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CFA Announces 2003 “Basement of the Year”

One person’s challenge is often another person’s dream. Such is the case with many entries in the Concrete Foundations Association (CFA) 2003 Basement of the Year competition (sometimes referred to as the Basement from Hell competition). The 2003 winner, a 4,177-square-foot residential basement, comprises a unique combination of intricate details and site challenges.

The winning structure is a 5,500-square-foot home located in Olathe, Kansas. A custom designed home, the outside basement wall also serves as part of the in-ground lap pool and the foundation includes an oval shaped wall with a wall height dropping from eight-feet to four-feet that forms the goldfish pond.

According to Dan Bromley of ABI Corporation, Lee’s Summit, Missouri, the concrete foundation contractor for the project, he knew from the beginning that this basement would be a contender for CFA’s annual “Basement from Hell” competition. “I told our team from the project onset that this could be a CFA Basement of the Year winner, which motivated everyone to pursue success with as few problems as possible on this difficult project,” said Bromley.

The recipient of the Basement of the Year competition is selected by a vote at the World of Concrete each year. More than 100 votes were cast this year between Tuesday and Thursday in the CFA booth. The formal award presentation will be made at the Awards Banquet Luncheon during the CFA’s Annual Summer Meeting on Friday, August 8th, 2003 at the Kingston Plantation, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. For more information on the CFA, attending the Summer Meeting and entries for the 2003 competition visit the Association’s website at, contact the headquarters at 319-895-6940 or send and email to

In July 2002, ABI Corp., began work on the massive and complex project that boasted a total basement construction time of nine weeks. Located on the side of a steep incline, there is a 32-foot difference from the top of the foundation wall to the bottom level. The excavation for the foundation began at the bottom of the incline and moved upward. Once they had moved up to the next level, they were unable to go back downhill and correct any mistakes. To ensure that there were no excavation errors, ABI used the Geodimeter and AutoCAD technologies. With 13 different footing elevations, 24 wall heights, and seven different wall thickness levels, the basement defines an intricate project complete with detailed formwork. In total, the basement boasts more than 465 lineal feet of wall and footings, which required 266 yards of concrete. Wall setting took two weeks and all pouring was done in one day.

Bromley credits the efforts of the entire ABI team for the success of this project. “By project completion, approximately 90 percent of our team and been involved with this job,” said Bromley. “Our team did an excellent job planning and executing the project with very few problems. We are very proud of the project, as well as receiving this award.”

ABI Corporation has provided concrete foundation work to the Kansas City area for residential and commercial use for more than 30 years. Originally formed as Action Basements, Inc., they have been a CFA member since 1988. Gary Bromley, founder and Chairman of the Board of ABI Corp., served as president of CFA from 1995-1996

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Concrete FACTS, a publication of the Concrete Foundations Association, is THE voice for residential concrete industry news, market intelligence, business strategies, technical solutions, product information, and other resources for professionals in the cast-in-place concrete industry. Subscriptions to Concrete FACTS is available to anyone involved or interested in the residential concrete industry as a service to your industry. Please contact CFA Headquarters to find out more about your free subscription or Email Us