Structural Concrete Insulated Panel SCIP
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08 Jan 2012 07:48 PM

I had a press made and made my own panels.

I made panels up to 30' long.

Tri-d panel machine 1.2 million,

Met rock 35k to 70K I have been told by third parties.

 My press 3K slower but gets the job done. When I build long panels again I will have another press made to work in tandem.

I also may still have a line on 100 5” X 4’X 8’ panels left over or not used for a fair price.

  


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08 Jan 2012 08:00 PM
My roof / sun deck and floors span 25' but were rated to 30'.
I had a barn/ warehouse designed with 5/12 pitch roof 70' wide clear span, meeting Colorado mountain 110 pounds snow loads.


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08 Jan 2012 10:37 PM


That's good info. My structural engineer blanched at panel spans greater than 12'.

So here's another question. From the pictures this is a multistory structure as is mine. How did you make the moment connections for the floor panels to the vertical walls? My architect has them connecting to only the inner Wythe of the vertical wall panels.


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09 Jan 2012 09:25 AM
Very interesting about the SCIP making press - would like to hear more about it. How is the engineering done for the strength? Wire gauge, number of wires, etc?


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09 Jan 2012 03:07 PM
Posted By jrobicheaux on 08 Jan 2012 10:37 PM


That's good info. My structural engineer blanched at panel spans greater than 12'.

So here's another question. From the pictures this is a multistory structure as is mine. How did you make the moment connections for the floor panels to the vertical walls? My architect has them connecting to only the inner Wythe of the vertical wall panels.

That is a normal reaction for most engineers when confronted with a system that is beyond what they know and do every day.  I am afraid that a lot of engineers have not done many calculations with formulas since they left school.  Basically, when forced to do so, the client gets charged for their learning time.  My clients have been presented with large fees because we asked the structural engineer to learn a new system.  I think it is best for the client to hire an engineer already familiar with the new system.  Money can be saved by not paying for the learning curve.  A lack of familiarity with a system can lead to overengineering which can cause the project to cost too much.

Hang in there and keep posting on your blog.  I enjoy following it.


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09 Jan 2012 06:53 PM
Posted By Alton on 09 Jan 2012 03:07 PM

That is a normal reaction for most engineers when confronted with a system that is beyond what they know and do every day.  I am afraid that a lot of engineers have not done many calculations with formulas since they left school.  Basically, when forced to do so, the client gets charged for their learning time.  My clients have been presented with large fees because we asked the structural engineer to learn a new system.  I think it is best for the client to hire an engineer already familiar with the new system.  Money can be saved by not paying for the learning curve.  A lack of familiarity with a system can lead to overengineering which can cause the project to cost too much.

Hang in there and keep posting on your blog.  I enjoy following it.

This is VERY true. For instance, if one takes a modest 3,000 sq.ft. 2-story home out of ICF and takes it to an engineer who is NOT familiar with ICF, the project can be overpriced and way over budget because the engineer doesn't know how to work with ICF. So the home is over-engineered and the costs are sent down to the builder who then charges more to build the home, it's a snowball effect.

Unless EVERYONE involved (architect, builder, GC, engineer) knows how to deal with ICF or SCIP, they will make YOU pay for their learning curve. That can be easily over $50k for a modest home.

If anyone wants to go down the road of non-standard construction (SIP, ICF, SCIP, etc), you MUST have everyone involved on the same page and they MUST be schooled in that method. Any break in the chain will make for problems and higher costs. The horror stories you hear usually can be traced back to either the architect, GC, ICF installer, who did NOT know how to work with the product and they learned on the job with the unfortunate persons home.






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09 Jan 2012 07:00 PM
what are the drawbacks of this building system? I've always been intrigued w/ its potential benefits but wonder why it hasn't spread more? I don't want to be a guinea pig customer here in MN! LOL

Is there any specialization/learning needed by the shotcrete crew? I like that the metrock panels have screed wires built in to get a good consistent depth of concrete skins for flat walls. How tough is that w/out the screed wires?

I'd also think pool builders would be using these systems for insulated pools.


