This illustration shows how the Tella Firma system is constructed. Click here for a time lapse video of the process.
This illustration shows how the Tella Firma system is constructed. Click here for a time lapse video of the process.

Until recently, most elevated slab foundations were used only for commercial buildings or custom homes. Now, a Richardson, Texas-based company is bringing the concept to the production home market--at an affordable price.

By using the field-tested, patented process of elevating a slab-on-grade foundation, Tella Firma Solid Earth Foundations creates a protective void between the ground and the home. This application isolates the slab and guards it from damaging soil swells, contractions, and unexpected movement caused by light earthquakes. Most foundation damage results from soil movement that can be caused by expansion and contraction of clay soils due to moisture change or by seismic activity.

The Tella Firma foundation system is based on commercial engineering principles and provides the strength and protection of a pier-and-beam foundation yet takes less time to install when compared to most traditional suspended foundations, according to the company.

Production builder Lennar Homes recently used the Tella Firma system for homes in its new Parkside community in Irving, Texas. Company officials are very pleased with the product, says Stewart Parker, division president of Lennar, Dallas-Fort Worth.

“The residential building industry has needed an economic way to create elevated foundations and minimize the risk associated with soil volatility and the threat of earthquakes,” he says. “Tella Firma is efficient, economical, and easy to use.  We’ve created additional value for our residents in Parkside by offering this foundation, and we’ve had a very positive response from our buyers.”

Homes at Parkside are priced from $439,000 and range in size from 2,450 to 3,450.  The master-planned community will have a 22-acre park with water features, over two miles of trails and a dog park, as well as five pocket parks.