About Fortress



What is the 1Wall System?

WALLPANEL SYSTEMS Structural insulated panels (1WallS) are high performance building panels used in floors, walls, and roofs for residential and light commercial buildings. The panels are made of highly dense composite(EPS) and structural steel studs.  1WallS are manufactured under factory controlled conditions and can be used to build any design without the need for entire wall sections to be pre-built by the factory, thus further reducing cost of manufacturing.  The result is a building system that is extremely strong, energy efficient and cost effective. Building with 1WallS will save you time, money and labor.

How much faster can I build with 1WallS?

1WallS homes go up much faster than traditionally framed buildings, usually 60% faster with a trained crew. Even without training, 1WallS installation can cut framing time in half compared to conventional wood framing, and the total build by a greater amount. Panels are manufactured in different sizes and density to suit different needs. Walls and roof sections can be built quickly.  1WallS are ready to install when they arrive at the jobsite, eliminating the time needed to perform the individual jobsite operations of framing, insulating and sheathing stick-framed walls.  Electrical channels are preinstalled in the core of panels, so there is no need to drill through studs for wiring.

How much money can I save with 1WallS?

Builders can save money through decreased construction and labor costs. A high performance building envelope often allows HVAC equipment to be downsized and ductwork to be minimized. Builders can all but eliminate jobsite waste disposal.  Homeowners that incorporate other energy-efficient features into a 1WallS home can see utility savings of 60% or more

How green are 1WallS?

Structural insulated panels are one of the most environmentally responsible building systems available.  The 1WallS building envelope provides continuous insulation, allows for better control of indoor air quality, reduces construction waste and helps save natural resources.  Life cycle studies have shown that 1WallS homes have a tremendous positive environmental impact by reducing energy use and greenhouse gas emissions throughout the home’s life cycle.

How strong are 1WallS?

The structural characteristics of 1WallS are significantly stronger than SIP's(structural insulated panels), wood framing and brick & mortar construction.  Rack and sheer testing has shown the 1WallS structural strength better than 13,000-28,000 lbs/in, enough to survive Mother Nature’s worst storms and hurricanes.  In fact, the 1WallS are rated to a catagory 4 hurricane and up to 20 times stronger than wood framing.  Allen Perry, a senior engineer for the Los Angeles Building and Safety department, the leading B&S department in the US, says its the best technology they have seen in their offices in 30years.

How do I properly size HVAC equipment?

A high performance 1WallS building enclosure often allows smaller HVAC equipment to be specified.  It is important to work with a qualified HVAC professional that can accurately estimate the low levels of air infiltration in a 1WallS home or commercial building.  Proper HVAC sizing is crucial because an oversized HVAC system will fail to reach the steady operating rate the equipment was designed for.  Short cycling HVAC equipment will be less energy efficient and require more maintenance than properly sized HVAC equipment.

How important is ventilation?

While SIPs buildings are extremely airtight and require mechanical ventilation.  1WallS does not require ventilation systems to bring fresh air into the structure to exhaust moisture laden and stale air to the outside, which is one of the downsides of other SIPs.

How do 1WallS improve indoor air quality?

A controlled indoor environment is both healthy and comfortable.  Humidity can be controlled more easily in a 1WallS home, resulting in a home that is more comfortable for occupants and less prone to mold growth and dust mites.

How do 1WallS react to Fire?

When paired with the fire and flame-retardant MULTICERAMICS, 1WallS present a very minimal fire risk when their construction meets the fire precautions listed in the building code.  Residential codes typically require the application of a 15-minute fire-resistant thermal barrier on the interior for all residential structures, accomplished by applying 1/2- in. thick gypsum board or a material of equivalent thermal performance.  Light commercial or multi-use buildings of Type V Fire Rated construction often require a one-hour fire rating and/or sprinkler systems.  The1WallS can provide tested assemblies for both walls and roofs that meet the one-hour fire resistance tests outlined in ASTM E 119.

Are 1WallS compatible with other building systems?

1WallS are compatible with all building systems.  Wall panels can sit on a variety of foundation materials, including poured concrete, blocks or insulated concrete forms. 1WallS are sized to accept dimensional lumber and are seamlessly compatible with stick framing.  Builders may choose to build with 1WallS walls and a conventional truss roof, or stick walls and a 1WallS roof with little difficulty.  1WallS are also popular as a method of providing a well insulated building enclosure for timber frame structures.

What considerations do you need to take into account when building with 1WallSvs. conventional framing?

The 1WallS are significantly easier and faster than conventional wood framing.  1WallS accept dimensional lumber and are fastened together using self tapping screws, unlike SIPs 1WallS panels do not require the use of equipment to unload and set.

Can 1WallS be modified on site?

On-site modification can easily be done at any time and no special tools are needed.

How are electrical wiring and fixtures installed?

Electrical wires are pulled through precut channels inside the core of the panels called “chases.” Chases are added during the manufacturing process according to the electrical design of the home. Electricians can feed wires through panel chases without compressing the insulation or drilling through studs.

Are 1WallS susceptible to insects?

Termites and other pests do not feed on the foam panel cores.

Can 1WallS be replaced or repaired if damaged?

If panels are damaged, a structural engineer needs to assess the damage to determine what is cosmetic and what is structural.  If the damage is only cosmetic, then the source must be determined and fixed, whether it is from inside or outside.  If the damage is structural, then a structural solution to the problem must be found.  That can be done by either a site modification of the panels or replacement of the panels, depending on the extent of the damage.  In the event that panels are damaged, the manufacturer and installer of the panels should be notified.

Does a building with a 1WallS roof need to be ventilated?

