with our foundation walls for builders and homeowners alike, we believe this is the most exciting thing the residential building industry has seen since the introduction of plywood," said Glenn Schiffmann, founder and president, CPS. "Composites offer incredible performance, and having gained the trust of engineers in aviation many years ago, we knew we could develop a better performing system for basements as an alternative to concrete using high-performance composite materials."

Epitome quality foundation walls offer better energy efficiency with an inherent R-16.5 insulation value. There is an airtight transition between the floor and foundation that makes it more efficient than a standard concrete foundation. They also pass the NFPA 286 room corner burn test and therefore do not require covering with a thermal barrier such as drywall prior to occupancy. This allows homeowners flexibility to finish their lower level at their leisure and save money upfront.

"The composite technology is designed to withstand six times a sand backfill load, and can be installed in any soil type suitable for backfilling," adds Andy Beer, global business leader, Ashland Performance Materials. "Each 24 foot of foundation panel can withstand 600,000 pounds of downward force resulting in a maximum allowable house load of 8,900 lbs/lf after the safety factor is applied."

From deep below the ground to 40,000 feet above and beyond, composites have become the material of choice in many critical industrial, infrastructure, aerospace and military applications. Composites offer high strength, dimensional stability, corrosion resistance, durability and longevity. Most importantly, composites are used to raise performance levels, address traditional material design limitations and enable the development of new solutions like Epitome quality foundation walls.

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About Composite Panel Systems
Composite Panel Systems, LLC, manufactures Epitome quality foundation walls, a cutting-edge alternative to concrete foundation walls. They are an innovative, structurally superior, highly insulated, fire-resistant panel that incorporates nominally sized studs, 16 inches on center, vapor barrier, top plate and continuous insulation. Epitome quality foundation walls were invented by Glenn Schiffmann. To learn more, visit

About Fiber-Tech Industries
Fiber-Tech Industries, Inc. has grown to become the largest supplier of Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic (FRP) Panels to the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Dedicated to quality FRP solutions, Fiber-Tech provides panels for a wide variety of markets and applications, including transportation, truck and trailer, construction, concrete forms, building panel systems, insulated panels, marine, military, industrial, corrosion resistant, and much more. To learn more, visit

About Ashland Performance Materials
Ashland Performance Materials is the global leader in unsaturated polyester resins and vinyl ester resins. In addition, it offers leading chemical technologies in gelcoats, coatings, intermediates and solvents, and elastomers. Key customers include: manufacturers of residential and commercial building products; infrastructure engineers; wind blade and pipe manufacturers; auto, truck and tire makers; and boat builders. Visit to learn more.

About Ashland
In more than 100 countries, the people of Ashland Inc. (NYSE: ASH) provide the specialty chemicals, technologies and insights to help customers create new and improved products for today and sustainable solutions for tomorrow. Our chemistry is at work every day in a wide variety of markets and applications, including architectural coatings, automotive, construction, energy, food and beverage, personal care, pharmaceutical, tissue and towel, and water treatment. Visit to see the innovations we offer through our four commercial units - Ashland Specialty Ingredients, Ashland Water Technologies, Ashland Performance Materials and Valvoline.

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Ashland Performance Materials
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Carolmarie Brown
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