Press Release

Bautex Systems Supports Construction of Sea Scout Base Galveston

Bautex Systems today announced its building materials were selected as an integral part of constructing Sea Scout Base Galveston (SSBG), a new $40 million a high-adventure maritime and marine learning destination with exceptional standards for safety, sustainability, and educational functionality.

“We are proud to see our Bautex Block™ become an integral part of the Sea Scout Base Galveston facility,” says Paul Brown, president of Bautex Systems. “We worked for four years to develop, manufacture and test a better product for building exterior and interior walls, one that would meet or exceed building standards for energy efficiency and storm and fire safety, especially for areas prone to severe weather, such as the Gulf Coast.”

SSBG is gaining national recognition for its unique aquatic education programs that instill the values of leadership, independence and teamwork in youth. Home to the Galveston Community Youth Sailing Center (GCYSC), Sea Scout Base Galveston provides an opportunity for individuals and families to connect with the water by offering programs for students, adults, disabled sailors, Scouts and more. The facility was constructed with its location in mind, using materials that would withstand hurricanes and gale force winds. SSBG incorporates state-of-the-art and energy efficient technology, while preserving its historic elements. The developers are pursuing Platinum LEED certification, the U.S. Green Building Council’s highest rating for building sustainability.

“Sustainability and consideration for the surrounding environment was a top priority during the entire construction of Sea Scout Base Galveston,” said Ed Carrette, executive director of Sea Scout Base Galveston. “We are proud to provide a facility that will benefit both the community and the ecosystem.”

The SSBG project highlights the advanced properties of Bautex products. Bautex began manufacturing its composite insulating concrete form (ICF) wall system for commercial and residential construction from its facility in San Marcos, Texas, in 2013. Its Bautex Block, the foundational unit of the Bautex Wall System, is a lightweight building block made from individual beads of expanded polystyrene mixed with proprietary cementitious material. The blocks created specifically for SSBG use expanded polystyrene that is 100 percent recycled foam material, helping to bring the project closer to its LEED- certification goal. Typically, Bautex Blocks contain a minimum of 28 percent recycled content. The finished Bautex Wall System provides energy efficiency, fire resistance, storm debris protection, and noise mitigation in a single, integrated structure.

Project architect Bob Randall of Randall-Porterfield Architects, Inc. said the firm chose Bautex for its recycled content, acoustics and fire resistance. He lauded the wall’s high insulation performance and its ease of use.

“I like being able to cut the forms in the field with a chainsaw to create custom features. When you can stack the big lightweight blocks together without having to use mortar, it’s much easier and faster to work with than a standard concrete block,” Randall said.

Phase I of the SSBG project preserved an original dwelling, which would become the Wheelhouse – offices and operations center for vessels and waterfront. The finished result exemplifies the outstanding design flexibility offered by Bautex Block. The original building, which sat less than 30 yards from the water, was lifted intact off its foundation and set back atop a 13-foot Bautex wall in order to get the structure out of the hurricane flood surge zone. The Bautex Block is lightweight, quick to install, requires no mortar between blocks, and can easily be cut and formed to meet any design requirement. In this case, Bautex walls were installed to follow the footprint of the existing building, which was irregular in shape. The architect incorporated many arched openings, which again showcased the flexibility of the Bautex products. Bautex also supplied StuccoMaxTM abuse-resistant stucco, which was applied to the inside and outside of the Bautex walls. The cured StuccoMax achieves a compressive strength over 3,500 PSI, providing protection from dents and a long finish life.

Paul Engineering was the structural engineering firm on the project and Shipley Architects worked with Randall Porterfield on the architectural design. The general contractor for SSBG is Jacob White Construction Company of Friendswood, Texas. It subcontracted in Phase I to T.E. Reilly (TER) because TER was already a trained Bautex installer.

Phase II of the SSBG project, still in progress, is a five-story dormitory building to the west of Wheelhouse. The building is made to withstand a Category 4 hurricane and has been offered to island officials as a command center for future storms. Bautex provided the exterior walls for the building as well as the demising walls between the two-room suites on most of the floors. The architect selected composite insulating concrete form for energy efficiency, storm and fire protection and noise reduction. Bautex composite ICF is proven to perform on four major dimensions:

  • Energy efficiency. The Bautex Wall System combines R-14 continuous insulation, thermal mass, and an airtight envelope to create an extremely energy efficient wall system that provides optimal energy efficiency for the coastal environment.
  • Storm protection. Bautex wall assemblies with simple masonry veneer were tested and met the Federal Emergency Management Agency FEMA 320 and FEMA 361 guidelines for residential and community safe rooms in storm zones with potential wind speeds up to 250 miles per hour (Zone IV). By meeting the FEMA requirements for wind debris penetration, the Bautex Wall System provides tremendous levels of protection in extreme weather events for buildings located in hurricane and tornado prone areas of the United States.
  • Fire protection. Based on lab test results, the Bautex Wall System can be specified for projects that require fire endurance ratings as high as four hours, and is a listed fire-rated assembly with QAI Laboratories under both U.S. and Canadian fire safety standards.
  • Noise reduction. The Bautex Wall System, has received a high Sound Transmission Class and Outdoor-Indoor Transmission Class ratings from ETS-Lindgren Acoustic Research Laboratory, a nationally accredited testing lab, demonstrating the noise dampening capabilities of the wall system that are increasingly required today in commercial, government and educational building construction. It also meets American National Standards Institute criteria for schools in particular.

“We’re happy with the Bautex wall,” said Randall. “We think it’ll give us a lot of years of good service. We got good support from Bautex and we hope to use the company again.”

The Bautex walls for Phase II were installed by ARM Construction of Orange, Texas. Bautex also supplied Bautex Air & Moisture Barrier and StuccoMax abuse-resistant stucco for this phase.

SSBG is the home of the Galveston Community Youth Sailing Center, and BaySmart, a youth program promoting the exploration of STEM topics in an aquatic environment, and also provides nautical high adventure programs for Scouts in partnership with Bay Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America.

This October, SSBG’s Galveston Community Youth Sailing Center hosted the 2014 U.S. Disabled Sailing Championship. The entire base was designed to accommodate people with disabilities, incorporating features such as lifts to place wheelchair users on boats.

About Sea Scout Base Galveston

Opened in October 2014, Sea Scout Base Galveston (SSBG) offers aquatic education programs that instill lifetime leadership, teamwork skills and independence in body, mind and spirit. SSBG caters to outdoors enthusiasts with a wide range of programs for school groups, individuals, veterans, those with disabilities and corporate groups as well as for the Scouting community. With a fleet of more than 40 vessels, SSBG provides classes, camps and competitions for all levels of expertise. In addition to its Scouting and community programs, SSBG also offers an interactive learning environment for school groups with its floating classroom, the BaySmart Express. This two-story vessel features tablet technology that provides students the opportunity to explore marine life on the water and online. For more information about SSBG, please visit at