Structural Concrete Insulated Panel SCIP
Last Post 01 Feb 2021 05:42 AM by voldie. 315 Replies.
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JellyUser is Offline
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31 Oct 2014 12:46 PM
Posted By jonr on 31 Oct 2014 12:05 PM
I guess the biggest would be to not use SCIP everywhere.  It just isn't practical on overhead surfaces.


It will be interesting to hear more. Most SCIPs homes don't have a problem with overhead surfaces.

If I understand it correctly the problem was the original beam design required a depth of concrete past the rebar on the bottom (the overhead surface) which was too thick to support itself when wet. So the issue is just at beams (or would we call them lintels in a SCIP).


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31 Oct 2014 01:35 PM
the original beam design required a depth of concrete past the rebar on the bottom (the overhead surface) which was too thick to support itself


I wonder if adding some lightweight steel mesh an inch or two from the rebar would add support for the wet concrete. Or perhaps adding fibers to the concrete. Apparently yes:


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31 Oct 2014 05:20 PM

The SCIP technology used in this project was limited to one type of panel that was used for the walls, floor and roof.  Engineers unfamiliar with SCIPs decided to include reinforced concrete beams under the horizontal surfaces to carry the load.  This added to the cost and complexity of the project since the beams had to be shot from the sides and bottom.

Panels with beam pockets designed for floors and roof are available from Gulf Concrete Technology that can span up to 32'.  Temporary shoring is required about every 5'.  Since the beam pockets are within the panel, rebar and concrete is added from the top just like Insul-deck.



Residential Designer & Construction Technology Consultant -- E-mail: Alton at Auburn dot Edu Use email format with @ and period . 334 826-3979
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31 Oct 2014 07:48 PM
Alton is correct.  The engineer insisted on five #5's in the bottom of each beam 2 inches below the foam and covered with an additional 2 inches below that, a four inch solid concrete case.  At my beam dimensions that worked out to 100 lbs of wet concrete per linear foot.  I wish we'd had the beam pockets Alton described.

The builder also had problems with the bottoms of horizontal SCIP panels.  I attribute this to his and his workers lack of experience.  Perhaps others don't have this problem.


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31 Oct 2014 09:54 PM
You cannot add anything to wet concrete to increase its strength. Until it sets, it has no strength in itself, so mesh, fibres or more bar cannot contribute to its strength. As Alton indicates, it requires temporary shoring.
In some cases, you can pour the beams first with limited shoring and then they will support the rest.


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31 Oct 2014 10:04 PM
You can add all kinds of things to wet concrete/shotcrete to increase its wet strength. And of course it has some strength before it sets - otherwise you couldn't apply it to overhead surfaces at any thickness.


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31 Oct 2014 11:18 PM
The house pictured has three ceilings and poured floors. First and foremost it was designed with no poured columns or beams. The roof and floors clear span 25'. Look at the front with the big windows and no poured beams. Some engineers obviously are not familiar or comfortable with SCIPs and add unnecessary structure. Merline Vandyke of Lakewood CO. has been designing with SCIP panels since the 80s. I considered bidding a SCIP home that was a wood post and beam home with SCIP curtain walls and the engineer still had poured beams below the wood beams carrying the roof. The extra trouble and cost of pouring the beams made me decide not to bid the project. Its a learning curve finding the right mix for ceilings. we added silica fume, water reducers and other additives to reduce rebound and help it stick. I hope to get the footings poured before the snow shuts my next SCIP house down till next spring. That will allow us to set panels next spring when its still to cool to shoot. That gives us a month head start at least. I will have tried GCT mix before I do the roof and decks. I have heard the GCT mix sticks better and helps eliminate problems in ceiling applications. SCIP panel finishing is a hard learning curve. Then the ah ha moment. I was given some bad advice in the beginning. Fortunately working for the number two apartment builder in San Diego gave me the education to know enough about vertical pneumatically and hand applied concrete

Attachment: 36_ave1.jpg

Richard SimsUser is Offline
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31 Oct 2014 11:35 PM
Not sure why images are not loading this time ERRRR

Attachment: 36_ave1.jpg
Attachment: 36_ave_roof_deck.jpg

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09 Jul 2015 08:40 AM
The construction phase of my SCIP project is finished.  It's been an ordeal but I'm pleased with the final product.

http://waterfrontbuildinginpanamacity.blogspot.com

I know everyone on this forum is interested in energy efficiency and I'll do my best to record data.  There were still contractors on-site with nests of extension cords and the outer walls were dark concrete but, the first five months of power use ran from 954 kWh in Feb to 1522 in June.   July will be my first month of "regular" power consumption with painted reflective walls instead of bare concrete/stucco.

Not good for a direct comparison but this is about 1/2 of my consumption rate in Tucson for a conventionally built/insulated home of equal square footage.


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11 Jul 2015 11:42 AM
Looks great. Note that some white paints have 1/2 the solar heat gain of others - despite looking identical.