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09 Jan 2012 07:06 PM
I really like the SCIP roof concept over the SIP roof concept on an ICF home. SIP roofs are great but for my climate which experiences 30-40 degree temperature swings in less than 24 hours, I am concerned about the "popping" that I keep hearing with SIP roofs. Also, I still have yet to find a "fix" to the issue of the thermal bridge at every spline that is inherent with SIP roofs. This will eventually turn into a moisture/rot problem that might take 10+ years to show its ugly face but it is a bad spot for SIP roofs. The foam is always lacking where the panels meet and this where the moisture will form on a SIP roof.

With a SCIP roof it is fireproof (unlike SIP) and it is MUCH, MUCH stronger in high winds and earthquake resistant. This ties the ENTIRE concrete wall and roof structure as "one" and makes for a much stronger home.

Hey Alton, can you list some of the SCIP roof manufacturers in the western U.S.?




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09 Jan 2012 07:14 PM
Posted By slenzen on 09 Jan 2012 07:00 PM
what are the drawbacks of this building system? I've always been intrigued w/ its potential benefits but wonder why it hasn't spread more? I don't want to be a guinea pig customer here in MN! LOL

Is there any specialization/learning needed by the shotcrete crew? I like that the metrock panels have screed wires built in to get a good consistent depth of concrete skins for flat walls. How tough is that w/out the screed wires?

I'd also think pool builders would be using these systems for insulated pools.

Drawback? I think it would be cost and the lack of expertise in the building field. I would NEVER allow a builder to utilize a building method unless they have AT LEAST 10+ builds under their belt using that method. Ideally, at least 20 builds.



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09 Jan 2012 08:26 PM
Posted By slenzen on 09 Jan 2012 07:00 PM
what are the drawbacks of this building system? I've always been intrigued w/ its potential benefits but wonder why it hasn't spread more? I don't want to be a guinea pig customer here in MN! LOL

Is there any specialization/learning needed by the shotcrete crew? I like that the metrock panels have screed wires built in to get a good consistent depth of concrete skins for flat walls. How tough is that w/out the screed wires?

I'd also think pool builders would be using these systems for insulated pools.
I think there are two approaches that can be used successfully with new alternative construction:  Either have a qualified crew come in and do a turnkey job or have a skilled supervisor to supervise a local crew as they learn.  Both approaches have worked well for me.  I have also been the person that supervised and trained the crew on site for various technologies since I specialize in alternative design and construction.  I do not think anyone should be afraid of new technology as long as skill can be brought to the job site.

The two SCIP panels that I know about are Hadrian Tridipanel (formerly Insteel which I have installed) and Met-Rock Envirolast Structures, LLC.  I believe Tridipanel is located in Vista, CA and I think manufactured in Mexico.  I believe panels are shipped to various states and other countries.  When I used Insteel it was manufactured in Eastern Georgia.

Envirolast Structures of Columbia, SC assembles and installs SCIPs under license from Met-Rock, LLC of Anniston, AL.   The equipment was designed and patented by Jim Farrell of Blastcrete Equipment of Anniston, AL.  The panels are made with a portable jig on the construction site, installed and then shotcreted.  This company operates in seven Southeastern states. 

When I used Insteel, it did not have a screed.  Troweling is the way we removed excess shotcrete and smoothed the walls.  Since the Met-Rock panels have screeds, the excess shotcrete can be quickly removed by screeding.  Less troweling that way.  We used three coats of real stucco to cover the Insteel shotcreted panels with a sand finish.  I understand that Met-Rock panels can be covered with a 3/16" finish inside and out.

I do not think that shotcreting panels is for the DIY crowd.  The entry barrier fee is too great and it does require at least one skilled person to do the shotcreting.  Few builders are interested in a technology as different as this is.  Unless potential homeowners insist, they will not get a shotcrete home.  Since some companies are now doing turnkey shell erections, it is now more likely that builders will be more interested in using it.  With a turnkey quote, the builder can treat it just like dealing with any other sub-contractor as opposed to training a crew to do the work.



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09 Jan 2012 09:01 PM
Pool builders are a likely source of expert shotcrete subcontractors. In some areas of central america, 1/2 of the new homes are using SCIPs in various forms. Walls only, roof and walls, post and beam with curtain wall SCIP infill, etc. If they can do it, builders in 1st world countries can.