The area inside a 1WallS building envelope is considered conditioned space and will be ventilated by the building’s HVAC system.  There is no need to provide a vented attic beneath a 1WallS roof and doing so would compromise the conditioned space of the building.  Research conducted by Building Science Corporation on test homes in hot climates demonstrates that including the attic in the conditioned space allowed for more energy efficient space conditioning and less probability of moisture related issues.  Some building science experts recommend venting the roof by providing an air space between the 1WallS roof panels and the roofing material (known as a “cold roof”). This practice is not a requirement for 1WallS buildings, but an extra measure to improve the durability and moisture resistance of the building .

How much do 1WallS cost?

Pricing information can be obtained by contacting our office.  Material price does not reflect the labor savings capable with 1WallS construction.  In additional to like building materials, a study conducted by the R.S. Means shows that building with 1WallS reduce framing labor over conventional wood framing.  Builders can also expect decreased jobsite waste disposal costs and savings on HVAC equipment.  When all these factors are considered, building with 1WallS is by far less expensive than other building systems.

Are 1WallS accepted by building codes?

1WallS construction is recognized by the International Code Council body of building codes, which are used by most jurisdictions in the U.S. for residential building.  Specific construction practices for 1WallS wall systems are included in Section R614 of the 2009 International Residential Code. For applications beyond the scope of Section R614, the building inspector will typically require a licensed engineer or architect to approve the building plans prior to construction. An engineer’s approval is always required in high wind areas, high seismic zones and commercial buildings.

How do I attach siding or other exterior claddings to 1WallS?

Builders should consult the siding manufacturer’s installation instructions for how to attach their product to 1WallS. Because 1WallS use no lumber, an increased fastening schedule is often required when attaching exterior cladding.  If the siding manufacturer does not offer recommendations for attaching their product to 1WallS, a licensed architect or engineer can calculate the appropriate fastener frequency by obtaining fastener pullout capacities from the 1WallS manufacturer.  It is also important that proper moisture management procedures be followed when applying any type of cladding to 1WallS.  With the exception of metal and vinyl siding, it is recommended that all claddings be installed with a drainage gap between the cladding and the weather resistant barrier in climates that average more than 20 inches of annual rainfall.

What is the R-value of 1WallS?

R-values for the 1WallS depend on the thickness and density of the 1WallS.  FI manufacturers and distributes 1.5lbs. density EPS with inherent and consistent R-values of R30 for a standard 4’ X 6" panel of any height.  When the panels are combined with our MULTICERAMICS insulated coatings to, the R value doubles to R60.  FI also provides a 4’ X 12" panel of any height with an inherent and consistant R value of R50 and when combined with FI's MULTICERAMICS insulated coating the R values again doubles to a R100.  These are values are industry proven and the highest in the building industry.  They also allow more glass to be designed into a LEED certified home. 

How are 1WallS supported? Are there studs in the panels?

1WallS are structurally supported by steel beam studs placed at 16” intervals on center. The unique, patented design of the studs is the primary characteristic that gives the 1WallS their super strength.

Can recessed lights be used in 1WallS?

Recessed lights should never be embedded in structural insulated panels.  To install recessed lights, an interior soffit must be constructed.

Do 1WallS block sound transmission?

The 1WallS are especially effective at blocking high frequency noise and most homeowners notice the quiet comfort of a 1WallS home.

Are vapor barriers required in 1WallS buildings?

Air barriers or vapor barriers are not required in 1WallS buildings because properly sealed 1WallS create a code compliant air barrier with a permeability rating of less than 1.0 perm.  In addition, the foam core of 1WallS is solid and continuous throughout the wall, eliminating the convection and condensation issues that can occur in cavity walls.

Can plumbing be installed in 1WallS?

Plumbing should not be located in exterior 1WallS walls because of the possibility of condensation or supply lines freezing in cold climates.  During the design phase of the project, all plumbing should be relocated to interior walls.  If plumbing must be located on an exterior wall, it is recommended that all plumbing be insulated using our PIPESULATE coating.  Plumbing penetrations such as DWV can beplaced through 1WallS if they are thoroughly sealed to prevent air infiltration.

Can kitchen cabinets be attached to 1WallS?

Yes, when self-tapping screws are used with the 18 gauge steel studs, it will offer a much stronger pull out resistance than the OSB used in conventional SIPs. A licensed architect or engineer can calculate the appropriate fastener frequency by obtaining fastener pullout capacities from 1WallS.

Are 1WallS susceptible to mold and mildew?

1WallS building envelope forms the basis of a successful mold control strategy.  The extremely low levels of air infiltration in 1WallS buildings allow for incoming air to be provided in controlled amounts by air handling equipment.  Proper dehumidification of incoming air following ASHRAE standards will create an environment where mold physically cannot grow.  In addition to creating a comfortable structure, 1WallS are solid and free of any cavities in the wall where moisture can condense and cause unseen mold growth, all metal surfaces should be coated with MULTICERAMICS insulation coating to further prevent condensation.

I want to build a 1WallS home. What is the first step?

For homeowners, the first step is to identify a quality builder. An experienced 1WallS builder will manage the plan conversion and review process.  If your builder is unfamiliar with 1WallS, they can contact us with any questions they may have.

How does the 1WallS design and fabrication process work?

The construction of a 1WallS home or commercial building begins with the construction documents.  Once the construction documents are in the hands of a 1WallS manufacturer, dealer/distributor, or design professional, then the number of panels needed for the construction are calculated by our engineering department and a formal quote for all necessary components is given.

How difficult is it to learn how to build with 1WallS?

For construction professionals competent in standard wood framing techniques, the task of learning 1WallS is not difficult.  1WallS offers technical assistance for builders that are new to 1WallS construction