Pensmore, Overwatch Manor

A screenshot of

“Chateau Pensmore,” where “cutting-edge, green building technologies” meet “practical application in the real world.”That’s the name and mission a purportedly official website offers for the 72,000-square-foot mansion going up in Christian County., a website devoted to the massive structure formerly known as Overwatch Manor, is the newest available information in the ongoing story of the county’s largest residence on record. The website, which contains about a dozen pages and scores of design and progress photos, elaborates on the proprietary technologies that kept the Highlandville mansion a relative secret in recent months.

“Pensmore is constructed with the TransForm insulating concrete system from TF combined with the reinforcing capabilities of Helix steel fibers,” said Luke Pinkerton on the website. Pinkerton is founder of the Polytorx company, which created the new concrete system, according to the website.

The result, Pinkerton says, is a structure “capable of surviving a wide variety of natural disasters,” even the type that struck Joplin.

“Pensmore’s structural shell is capable of withstanding an EF5 tornado,” Pinkerton said, according to the site.

The same innovation claims to make immense leaps in heating and cooling technology.  TransForm concrete doubles as a “super-insulated energy-storing concrete forming system,” the website says, which, when combined with rainwater collectors and geo-thermal and solar heat collectors, allows the mansion to be nearly energy-neutral, meaning it will be nearly off the grid and leave a minimal carbon footprint.

Christian County Planning and Zoning Administrator Todd Wiesehan got to see the start of this technology in-person during a March visit to the property. The property’s scale and  extolled innovations left Wiesehan optimistic about its presence and potential in Christian County.

“The types of green technology were very interesting and impressive,” Wiesehan said. “I think if this does take off for them, and this happens to be where they demonstrate that it’s effective, the county could benefit from some type of future business development down here with those companies. I think we’d all be delighted to see that.”

The project’s permit says the mansion will be a single-family residence, and based on conversations with owner Steven T. Huff and brother Joe Huff of Ozark, Wiesehan expects it will be a vacation home in addition to a technological exhibition.

The residence has not yet been assessed for property tax valuation, Assessor David Stokely said, but it likely will be before completion.

“There’s a difference between an occupancy and a non-occupancy county and we are not an occupancy county,” Stokely said. “In our case, it will reach a certain stage of completion and we will assess the value, even if it’s not completed.”

Stokely said he’s eager to see more of Chateau Pensmore because “it’s a show of what progressive material design can do.”

“We certainly want to encourage futuristic thinking,” Stokely said, “and this certainly appears to be futuristic.”

Editor’s note: A Headliner News request to interview Pensmore officials went unreturned.

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