Too Big to Fail

Concrete Edifice: A 72,000-square-foot chateau called Pensmore is being built in Missouri using an energy-storing concrete forming system that the home’s owner, Steve Huff, believes is a breakthrough in durability and life-cycle cost effectiveness.

Keeping the Elements Out: The wall system, known as TransForm, insulates the exterior concrete wall in a way that isolates the interior wall from outside temperatures.

Steady Flow: Radiant heating and cooling tubing, filled with a water/antifreeze mixture, is embedded in the wall system.

Composite Frame: Plastic studs hold the interior panels in plac, and allow for higher construction. The stud cavity is 3½ inches deep.

Tall Order: The 4-inch-thick exterior panels are held up by steel framing, and the concrete pored within is fortified by a high-performance steel fiber helix called Polytorx.

Extra Strength: Aluminum strongbacks are used to reinforce the interior panels.

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