Typically, the only variation between different panel attachment systems is the type of spline that connects one panel to the next. Back at the factory, the foam in each vertical edge of a panel is recessed enough to accommodate half of the particular type of connecting spline used. The two most common splines are double "thin splines" (7/16"x4" OSB) and 2x dimensional lumber to match the wall thickness. An alternative is Enercept's laminated lumber spline with a continuous thermal break. (At least one manufacturer-the Murus Company-uses a cam-action locking arm that eliminates the use of splines for most panel-to-panel joints.)
4'x10' panels being tilted up on a garage foundation
4'x8' panels. Two 2-man crews placed the walls here for a 1350 ft2 home in a morning; this was their first experience with panels.
You may need a sledge to tighten up panels at spline joints.
A 2-man crew can easily place 4'x8' up to 8'x10' panels.
With most systems, attaching panels is simple, fast and satisfying.
- After your first two corner panels are in place, locate by number the next two adjacent panels.
- On wood floors, drill a hole in your base plate that lines up with the pre-cored electrical chase in each foam core.
- Caulk the edges and top of the base plate.
- Using a foam-compatible adhesive, caulk both edges where each spline will go and slip the spline into place.
- Then move the panel to the base plate as close as possible to where it will stand, tilt it up, slip it down over the base plate and slide it the short distance needed for the spline to fully seat into both panels. (Note: many manufacturers recommend leaving an 1/8" or 3?16" gap between the vertical edge facings of each panel joint.)
- While one person checks for level, both left to right and front to back, the other person then staples or nails off the bottom inside edge of the panel to the base plate, then the outside and vertical edges at the spline joint.