Structural Concrete Insulated Panel SCIP
Last Post 31 Oct 2014 11:35 PM by Richard Sims. 307 Replies.
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SCIP PanelUser is Offline
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18 Feb 2012 04:54 AM

Cost is so area dependant as I discussed with a western states rep today.

Costs are up to three times higher in Colorado than many southern states for most exterior work.



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18 Feb 2012 10:12 AM
Posted By Lbear on 18 Feb 2012 12:43 AM
Posted By jrobicheaux on 17 Feb 2012 10:47 AM
For the SCIP envelope alone; floors, walls, roof and beams, the finished cost work out to approximately $14/Ft ^2 of SCIP panel area.  Keep in mind this is influenced primarily by the cost of steel, secondarily by the cost of concrete and also by labor, and location particulars.

Not every project will have the same costs as mine.

Are you saying that the cost of the panels, labor, shotcrete, etc., are $14 per square foot of wall space?



Almost,  This is essentially a two story structure made almost entirely of SCIP elements.  My net cost for the SCIP envelope includes not only walls but floors on the first level, the roof and beams on both levels.  When the SCIP cost element in my "Schedule of Values" which is part of my Guaranteed Maximum Price agreement with the architect/builder is divided by the total area for all of this SCIP,  it works out to about $14/ft^2.  Of this about 1/3 is labor the rest is materials.

The SCIP cost element represents about 36% of the total costs of construction.


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22 Feb 2012 02:34 PM
I am a homeowner in Houston, Texas who has been looking into SCIPs for several years. Our original intention was to build a SCIP home in Arizona or Utah down the road, but we are now thinking that we might build a SCIP house right here in the Houston area. Early on in this topic there was a post from D. Stovall with "Building Energy Wise" that indicated he's been involved with SCIP installation in Texas, but he hasn't posted again since 2010. Does anyone here know of a professional with SCIP experience in Houston, or anywhere else in Texas? Thanks for your attention.


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22 Feb 2012 03:18 PM

Contact Gulf Concrete Technology in Long Beach, MS and ask them.  See http://gulfconcretechnology.com/  



Residential Designer & Construction Technology Consultant -- E-mail: Alton at Auburn dot Edu, 334 826-3979
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23 Feb 2012 10:04 AM
Thanks for that recommendation. I will get in touch with them to see if they have any suggestions.


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28 Feb 2012 10:19 PM
I install an R-90 completed wall materials and labor for under $8 per square foot with a higher quality finish inside and out. That system to double code I can do for about $5 per foot. $14 per square foot for about code performance is a very high costs. My system is also greener,  more sustainable, more locally sourced, system does not require highly skilled labor, is carbon neutral, can support green walls as an alternative, and are Superior or equal mechanical.

SCIPs have thermal bridging through the wire that goes through the foam. This is a significant issue. I have not seen an inexpensive source for the raw panels. Generally shot-crete is expensive. Very few local crafts people and specialized skills are needed. Most shot-crete is for pools and tunnel work. That work is high dollar which artificially raises the cost. If your contractor has his own shot-crete machine and is skilled then it is a viable option. The final outcome is that SCIPs are expensive to make happen. Better methods exist that perform better, cost less and require fewer specialized workers.

Typical wire reinforced SCIPs by code require 1.5 inches of concrete over the metal for corrosion issues. I have built foam with surface bond cement which is more economical. You can use a surface bond layer 1/2 inch thick. Hand applied that is a lot less material. You can also use basalt reinforcing mesh to replace the metal support material. It is stronger, lower in cost, and inert.

Tilt up is a cheaper and easier method to use if you want concrete walls. Several earthen based systems out perform all the systems at reduced cost.

Why SCIPs? Is there someone out there that has built with them and a reduced overall cost? My experience is they were not less costly. They work but have issues.

Brian


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29 Feb 2012 02:25 AM

 SCIPs have thermal bridging through the wire that goes through the foam. This is a significant issue.

Is It?
 
Any data to refute Oak Ridge National Laboratories study of sixteen wall different wall configurations study?

The house I built temperature is still in the mid 60s as of December 1/2011 with the heat set a t 55 to 60 depending on the daily construction traffic.
I will be taking thermal imaging pictures of energy efficient home in the Denver boulder area where is you system.
I will be taking pictures of several SCIP structures as well as other systems.
I have wondered how much thermal bridging exist, with the system compared to other systems.
As for Shot crete other trades can give a better finish for less, hand applied and gun applied.



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29 Feb 2012 04:20 AM
When I review the Advanced Wall Systems section at ORNL the system that looks like a SCIP type wall with metal connectors is reported as an R-8.5 whole wall as I read it. The ICF wall tested in the hot box at R-30.1.

This is better than a standard wall but not that impressive.

I do not have personal data on the amount of bridging. I simply know that a web of metal rods between to thermal conductor layers on 6 inch centers will move energy. Example a potato will cook twice as fast with a single nail down the middle of it. The SCIP wall will perform well compared to a standard wall system. It will have no air infiltration and a total R-value that is reasonable.

