RYAN GOARD IS NAMED CEO OF TELLA FIRMA FOUNDATIONS

(DALLAS-August 5, 2019) Tella Firma Foundations, a construction-tech company, today announced that Ryan Goard has been named Chief Executive Officer, in addition to his current title as President. Ryan has successfully run the company since joining as President in 2018.

“I’m very pleased to announce that the board has unanimously promoted Ryan Goard to the position of CEO and a member of the Board of Directors,” said Jim Fontaine, Chairman of the Board of Tella Firma Foundations. “The Board is very pleased with Ryan’s performance, and we believe that he is fully ready to take on the full role as President, CEO, and Board Member.”

Goard spent the past twenty years in various sales management roles in the construction and manufacturing industries. In addition to leading the company through two successful quarters this year, he also has helped spearhead a push into the Oil and Gas Industry.

“I am fortunate to be a part of such an extremely talented team that is driven to carry out the vision of Tella Firma,” said Goard. “I’m very honored with this recognition and look forward to leading our team to prominence in the construction industry.”

The Tella Firma foundation system has been used by dozens of builders, with nearly 2,000 foundations installed in commercial and residential projects and is backed by seven issued patents. Tella Firma foundations are designed to protect a building’s foundation from damaging active soil movement with a field-tested process of elevating a slab-on-grade foundation using piers, creating a protective void between the ground and the foundation itself. This application isolates the slab from active soils and guards it from unexpected movement. Tella Firma’s solution is an environmentally friendly, green installation process that avoids the need for any type of chemical or water injection into the soil as part of construction.

About Tella Firma Foundations
Dallas-based Tella Firma is a construction technology firm that is revolutionizing the way foundations are built. Tella Firma gets its name from the Latin words meaning “strong castle or structure.” Foundations with the company’s product have been installed in residential and light commercial projects in Texas and Colorado, and the company continues to expand into new markets throughout the region. For additional information, visit tellafirma.com.

TELLA FIRMA FOUNDATIONS NAMES HILTI NORTH AMERICA PRESIDENT AND CEO TO BOARD OF DIRECTORS

(DALLAS—October 15, 2018) Tella Firma Foundations, a construction-technology company, today announced that Avi Kahn, President and CEO of Hilti North America (www.hilti.com), has joined as an independent outside director to its board of directors. Kahn brings vast executive experience in innovative construction products. After starting in territory sales, he worked directly with customers and then progressed through the organization in various leadership roles. Prior to being named President and CEO of Hilti North America, he fulfilled a six-year international assignment as General Manager of Hilti Canada.

“We feel very fortunate to have Avi join our Board with his proven executive and sales experience in the construction products industry,” said Jim Fontaine, CEO of Tella Firma Foundations. “As we continue forward in the commercial market, his expertise in this area will be invaluable.”

Kahn brings nearly fifteen years of experience at Hilti, one of the most well-known international companies in the construction industry. He holds an MBA from Bellevue University, as well as certificates from the management programs of Columbia, Wharton, and Stanford.

“It’s a privilege to work on the board of this cutting-edge construction technology company,” said Kahn. “Tella Firma has the opportunity to bring the industry forward in a new way to handle difficult soils, saving both time and money in an atmosphere of decreasing labor supply and increasing costs. It’s the right solution at the right time. I’m excited to be a part of that.”

The Tella Firma foundation system has been used by dozens of builders, with more than 1,300 foundations installed in commercial and residential projects and is backed by seven issued patents. Tella Firma foundations are designed to protect a building’s foundation from damaging active soil movement with a field-tested process of elevating a slab-on-grade foundation using piers, creating a protective void between the ground and the foundation itself. This application isolates the slab from active soils and guards it from unexpected movement. Tella Firma’s solution is an environmentally friendly, green installation process that avoids the need for any type of chemical or water injection into the soil as part of construction.

About Tella Firma Foundations
Dallas-based Tella Firma is a construction technology firm that is revolutionizing the way foundations are built. Tella Firma gets its name from the Latin words meaning “strong castle or structure.” Foundations with the company’s product have been installed in residential and light commercial projects in Texas and Colorado, and the company continues to expand into new markets throughout the region. For additional information, visit tellafirma.com. 

