Composite Building Structures, Ltd.
Stronger, Safer, Longer Lasting, cost effective support framing for homes and buildings
Flash Report – CBS Pre-launch Product Exposition Booth in Baton Rouge LA
The Economic Development Council of Louisiana invited systems builders (SIP, Modular, Panel, ICF, Tip Up, Concrete, Foam Concrete, and Steel) to display their production at a rebuilding symposium to showcase the alternatives available to rebuild Louisiana’s devastation.
If the response we received at this exposition was any indication of the response we will get when we formally announce the product and launch our business and products at the National Association of Homebuilder’s SOUTH EAST BUILDERS CONFERENCE & EXPOSITION in Orlando August 3~5, we will be in for a deluge of inquires to answer.
While the total turnout of attendees in Baton Rouge was only about 1,500, they represented an excellent cross section of professionals from all the construction related sectors. More importantly, they seemed to be, in large part, the movers and shakers responsible for rebuilding Louisiana. It also provided us with the ability to test our product’s acceptance prior to displaying them to the 18,000 visitors scheduled to tour hurricane alley at the SEBC expo where we have a 10x20 booth.
Apparently we caused quite a stir during the two days and had a lot of traffic and repeat visits. We had local TV and City Business magazine interviews as well as the Home and Garden national TV network filming. We had on display samples of our 5th generation studs, steel stud mounts, fiberglass rebar, composite sheeting, and composite roofing (photos attached).
We explained repeatedly that Composite Fiberglass replaces 13 tons of wood with 1 ton of Composite Fiberglass and that 10% weight actually achieves significantly higher performance. In Baton Rouge, we also announced that we would be taking orders for pre-production of a few house shells to be delivered in October.
Another highlight was the SIP panel made with our CBS H-column studs, foam insulation, steel stud mounts, and 1/16 inch thick composite sheeting we used to replace an 11/16” thick OSB siding with a superior shear property. One well known architect from NY, Miami, and New Orleans insisted on keeping the panel on display in his office.
We also introduced our products to one of the three Global Green offices in the USA. Global Green is an international ecological movement chaired by Mkhail Gorbachov (www.clobalgreen.org). They are sponsoring a New Orleans design competition backed by actors Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio. The competition will select the most innovative energy efficient designs for the New Orleans rebuild. They are submitting the CBS products to their committee so that we can be displayed in all three offices (California, DC, and New Orleans).
CBS has initiated a project to partner with Global Green in New Orleans to rebuild a church and vicarage with donated materials from all the approved Global Green approved suppliers and will be pursuing that project.
At the exposition, we were swamped with questions. We made a list of the questions we were answering. Here are some of the questions with the comments and answers we explained during 2 days of exposition and the 3 days we spent following up leads from the show. Each of the professionals visiting our booth had their own set of questions which we have highlighted here:
“What is this?A. It is a fiberglass H-column support stud that replaces wood, steel, and concrete that comes with some amazing properties (properties explained).
Why haven’t we heard about this, are you in production? A. These products will be announced in August. We are taking pre-production orders starting in October 06. Two Architectural Training courses will be online in August with continuing education units awarded free.
This is fantastic! Are you telling me that I can choose any profile and you can create the strength I require? A. Yes, Just about any strength you desire in the same size profile by changing the fibers, fiber orientation, and the resin mixture.
What is the cost? A. Comparable or slightly less than the building system being replaced by the CBS system regardless of whether it is wood, steel, or concrete
Do you have drawings I can add to the house plans? A. We are working to get them produced and posted on the internet also within the August timeframe”
“Can I get products to stick build? A. We are making a fixed percent of our production to stick builders.
How much is it per square foot? A. Approximately $6.00 per square foot installed with insulation.
Can you do custom designs? A. Yes each building shell is a custom that can be delivered in 2 weeks and erected in 1 day.
Will the unique architecture of New Orleans be preserved? A. Yes the only real way to see if the home is panelized with fiberglass walls is to ask the homeowner the average cost of his energy bills, with an R-40 in the walls there is a great savings each month, otherwise there is not discernable difference from the outside look of the home. On the interior, however, the CBS home is more comfortable.
What comes in your panels? A. Whatever you specify, you tell us the outside sheeting and if you want us to put in the windows, doors, electric boxes, and insulation for you.”
Do you do the roofs? A. Yes, in fact we are developing a high quality all-in-one roof panel that will be put up with a crane in a completely finished state so that no one has to go up on a roof after it is installed.”