A passive house will require an additional thermal blocking for the bridging and a significant amount more insulation.

What method do you recomend for applying the 2 inches of concrete? We ended up hand rendering which was labor intensive. I had a customer in Park City Utah that wanted to use the system. We did a small service building with the system and decided other systems would work better for the rest of the project. The little building was air tight, bullet proof and warmed by a diesel generator that it housed. We had heard good things and marketing hype so we did a very small project to check it out. We were not happy with the performance of the SCIP system we used.

Brian


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01 Mar 2012 03:09 AM
Posted By zehboss on 29 Feb 2012 04:20 AM
  We were not happy with the performance of the SCIP system we used.

Brian

Performance meaning R-Value or the thermal bridging?


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01 Mar 2012 06:54 AM
Lbear,

We simply have alternatives that deliver higher R-value for lower cost. My issue is always cost/performance.
Small thermal bridges dramatically reduce whole wall performance. With 1/50th of the area as a high conductive material in the ORNL example it took R-20, 4 inches of polystyrene in the wall down to R-8 whole wall. That sounds like a significant amount of thermal bridging to me. Why pay for all the foam and then bypass it. Further I can build an R-100 wall for less cost, $14/s.f. does not pencil for me. I bet they do not charge that much in Mexico.

Brian


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01 Mar 2012 08:36 PM
Posted By zehboss on 01 Mar 2012 06:54 AM
Lbear,

We simply have alternatives that deliver higher R-value for lower cost. My issue is always cost/performance.
Small thermal bridges dramatically reduce whole wall performance. With 1/50th of the area as a high conductive material in the ORNL example it took R-20, 4 inches of polystyrene in the wall down to R-8 whole wall. That sounds like a significant amount of thermal bridging to me. Why pay for all the foam and then bypass it. Further I can build an R-100 wall for less cost, $14/s.f. does not pencil for me. I bet they do not charge that much in Mexico.

Brian

So if I am following this correctly. With SCIP, the metal reinforcing trusses that are in the EPS foam create a lot of thermal bridging? Was it the SCIP wall that dropped from R-20 to R-8?




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01 Mar 2012 09:36 PM
This is the link to the results at the ornl. Note that they call it Concrete Panel With Metal Connectors and a foam core.

http://www.ornl.gov/sci/roofs%2Bwalls/AWT/HotboxTest/PCP/MetalConnect/index.htm

Manufactures claim of R-20 actual R-8

I did not spend a lot time looking at the results because they did not impress me.

Brian


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01 Mar 2012 11:48 PM
Posted By zehboss on 01 Mar 2012 09:36 PM
This is the link to the results at the ornl. Note that they call it Concrete Panel With Metal Connectors and a foam core.

http://www.ornl.gov/sci/roofs%2Bwalls/AWT/HotboxTest/PCP/MetalConnect/index.htm

Manufactures claim of R-20 actual R-8

I did not spend a lot time looking at the results because they did not impress me.

Brian

Wow, that is pretty surprising and disappointing to see SCIPs perform so badly in the R-Value department.

After reviewing the ORNL report I can see how this is happening. Since concrete has a horrible R-Value to it, and SCIP's have a lot of thermal bridging due to metal clips and trusses throughout the form. The 3" of concrete on both sides has the metal trusses that sits in the concrete on both sides and creates a perfect thermal bridge for the metal from the outside to the inside.

While it can be argued that SCIPs have better "thermal mass" properties over ICF due to the concrete being exposed on the inside, the down side is that SCIPs have horrid R-Values due to the extreme thermal bridging of the metal forms. The metal forms sit in the concrete on the outside and create the thermal bridge through the EPS and then onto the inside/interior of the concrete.

It would be like taking a metal rod, running it through an EPS form and exposing the metal rod to the outside. The metal rod will transmit the cold or heat right through the rod to the other side of the rod. The EPS does nothing because the metal rod is a solid continual piece. The thermal bridging of a metal SCIP would be much worse than wood framing. 

I believe that the SCIP industry likes to sweep this "issue" under the rug. Thanks for pointing this report out, I would have never thought of the extreme thermal bridging but now it makes sense because of how the metal sits in the shotcrete on both sides creating a perfect thermal bridge.






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02 Mar 2012 01:58 AM
Lbear,

I have built DIY panels where I threaded poly strapping material through 12 inches of polystyrene holding the grids together. I also used basalt rebar on both sides. This reduced the thickness of needed concrete to 1 inch on both sides and an R-60 wall. The foam bought in bulk Geofoam was only $3.50 per cubic foot. We bought 3 semis of foam to make minimum price break for the foam. The system worked pretty well though there were 12000+ ties to put it all together. The rebar assembly was a lot more work than I thought it would be. A crew of two could do it.