About Hilti, Inc.
Hilti is a world-leading manufacturer and supplier of quality, innovative and specialized tools and fastening systems for the professional user. With over 1,700 highly trained Hilti account managers and engineers throughout North America and an additional 1,300 Hilti employees nationwide, Hilti expertise covers the areas of powder actuated fastening, drilling and demolition, cordless, diamond coring and cutting, measuring, firestopping, screw fastening, adhesive and mechanical anchoring, and strut and hanger systems.

RYAN GOARD JOINS TELLA FIRMA AS PRESIDENT

(DALLAS-September 10, 2018) Tella Firma Foundations, a construction-tech company, today announced that Ryan Goard has joined the company as its new President. Ryan previously ran various senior level sales roles in the construction products and manufacturing industries. His last role was in senior leadership at Contech Engineered Solutions,  a company that provides site solutions for engineers, contractors, architects and owners in heavy commercial projects.

“We are very excited to have Ryan take on this role at Tella Firma,” said Jim Fontaine, CEO of Tella Firma Foundations. “Not only does Ryan have proven strategic sales and sales management experience in the commercial construction products industry, he also has a proven track record in building and leading teams to execute the company’s strategic vision.  He has the unique combination of talents that will help take the company to the next level.”

Fontaine, who previously acted as President, as well as CEO, will continue in the CEO role.

Goard spent the past twenty years in various sales management roles in the construction and manufacturing industries. In his past several roles, he held senior leadership positions that focused on building teams and increasing revenue. At Contech, he essentially began a start-up division within the company that diversified channels to market and provided better coverage for specific account types, increasing revenues significantly in each applied area.

“Tella Firma really is revolutionizing the building industry,” said Goard. “As the company continues to use innovation in numerous building formats, I welcome the opportunity to join this experienced leadership team and contribute to the success of such a dynamic company.”

The Tella Firma foundation system has been used by dozens of builders, with more than 1,300 foundations installed in commercial and residential projects and is backed by seven issued patents. Tella Firma foundations are designed to protect a building’s foundation from damaging active soil movement with a field-tested process of elevating a slab-on-grade foundation using piers, creating a protective void between the ground and the foundation itself. This application isolates the slab from active soils and guards it from unexpected movement. Tella Firma’s solution is an environmentally friendly, green installation process that avoids the need for any type of chemical or water injection into the soil as part of construction.

About Tella Firma Foundations
Dallas-based Tella Firma is a construction technology firm that is revolutionizing the way foundations are built. Tella Firma gets its name from the Latin words meaning “strong castle or structure.” Foundations with the company’s product have been installed in residential and light commercial projects in Texas and Colorado, and the company continues to expand into new markets throughout the region. For additional information, visit tellafirma.com.

COMAL COUNTY AND YATES-SUNDT CONSTRUCTION SELECT TELLA FIRMA FOUNDATIONS FOR NEW COMAL COUNTY JAIL

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Innovative foundation technology will save nearly $1 million in direct and indirect construction costs for Comal County Taxpayers

(NEW BRAUNFELS, TEXAS—May 21, 2018) Comal County, Texas, and the Yates-Sundt joint venture announced today they have chosen Tella Firma Foundations, a Dallas-based construction-technology company, to provide an innovative foundation design for the new Comal County Jail, currently under construction.

This foundation solution, chosen through a competitive bidding process, will save the county and its taxpayers nearly $1 million in direct and indirect construction costs.

“We selected Tella Firma not only because we knew they would deliver a high-quality foundation,” said Randy Powell, Senior Vice President of Yates Construction, “but also based on the cost savings and time savings they demonstrated they would bring to the project.”

The building site for the new jail requires a foundation design that can withstand significant vertical soil movement of up to 6.25 inches because of active clay soils that expand and contract in response to changes in moisture. Tella Firma’s solution, which incorporates steel helical piers and steel lifting mechanisms to elevate the concrete slab, creates a 10-inch under-slab void space. The void space is over 1.5 times the potential vertical rise of the underlying soil, allowing for expansion of soils under the slab without damage to the foundation.