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12 Sep 2016 08:38 AM
There has been a great deal of discussion here about relative energy savings of the various "insulated" construction methods.  I now have 18 months of actual data from my recently completed SCIP home (see the blog hyperlink in previous posts).  The first 6 Months of data should be discounted as there were many contractors and nests of extension cords on the site.  The take-away from the last twelve Months is that I consume an average of 1050 KWH per month.  The largest fraction of my electrical load isn't air conditioning related so I don't think any meaningful inferences can be made regarding relative efficiency of SCIP versus other construction methods based on these data.




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30 Sep 2016 03:15 PM
jrobx,

Thanks for posting the chart.


Residential Designer & Construction Technology Consultant -- E-mail: Alton at Auburn dot Edu Use email format with @ and period . 334 826-3979
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05 Oct 2016 10:17 AM
I admire OP's courage and forbearance. That said, it is not enough to stick to building systems that are common and understood in the local building community, as he advises (wisely enough on its face.) ICF and geothermal are reasonably common in most areas. But they are rarely competitive markets. Bid as custom work, they do not deliver the other green -- cost savings that make them practical even in periods of cheap energy. DIYers can press the edge because they mostly risk time and effort (!?) rather than money. Even if Murphy's Law intrudes, they haven't given up much in payback terms. If you dismiss ICF as not DIYable as I did -- mistakes are VERY permanent -- there aren't many options for concrete homes.

SCIP holds great promise as a factory-built, tilt-up answer. Site built ....


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08 Mar 2017 03:17 PM
From what I've gathered from my own research and forums like this one, I think concrete sandwich walls have great potential when done properly.  Managing the cladding over ICFs sounds like more than I want to deal with given the already relatively high cost, and SIPs have similar drawbacks in the same ways. 
-Tilt-ups - great on manufacturing consistency, rough on delivery costs and problems with contractor assembly.
-composite walls - seems like a lot of them have thermal bridging problems.  Then there are the issues with finding a contractor that can do it correctly.
-sandwich walls - inner wall (or whichever is considered structural) is likely pretty thick.  Maybe easier to construct since the outer wall is essentially just concrete cladding attached to exterior insulation?  Maybe easier to manage getting an engineer stamp given that it's not a composite wall?

Here's what I've come to after my dives through ICF world, SIP world, and even looking at steel-building barndominium shells around much smaller interior building frame (which have a lot of draw since I don't do well with sunlight). 

The sandwich wall seems like a good plan, especially if you're willing to punch the wall ties through the insulation boards yourself, and if you can find the right contractor.  The composite wall ties seem to have solved the thermal bridging problem as well. 

If anyone has opinions/tips about our thoughts here, I'd love to hear them!
-Concrete sandwich walls, structural wall to the interior.  Single story with a basement (same construction).  Hopefully daylight/walkout if the terrain allows based on the orientation we want. 
-Simple rectangular exterior, simple gable roof (hopefully will significantly reduce costs).  Steel trussed roof, vented attic(no electrical, HVAC, or other penetrations or equipment, minimal storage, exterior entrance only - per Lstiburek at BSC).  Metal roofing - white.
-No wall cladding on exterior or interior - only on interior framed walls. 
-Industrial-styled placement of conduit, etc - across high ceilings, exposed.  Minimal wall penetrations, then mounted directly to the concrete (or the interior wall clad).
-Concrete foundation/basement floor
-Vancouver WA/Portland Oregon area (zone 5 or Marine 4)
-Minisplits (2 or 3, depending upon layout) and woodstove supplemental, separate dehumidifier (read BSC testing of residences in TX that seemed to show that separated dehumidifiers inside the envelope yielded better results for lower cost, which has been our experience here in the swamp we call NC)

It seems like the cost of SCIP here would be at least somewhat offset by the lack of any required (or desired) cladding, and the simplicity of the design should lend to less cost and less likelihood of mistakes/problems with the exterior shell.  Especially if we are willing to do the GC piece ourselves, as well as the assembly of the foam panels (punching the wall ties).  It also seems like construction time (and cost) would be less given that much of the interior finishing will be on us after we get the basics for a certificate of occupancy.  The goals - low-maintenance, strength, resistance to insects/mold/weather, tight building envelope, clearspan roof assembly so that the interior walls are relatively changeable if desired later.  I really would love to find an old brick warehouse shell, but since we don't want anything close to living in-town, the likelihood of that is pretty dismal, and concrete is pretty beautiful too. 

Also, any tips on steel windows?  Is there a way to get them (even if it's buying odd pieces here and there that don't even remotely match) that won't kill our budget? 

 






TonyZ42User is Offline
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08 Aug 2017 12:18 AM
those are Amazing load bearing results on your own panels. Do you have any more info on your press, scips anywhere that I can study. I am ready to build my own SCIPs.


voldieUser is Offline
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01 Feb 2021 05:42 AM
jrobx,

Hats off to you for your perseverance through this project. I just spent an entire day going through your posts and I want to thank you for all the information you have shared. I was a little sad about the entire furring decision you made which re-introduced wood into the house and almost seemed like adding stick framing (not structural I know) in addition to all the work with SCIPs.



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