Panel Builders –
“Will these parts fit in our panelization machines? A. Yes and No, No in that there will have to be special adjustments made to your automated panelization machine to use screws instead of nails, to locate studs on 2 foot centers, and to fabricate the rough openings a little differently. Yes, If you are building your walls on a simple table instead of a panel machine, there will be no differences except in that you will have to set some screws in the top and bottom C-channels on both the top and bottom sides of the panel.”
Modular Builders –
“Can the fiberglass studs be economical in modular building? A. Yes, modular buildings are just an assembly of panelized walls that have been erected and finished with electric wiring, ceilings, and painted gypsum walls inside a building. Our studs have pre-drilled holes to run wires horizontally which speed up wiring and the gypsum is attached with screws so there is no change in the materials, methods, or tools for the finishers.”
SIP Panel Manufacturers – “Can fiberglass studs be used in SIP panels? A. Yes, first to replace all the lumber currently used in the SIP panel. In addition another structural system could be produced that would locate studs every 24 inches, screw on a top and bottom C-channel, and encapsulate the EPS with a 1/16” composite sheet forming an impervious water plane behind the exterior sheeting. The assembly of that panel would be faster and competitively priced with the glued panels. The erection would be more like wood 2x4 panels than like SIP erection. Each of the SIP panels would be joined with a male/female edge socket and screwed together.”
“Will you be building panels locally? A. Plans for part production and distributed panelization across the state are underway.
Once you are in production, how long will it take you to rebuild a demolished housing project with 400 new homes? A. When we are fully ramped up in Louisiana, it would take approximately 2 weeks for us to erect the 400 house shells.
Are you certified? A. All of the components are calculated and tested. We are now optimizing the raw materials and die structures, the best combinations will produce test panels for testing at the Miami Dade Hurricane Test Center and all the results sent for certification. Any change after those tests in materials would require us to resubmit for certification at a cost of approximately $70,000.00. By end of 2006 we will have all certifications in place. Before they are issued, we will use PE stamped drawings to certify each build.”
Potential Home Buyers –
What would the home look like? A. You will not be able to see any difference from the inside or outside.
Can I add on to the house? A. Yes, the parts can be joined to any type of building material.
How easy is it to repair? A. The exterior and interior materials are attached the same way they have always been and so will be able to be repaired the same way the repairs have always been made.
How quiet is it inside? A. Almost identical to the very quiet concrete homes and much quieter than wood homes.
How can this be so superior and lower price? A. Because these walls are made in a factory at high production rates using less labor and wasting less material than all the other building systems and, we use only 10% of the weight of wood that would be used to make an identical home or 3.2% of the weight of material used in a concrete block home. Finally, each part is made to the exact length and cut without any scrap.
Can I get insurance on this house? A. Yes, we are approaching insurance underwrites and we expect that up to 40% lower rates will be assessed on our system that is safer, stronger, and longer lasting than any other building method. What about resale value? A. We expect that it will be better than other homes on the same street because of the extremely low energy usage and improved safety during any type of disaster. Let me ask you a question, wouldn’t you want one of our house shells protecting your lives and possessions – now that you know all the details about them?
How can I get one? A. We sell our structure through builders who finish the exterior architecture and inside walls and amenities to your specifications.”
Economic Development Officials –
“How much land do you need? A. We need 20 acres with option for 50 more.
How long will it take you to build the plant? A. 12 weeks to build the buildings if there are none available of the correct size, and 26 weeks to get all the machinery and dies delivered.
How many people will you employ? A. 182 in the factory and 230 in independent erection crews.
What will be the average salary? A. $27,000.00.
What will it take for you to open your plant in our Parish? A. That depends on the final package of incentives we are able to put together with your location.”
Government Officials –
“What kind of site do you need? A. it is best to combine several zones: Enterprise, Duty Free, Brownfield, Section 8, and Empowerment for the maximum number of assistance programs.
Can you build obtainable affordable workforce housing? A. Yes, a primary ability of highly automated production is to make better quality available at lower cost through economies of scale and vertical integration.”
Securities Underwriters –
“Have you discussed going public with underwriters? A. Yes with UBS securities in Boston.”
Lumber Producers –
“How much scrap do you generate in your process? A. Less than 0.2%. The stamped holes for electric wires are used as washers for the anchor bolts, and the saw cut residue is recycled back into the resin mixture.
Is every piece exactly the same and do they have the exact same properties? A. Yes, that’s the whole point - now let me ask you a question, we have heard that the lumber industry loses 35% of all the lumber delivered to the site as scrap, is this really true?