“We encouraged our general contractor and A/E partners to consider various opportunities for cost savings throughout the project, including the Tella Firma solution,” said James A. Broaddus, Ph.D., P.E., project manager of Broaddus and Associates. “We’re excited to bring this type of innovative technology to the Comal County Jail.”

“Tella Firma’s innovative design is based on using steel piers placed closer together with a thinner slab, resulting in cost savings by using substantially less concrete in the slab and eliminating the use of expensive concrete piers and other materials”, said Jim Fontaine, the company’s CEO.

The Tella Firma design provides the same level of structural integrity and reliability as traditional foundation design, but at a substantially reduced cost. In addition, the Tella Firma foundation can be installed in less time than traditional methods, creating further cost savings.

The system has been used by dozens of builders, with more than 1,200 foundations installed in commercial and residential projects, and is backed by seven issued patents. This solution is an environmentally friendly installation process that avoids the need for any type of chemical or water injection into the soil as part of construction.

“As with all phases of this project, the county aims to deliver a strong return on taxpayers’ investment,” said Tom Hornseth, Comal County engineer. “At the end of the day, we feel the Tella Firma foundation will represent the best value for our community.”

About Yates Construction
Yates Construction is one of the nation’s largest privately held construction companies providing general construction, at-risk construction management, design-build, preconstruction and specialized turnkey services from 16 offices throughout eight states in the U.S., including two Texas offices in San Antonio and Fort Worth. Founded in 1964, Yates is ranked among the top construction services providers in the country by Engineering News Record, with its highest ranking of No. 6 in “Correctional Facilities.” www.wgyates.com

About Sundt Construction
Sundt Construction Inc. is one of the country’s largest and most respected general contractors, with 11 offices in Texas, Arizona, California and Utah. Known for its commitment to quality and its innovative approach to construction services, Sundt was named the nation’s safest construction company by the Associated General Contractors of America in 2016. Over the past three decades, Sundt has constructed more than 100,000 detention beds in various custody levels. www.sundt.com

About the Yates-Sundt Joint Venture
Building on the success of their established joint venture on a previous project, Yates-Sundt again joined forces for the express purpose of constructing the Comal County Jail and renovating the Sheriff’s Office. Over the past 10 years, Yates and Sundt, collectively have completed more than $1.5 billion in justice and law-enforcement-center projects throughout the U.S.; 16 of those projects were with HDR, the architect on the Comal County project, and three with Broaddus & Associates, Comal County’s project manager.

About Tella Firma Foundations
Dallas-based Tella Firma is a construction-technology firm that is revolutionizing the way foundations are built. Tella Firma gets its name from the Latin words meaning “strong home.” Foundations with the company’s product have been installed in residential and light commercial projects in Texas and Colorado, and the company continues to expand into new markets throughout the region. For additional information, visit tellafirma.com.

FORMER HILTI EXECUTIVE JOINS TELLA FIRMA FOUNDATIONS ADVISORY BOARD, EXPANDING TEAM OF STRATEGIC ADVISORS

Former Hilti Executive Joins Tella Firma Foundations Advisory Board, Expanding Team of Strategic Advisors

(DALLAS—DATE, 2018) Tella Firma Foundations (www.tellafirma.com), a construction-technology company, today announced that Chas Gile of Texas-based Third Coast Ventures has joined as a new Advisory Board member. An Advisory Board member acts as strategic advisor and sounding board for the company, supporting its mission to revolutionize the foundation industry.

“We continue to expand our group of world-class advisors, who will challenge our thinking while providing valuable advice for Tella Firma as the company grows and expands its presence in the commercial construction markets,” said Jim Fontaine, CEO of Tella Firma Foundations. “Based on Chas’ wealth of experience and industry knowledge, I know he will become a true asset for our company.”

Chas Gile currently is a partner with Third Coast Ventures, a venture capital and private equity firm, where he oversees a portfolio of real estate and industrial production companies. His prior experience includes management consulting, start-up ventures, business turnarounds, and industrial management.

Gile was a senior executive for Hilti, the Liechtenstein-based multinational company that develops, manufactures, and markets products for the construction, building maintenance and mining industries. At Hilti, he was a member of the executive management team that oversaw all development across North America and was responsible for investment and strategic decisions affecting all new technologies, services and products. He also was responsible for the company’s civil and industrial segments, working directly with some of the largest construction firms in North America.

