Tuesday, November 25, 2014
What is Going on Inside Pensmore Castle? Ozarksfirst.com
HIGHLANDVILLE, Mo. -- Many here in the Ozarks know it as that 'giant castle' in Christian County. A lot of people also have their opinions about why Pensmore Mansion is being built and what's going on behind its walls. KOLR10 got a look inside the mega mansion and spoke with its owner who said he hopes people focus more on the structure's cutting-edge construction, rather than the conspiracy theories.
"It's had its share of rumors," Paul Lais, Pensmore Mansion's project manager said.
Just south of Springfield sits a mansion as majestic as the Ozark hills it overlooks. It is a majestic as it is mysterious.
"It isn't what other people think and because of the scale it is of what it is people have a tendency to think the extreme," Lais said.
That's largely due to Pensmore Mansion's extreme size. At 72,000 square feet Pensmore will be one of the largest private residences in the United States, and one of the safest structures in the world.
"You could throw cars at the walls and it wouldn't fracture the wall," Lais said.
Neither would a tornado, hurricane or earthquake.
"This system is designed for a minimal 2,000 pound blow out."
Pensmore also can also withstand fires and floods.
"It's coated with polyurea product so it's completely waterproof," Lais said.
Pensmore is indestructible, due to the millions of tiny twisted steel fibers called Helix that can be found throughout the structure's 22,000 yards of insulated concrete.
"It's added in so many pounds per yard," Lais said.
Below the one-of-a-kind observatory, spacious great room with 32-foot tall ceilings and private two-story library is a living laboratory where workers are busy building Pensmore's custom molding's trim and finishes.
"It's set up as manufacturing facility," Lais said.
Back upstairs and in one the Pensmore's only finished areas, owner Steve Huff if focused on how to convince homeowners and home builders on how to build better with his products.
"I hear all the time about people building community tornado shelters," Huff said. "Is that really what you want to do? Right in the middle of the night drive your 80-year-old grandmother through the severe storms or tornado? Why not have your homes, nursing homes tornado resistant to start with?"
The main reason Huff said is because of lack of understanding about how to build with this specific kind of reinforced concrete, which contains rigid foam insulation, radiant heating and cooling systems Helix steel fibers.
"Bugs wont eat it, fire wont burn it, wind wont knock down. Whats not to love about reinforced concrete?" Huff asked.
For the average homeowner, it could be the cost. The additional cost to build a typical 2,500 square foot home with Transform walls could be at least $7,000. However, according to Huff, the initial upfront cost could likely save homeowners tens of thousands of dollars in the long run.
"In the United States a lot of times we just build for twenty years and don't think about the life cycle costs," he said. "The idea here is to export technology build a structure that would last for hundreds of years."
Now and for years to come here in the Ozarks is where Pensmore Mansion and the Huff family will call home because according to Huff southern Missouri makes perfect sense.
"We like this area, we like the people, we like the culture here," he said. "From an engineering standpoint we have four seasons here so that works well. If we built this in the arctic we wouldn't have the summer. If we built this in Florida we wouldn't have the winter. It's just a lovely place."
Construction on Pensmore Mansion began about five years ago and Huff said there is no set date for completion.
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