Lumber Producer’s Respone, Yes, we lose enough lumber to build 1 house for every 3 houses that are built. I shouldn’t be saying this because I make lumber, but this fiberglass stuff is really great!”
Steel Suppliers –
“How much does this fiberglass rebar cost?A. Same as steel rebar.
Has it been tested? Yes the ACMA (American Composite Manufacturer’s Association has conducted all of the tests to get fiberglass rebar certified and there are about 4 companies making it commercially now, but they have struggled to get the price as low as we can make it because of our volume use of raw materials.
Can it bend? A. No, but we use a special form of the fiberglass rebar that can be bent and tied to the straight rebar pieces.
When will it be available? A. We are taking orders for December 2006.”
Green Promoters –
“Are you using recycled raw materials? A. No, to get the superior strengths, just like the aerospace composites we must use virgin materials. 85 % is glass fiber; the 15% balance is a resin mixture that comes from a natural gas feedstock. For a 2,000 square foot home, we use approximately 2,300 pounds of glass and 300 pounds of resin which is the same weight as two tanks of gasoline, a petrochemical. Every second fill up in your gas tank could have been a house for someone.
Can it be recycled?A. 85% of the profiles are fiberglass that can be melted and made into coke bottles. The resin is burned with low smoke and only CO and CO2 in the fume constituents and none of the hazardous or poisonous gasses that come from other resins. For these reasons, we believe that we are not green but can be called green friendly.”
Energy Conservation –
“How many natural resources are consumed in your fiberglass parts?A. A 2,000 square foot home with a 1 car garage built to hurricane standards requires 40 tons of concrete block, steel, and a lot of hand labor. The same size wood home weighs 13 tons and consumes 1-1/2 acres of trees with about 35% waste. A fiberglass skeleton, by comparison, weighs 1 ton, has superior longevity, and can be disassembled and reused. The energy efficiency is unparalleled for the lowest long-term cost of home ownership.
Why do you think it is so energy efficient? A. First of all, the exact cuts and squeeze of the panel during assembly create a very tight structure. Couple that with an EPS or foam, an R value of up to R-44 can be created. When using fiberglass, a tight skeleton prevents air passage and adds the dead air space to the insulation coefficient. And, with the water plane created between the 1/16” composite sheet and the exterior sheeting solves the problem of water penetrating into the insulation.
Do you think that this is an environmentally responsible solution to building? A. We think it is very environmentally responsible because we are not using 40 tons of mined materials to make the shell or causing 1-1/2 acres of oxygen producing trees to be cut down to build one house. We are melting one ton of sand to make the fiberglass and using a very small amount of resin to produce a completely protected home!”
Potential Investors –
“Are your shares publicly traded?A. No, not at this time.
Are there shares available in your company? A. Yes, for qualified private investors, investment offerings are available for CBS Homes Florida, LLC, CBS Homes Louisiana, LLC, and CBS Homes Texas, LLC. Business plans and proforma financials for the combined enterprise are also available with a confidentiality agreement.
You will agree that there were a lot of questions. We had a full gamut of them of raised about our products. The groups of professionals from all the construction allied fields were very interested. These answers were the answers that we explained time and again to each person “discovering” our products for the first time. Several people said we were the only really new technology at the show – and they were right.
They told us that steel studs are over 20 years old and have less than 1% support wall market penetration, SIPS are over 15 years old with only about 3% total market penetration, ICFs are over 10 years old with only a 2% market penetration, HUD mobile homes are over 30 years old with 3% market penetration, and modular homes are over 8 years old with just a 7% market penetration. Yet all of these systems are growing each year but have not been able to be a serious contender to displace the wood and concrete block build.
We used the current statistics from the January 2006 issue of Automated Builder Magazines in our booth which showed that on-site stick-built homes have dropped to about 43% total new home market penetration. Panelized homes have risen to 45% market penetration and panelized housing is growing faster each year than all of the other building systems combined.
This is the specific market (new home starts), system (automated panelization), and method (any design, size, or style to any builder) that we are positioning to penetrate. Is it any wonder we are creating excitement among all the people who know and understand their industry?
We believe that in our lifetime, composite framing will become the framing material of choice – worldwide.
Working together, we can make it happen.
James P. Antonic
THIS DOCUMENT IS NOT AN OFFER TO SELL NOR AN OFFER TO SOLICIT THE PURCHASE OF ANY UNITS IN ANY ONE OR ALL OF THE LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANIES IN THE CBS ENTERPRISE GROUP