“Tella Firma clearly has all the ingredients to become the industry standard for foundation construction in Texas and similar markets – innovation that is brilliant in its simplicity, a solution proven hundreds of times across multiple building formats, and a leadership team with proven industry experience,” Gile said. “I’m honored to be a part of something that is not just very cool, but important and even needed.”

Gile received a B.S. from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, and an MBA from the Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University.

The Tella Firma foundation system has been used by dozens of builders, with more than 1,200 foundations installed in commercial and residential projects, and is backed by seven issued patents. Tella Firma foundations are designed to protect a building’s foundation from damaging active soil movement with a field-tested process of elevating a slab-on-grade foundation using piers, creating a protective void between the ground and the foundation itself. This application isolates the slab from active soils and guards it from unexpected movement. Tella Firma’s solution is an environmentally friendly, green installation process that avoids the need for any type of chemical or water injection into the soil as part of construction.

About Tella Firma Foundations
Dallas-based Tella Firma is a construction technology firm that is revolutionizing the way foundations are built. Tella Firma gets its name from the Latin words meaning “strong home.” Foundations with the company’s product have been installed in residential and light commercial projects in Texas and Colorado, and the company continues to expand into new markets throughout the region. For additional information, visit tellafirma.com.

TELLA FIRMA NAMES JIM ROACH AND TIM LOONEY TO ITS ADVISORY BOARD AS IT EXPANDS INTO COMMERCIAL MARKET

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Tella Firma Foundations Names Jim Roach and Tim Looney to its Advisory Board as it Expands into Commercial Market

(DALLAS—March 19, 2018) Tella Firma Foundations, a construction-tech company, today announced that it has added two new Advisory Board members – Jim Roach and Tim Looney. An Advisory Board member acts as strategic advisor and sounding board for the company, supporting its mission to revolutionize the foundation industry.

“Our goal is to form a group of world-class advisors who will provide sound advice while guiding and challenging our thinking as we pursue our strategy for growth,” Fontaine said. “Both Jim and Tim bring a solid business background and specific industry expertise that will benefit Tella Firma as it expands into commercial markets. We are very pleased they have agreed to lend their talents to the company.”

Jim Roach brings 44 years of experience in the commercial construction markets in his role as Commercial Advisor.  He currently works for Tribble & Stephens Construction in Houston, serving as manager of preconstruction activities (bidding through design phase) for the company’s commercial retail, office, mid- and high-rise residential, lodging and hospitality, and warehouse design-and-build projects throughout the region. His prior experience includes serving as vice president in charge of estimation for Jordan Foster, a large commercial construction company. Roach is a retired licensed structural engineer with a civil engineering degree from Clemson University and an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Tim Looney brings over 40 years of experience including executive management of the design and manufacture of ruggedized precision products. He is currently president of TWL Group, a private investment firm with holdings in real estate, healthcare, financial services, social media, and operations/services companies. Prior to founding his current business in 2006, Looney was co-founder of Optex Systems Inc., a defense contractor that produced sighting systems for the U.S. military, which are used in various applications such as Abrams M1 tanks, Stryker armored combat vehicles, and Assault Amphibious Vehicles. He completed the sale of Optex to Pequot Capital in 2006. Looney has served on multiple private, public and non-profit boards during the past 30 years, and currently serves as a director for Vital Art and Science, a medical software company, and Encore Propane, a commercial propane service provider. He served with Fontaine as co-chair of the North Texas Angel Network in 2012.

The Tella Firma foundation system has been used by dozens of builders, with more than 1,200 foundations installed in commercial and residential projects, and is backed by seven issued patents. Tella Firma foundations are designed to protect a building’s foundation from damaging active soil movement with a field-tested process of elevating a slab-on-grade foundation using piers, creating a protective void between the ground and the foundation itself. This application isolates the slab from active soils and guards it from unexpected movement. Tella Firma’s solution is an environmentally friendly, green installation process that avoids the need for any type of chemical or water injection into the soil as part of construction.

