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Tella Firma Foundations, a Dallas-based construction company, signed an agreement with Meritage Homes to provide its innovative foundations for all of Meritage’s homes being built in the Villas at Las Colinas and Enclave at Northgate in Irving. Tella Firma Foundations provides an elevated slab foundation that is helpful in areas with active soil, and Dallas is one of these areas.

A map from the Texas Almanac website detailing the soils of Texas labels Dallas County as the Blackland Prairie region of the state, adding that, “Blackland soils are known as ‘cracking clays’ because of the large, deep cracks that form in dry weather. This high shrink-swell property can cause serious damage to foundations, highways, and other structures and is a safety hazard in pits and trenches.”

Tella Firma’s technology, which the company patented in 2011, provides a foundation that creates space between the ground and the slab, allowing for movement in the soil. While other types of foundations offer raised options, Tella Firma does not begin as a raised structure; it is raised using a mechanism after the slab is poured.

A series of steel helical piers are drilled and a Tella Firma lifting mechanism is installed on each pier. Once post-tension cables have been placed, a slab can be poured—and then comes the lifting phase. Employees are then able to turn each lifting mechanism, slowly raising the foundation off the ground, one-third of an inch per each bolt rotation. In all, it takes about two hours to complete the lifting process.

“Meritage Homes embraces the vision of applying advanced technology to alleviate some of the problems that have plagued the home building industry in Texas,” Jim Fontaine, CEO of Tella Firma Foundations, said in a statement. “Tella Firma provides a complete system that includes a slab lifting mechanism and modern steel helical piers. The helical piers replace traditional concrete piers but can be installed in a fraction of the time.”

“Tella Firma gives the home a commercial quality foundation and also includes a 10-year warranty that gives us and our homebuyers peace of mind,” Stephanie MacLean, division president of Meritage Homes, said in a statement.

Meritage is the eighth-largest homebuilder in the United States, based on the number of homes the company closed on last year. Tella Firma has also provided foundations for Faulkner Perrin Custom Homes, Texas Anderson Homes, and Thomas Signature Homes in Preston Hollow, as well as homebuilders in University Park, Frisco, Bluffview, and Lakewood.

Presented by D Magazine – March 22, 2017

 
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