Brian


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02 Mar 2012 08:51 AM
If the wire trusses in SCIPs do create too many thermal bridges to the exterior, then another solution to this problem might be to add foam boards to the exterior over the shotcrete and then stucco the foam boards.  I know this would be another step and added cost but the advantages of using SCIPs might outweigh the extra costs.

Maybe it is time for people that have SCIP homes to post their energy bills.  Energywise, I would love to compare SCIP homes to conventionally built homes.  This could validate the testing in laboratories.


Residential Designer & Construction Technology Consultant -- E-mail: Alton at Auburn dot Edu, 334 826-3979
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02 Mar 2012 12:39 PM
A little different system but has the metal embedded in the eps.

http://gigacrete.com/wp-content/upl...11-ppt.pdf

I am fascinated that one coat of stuccomax is all thats needed directly on the eps panels.


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02 Mar 2012 12:49 PM
It might not occur to a nice guy like you, Alton, but Lbear could well be an ICF industry insider whose job it is to undermine competing technologies in a nonthreatening way. For what's it worth I think you are on the right track. Just add Michael Dell's mass customization tech to sip panels, climb the learning curve in the field and you have a stronger, more efficient AND less expensive house than stick built. The fearless defenders of the status quo in the Sip thread hooted at my Dell reference a year or two back, but here is a website that turns Google Sketchup designs into numeric control instructions (executed in plywood and shed level so far.). www.wikihouse.cc

But don't forget finish. At some point custom home buyers will spend their money on artisan work rather than square footage, and bankers will lend money to them to do so. Yes, indeed, the house as a $12 six pack of beer, or for teetotalers, a $5 loaf of rustic Tuscan.


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02 Mar 2012 03:07 PM
Posted By toddm on 02 Mar 2012 12:49 PM
It might not occur to a nice guy like you, Alton, but Lbear could well be an ICF industry insider whose job it is to undermine competing technologies in a nonthreatening way. For what's it worth I think you are on the right track. Just add Michael Dell's mass customization tech to sip panels, climb the learning curve in the field and you have a stronger, more efficient AND less expensive house than stick built. The fearless defenders of the status quo in the Sip thread hooted at my Dell reference a year or two back, but here is a website that turns Google Sketchup designs into numeric control instructions (executed in plywood and shed level so far.). www.wikihouse.cc

But don't forget finish. At some point custom home buyers will spend their money on artisan work rather than square footage, and bankers will lend money to them to do so. Yes, indeed, the house as a $12 six pack of beer, or for teetotalers, a $5 loaf of rustic Tuscan.

Unbelievable, is this where you want to go? Personal attacks? It can be said that you, Toddm, are a lumber and AAC insider whose sole purpose is to undermine ICF. Or maybe you are a disgruntled home builder who has an axe to grind because you got a bad contractor to stack your ICF basement.

I am simply asking questions and trying to get down to the truth of what works and how much it costs. I know one thing, I got numerous quotes, both in wood frame, ICF and even SCIP. Here is the truth of it; wood frame is the lowest priced, ICF came in at $10-$11 per sqft of wall space and SCIP came in the most expensive at $17-$18 per sqft of wall space.

Each technology has its pros and cons and wood, ICF, along with SCIP, are no exception. An ICF industry insider I am not. If you go back and read my other threads, I was VERY critical of ICF and some of its claims. I am undermining nothing. SCIP is not the end all technology. ORNL shows that SCIP suffers from severe thermal bridging due to the metal wire trusses that are connected and exposed to the exterior and transmit to the interior. It's pretty simple to understand, even for a guy like me. Metal rebar sitting in 2" of concrete that is exposed to the exterior will thermal bridge to the interior. The EPS foam does nothing to stop the thermal bridging in the metal to the interior. Just like wood frame, even worse because at least wood provides some R-Value to it, the metal thermal bridging in SCIP is pretty simple to understand.

Toddm, I like your input here on the forum but please stop with this personal stuff because it's plain stupid.

 


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02 Mar 2012 04:01 PM

((When I review the Advanced Wall Systems section at ORNL the system that looks like a SCIP type wall with metal connectors is reported as an R-8.5 whole wall as I read it. The ICF wall tested in the hot box at R-30.1. ))

Google search for Advance Wall Systems

Home Owners, divider, Benefits, divider, Home Builders. divider. Home Thumbnail. Are you a home builder looking for a reliable source for ICF construction?

Truth in advertizing ???

I am really busy closing loose ends and lining up things before I take a coastal trip looking at SCIP homes.

I hope to get the thermal imaging of The Highland Home done before I leave.

If SCIP systems have anywhere near the thermal bridging claimed below it will show up like a sore thumb.

I am also hoping to get the past three months utility bills for the Highland SCIP home so I can post them.

They will not reflect actual living example as the home was still under construction.
I am not sure how general construction electrical usage compares with living use but I would guess someone here does.

With my avatar name its clear what side of the bed I sleep on ;)
Richard Sims, Centennial, Colorado



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02 Mar 2012 04:53 PM
Nothing personal lbear. Just according the ICF industry all the respect and trust it has earned.


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