About Tella Firma Foundations
Dallas-based Tella Firma is a construction technology firm that is revolutionizing the way foundations are built. Tella Firma gets its name from the Latin words meaning “strong home.” Foundations with the company’s product have been installed in residential and light commercial projects in Texas and Colorado, and the company continues to expand into new markets throughout the region. For additional information, visit tellafirma.com.

TELLA FIRMA WITH RON DAVIS CUSTOM HOMES

INNOVATIVE FOUNDATION SOLUTION SERVES A DUAL PURPOSE FOR MIXED-CONSTRUCTION KINGDOM LIFE CHRISTIAN CENTER IN FRISCO

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FORM studios Architecture planned the building as a mixed-type construction project, with one-half of the building constructed with wood for a one-story classroom built on a slab foundation, and the other half a taller steel structure with columns to support a wide-open area for the sanctuary. Each side would need a different treatment for the foundation to deliver the proper support.   

The building site presented additional challenges. Geotechnical reports indicated the site contained very expansive soils with a high PVR (potential vertical rise), and the original plan was to use water and chemical injections with a pier-and-beam foundation to ensure stability. Yet the builder encountered a significant amount of water underground when the drilling began, indicating another approach would be necessary.

According to Jason Presley of FORM studios, the firm had worked with the same contractor when building the Spanish House Immersion School in Dallas the year before, and had success working with the Tella Firma Foundations solution, which elevates the foundation off the ground and away from the expansive soils. This time, Tella Firma helped create a hybrid approach for the Kingdom Life Christian Center, with lifting piers supporting the slab under the classroom and sanctuary sides of the structure, and non-lifting, cased piers supporting the steel columns only in the sanctuary. The team designed a pour strip in between the two sections of the building, and metal stud infill was utilized around the columns. The two sides of the foundation were lifted at different times.    

Mr. Presley said the hybrid solution required a little more planning and preparation at the outset, but was well worth the effort in terms of saving money on construction. Beyond the savings realized based on the projected cost of a pier-and-beam foundation, the originally planned remediation of the soil would have increased both the time and cost of the project overall.

According to Mr. Presley, one of the most important considerations for this job was to have a good engineer who could assume responsibility for the design of the foundation around the steel grid. And the outcome demonstrates the benefit of looking at both sides of the equation.

SUSTAINABILITY IN BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION – WHERE DO WE FIT IN?

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How does Tella Firma contribute to sustainability?

Sustainable_ConstructionWe hear a lot about sustainability throughout business, and the construction industry is no exception.  As one of the largest components of the industrial sector, construction accounts for as much as 10% of the world GDP and around 12% in the U.S.  At Tella Firma, we’re part of a much larger multidisciplinary industry that may have an impact on the environment.  As such, the industry as a whole has both the opportunity and the responsibility to seek ways to utilize sustainable processes and minimize this impact.

Looking around the industry, there are several key areas of focus where stakeholders in the building and construction sector are beginning to make an impact in terms of sustainability: building design, use of materials, energy use, and impact on land.

In the area of design, the concept of “cradle-to-cradle” design is gaining traction, based on the principles of using materials that can later be reconstituted into other products, and designing buildings that can serve multiple purposes.  For example, designs that allow for reconfiguration, that provide easy access for maintenance, and that facilitate replacement of shorter-life-span components, will support the transition from one use to the next.  Cradle-to-cradle builders use production techniques that are not only efficient, but are essentially waste-free.

As construction is believed to consume about half of all resources we take from nature (including about 25% of the wood harvest), building materials are a prime focus in sustainability efforts.  Solutions include not only an increased use of recycled and reclaimed materials, but also innovative efforts such as utilizing recycled construction and demolition (C&D) materials in new construction, thus avoiding the need to mine untouched resources while also eliminating the disposal of construction waste.

On a related note, the selection of materials in the building process also has an impact on energy usage.  Since much of the energy used in construction relates to the production of bulk materials including steel, cement, paper, plastic and aluminum, designing buildings with alternate materials, or with more efficient use of materials, also will reduce energy consumption.

For example, the production of cement, which is indispensable for construction, accounts for about 5% of global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.  Tella Firma’s process for building a slab-on-grade foundation consumes on average 25-30% less concrete than alternate methods, which not only saves money but also helps reduce the amount of greenhouse gases produced through cement production.

The use of land has many potential effects on the environment, caused by factors including deforestation, agriculture and land development.  Some types of land development, such as suburbanization, can contribute to a number of environmental concerns, including increased air pollution and the formation of urban and suburban heat islands.  In addition, land pollution caused by the deposition of solid or liquid waste materials, on the land or underground, is a concern in terms of public health and longer-terms effects on the environment. 

Introducing chemicals into the environment through the land is one particular area of consideration when thinking about sustainability, and Tella Firma is proud that its innovative process for building an elevated slab-on-grade foundation does not require any type of pre-treatment for the soil, such as water or chemical injections that might change the composition of the soil or harm the environment.

One thing is certain: Responsible construction and development must continue, to keep up with growth in population, communities and businesses.  With Tella Firma’s green foundation solution, we’re doing our part to help the construction sector work toward a more sustainable future.

TELLA FIRMA FOUNDATIONS ANNOUNCES NEW HEAVY-DUTY COMMERCIAL LIFTING MECHANISM FOR ITS PATENTED ELEVATED FOUNDATION PROCESS

Commercial builders now have a cost-effective solution for larger size projects based on technology proven successful in light commercial applications

(DALLAS—October 10, 2017) Tella Firma Foundations today announced a new heavy-duty commercial version lifting mechanism that is the cornerstone of its successful and patented elevated slab-on-grade foundation technology that has been used in more than 1,000 building sites in Texas and surrounding states.

TellaFirma_HeavyDuty_MechanismThe heavy-duty commercial lifting mechanism is designed for heavier commercial structures that are either large in size or have heavy load requirements such as concrete block interior or exterior walls. The heavy-duty lifting mechanism will allow the structural engineer to increase the spacing between piers because each lifting mechanism can carry a heavier load. The increased spacing will reduce the number of piers required for a typical commercial foundation design and make it more cost effective.

The Tella Firma foundation system is based on commercial engineering principles in practice for more than 50 years. The new mechanism can handle approximately double the load of the standard lifting mechanism. Tella Firma has conducted significant testing and analysis to ensure the new heavy-duty commercial lifting mechanism performs well in terms of both axial and lateral load capacity, wind load capacity, and life expectancy.

According to Jim Fontaine, CEO of Tella Firma, the company continues to innovate and collaborate with the commercial construction industry to develop new sustainable solutions for commercial projects based on their expressed needs. “Now commercial builders have a more cost effective means to take advantage of a solution that has been proven successful in the many foundation installations where our company has provided the technology,” he said.

The new product is currently being considered for several new commercial structures under design, including a school and a city municipal building. Many Independent School District (ISD) and other government buildings require either a crawl space or elevated slab solution, making this a primary market for the Tella Firma product.

Innovation through Technology
A Tella Firma lifting mechanism is an enabling component for the process of elevating a slab-on-grade foundation above the ground to create a protective void between the slab and the soil. This innovation isolates the foundation, helping to protect it from damaging soil swells, contractions and movements that may occur in many areas of Texas and the Southwest region, where active soils can cause foundation problems due to movement and settlement.

The Tella Firma lifting mechanism consists of a load-bearing imbed plate that sits atop a pile, a lifting bolt, which bears against the imbed plate, a threaded puck, cast in the bottom of the slab, which accepts the lifting bolt, and a sleeve and cap which prevent concrete slurry from fouling the puck threads during slab concrete placement. The new heavy duty mechanism works with either post-tension or rebar reinforced slabs, and includes a larger lifting puck and larger, heavier bolt to withstand the additional load.

The new heavy-grade commercial lifting mechanism increases the lateral load capacity of the foundation by two to three times. Analysis indicates the solution has a life expectancy of over 100 years under normal conditions.

About Tella Firma Foundations
Dallas-based Tella Firma is a construction technology firm that is revolutionizing the way foundations are built. Tella Firma gets its name from the Latin words meaning “strong home.” Foundations with the company’s product have been installed in residential and light commercial projects in Texas and Colorado, and the company continues to expand into new markets throughout the region. For additional information, visit tellafirma.com.