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09 Jan 2012 09:17 PM

Pool builders that have the shotcrete equipment should be able learn how to install shotcrete panels quickly.  From the engineering plans, they can see how the footer, floor and roof slabs are attached to the shotcrete panels and how to reinforce around openings.  A pool crew should already know how to trowel concrete so getting a smooth wall should not be that difficult.



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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09 Jan 2012 09:50 PM
Posted By Lbear on 09 Jan 2012 07:14 PM
Posted By slenzen on 09 Jan 2012 07:00 PM
what are the drawbacks of this building system? I've always been intrigued w/ its potential benefits but wonder why it hasn't spread more? I don't want to be a guinea pig customer here in MN! LOL

Is there any specialization/learning needed by the shotcrete crew? I like that the metrock panels have screed wires built in to get a good consistent depth of concrete skins for flat walls. How tough is that w/out the screed wires?

I'd also think pool builders would be using these systems for insulated pools.

Drawback? I think it would be cost and the lack of expertise in the building field. I would NEVER allow a builder to utilize a building method unless they have AT LEAST 10+ builds under their belt using that method. Ideally, at least 20 builds.



How do they get 10+ builds?


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09 Jan 2012 10:57 PM

 A few big drawbacks

1 The lack of experienced builders and suppliers working with SCIP.

 

2 Additives and supplies not readily available in your town (Denver or your town)

 

3   Engineers with experience that know what they are dealing with.

I am working with the engineer who was involved with developing the  SCIP system with met rock in the early 90s.

 

4 The correct application methods and additives cutting costs and waste.

 

I think Met Rock has moved away from the screed at least when I talked to them two years ago that was being discussed.

 

A skilled craftsman can get consistent depths its done all the time.

Some obvious choices are Pools, Shotcrete, Stucco contractors.

Tridpanel has a number of suppliers Rod Hadrian, Vista  and Jim Bolton,  Reno are two that I have talked to.

I am told as  many as six are selling or building panels in Southern Ca.
One in Texas and one in Denver that I have talked to. 

The one in Denver builds a really clean panel mostly R40 I think.

 

Met Rock  is a solid panel as well.

 

 

Either have a qualified crew come in and do a turnkey job or have a skilled supervisor to supervise a local crew as they learn.

 

Alton Following a Turn Key operation was my intention. Long story, Cold Turkey was not my original plan, but they were not able to deliverer the panels.  

 

.  I understand that Met-Rock panels can be covered with a 3/16" finish inside and out.
Not sure about 3/16” as ½” between the wire mesh and the foam needs to be filled just to cover the wire mesh.

It takes 1” to get the strength as far as I know.



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09 Jan 2012 11:39 PM
Posted By SCIP Panel on 09 Jan 2012 10:57 PM

 A few big drawbacks


2 Additives and supplies not readily available in your town (Denver or your town)

 

3   Engineers with experience that know what they are dealing with.

I am working with the engineer who was involved with developing the  SCIP system with met rock in the early 90s.

 

I think Met Rock has moved away from the screed at least when I talked to them two years ago that was being discussed.

 

Either have a qualified crew come in and do a turnkey job or have a skilled supervisor to supervise a local crew as they learn.

 

Alton Following a Turn Key operation was my intention. Long story, Cold Turkey was not my original plan, but they were not able to deliverer the panels.  

 

.  I understand that Met-Rock panels can be covered with a 3/16" finish inside and out.
Not sure about 3/16” as ½” between the wire mesh and the foam needs to be filled just to cover the wire mesh.

It takes 1” to get the strength as far as I know.




I have been researching the Met-Rock panel system.  I have some clients who are interested and also doing due diligence.
So my comments and questions on this forum about Met-Rock and Insteel is my attempt to solicit more info about SCIPs and the respective companies.

I would have no objections to using Tridipanel except for the freight to my area.  If there is a factory near the Southeast for Tridipanel or any other SCIP company, then I would consider them also.

The shotcrete mix used by Met-Rock is readily available and is reasonably priced for the Southeast. (See QUIKRETE Shotcrete MS) I do not know about other areas.  However, I think it may be difficult to find the closely spaced galvanized wire mesh in America.  The last I heard the wire mesh is shipped from China.

Is the engineer that helped develop the Met-Rock system available to engineer plans?  Is he registered in Alabama?

According to Envirolast Structures, they are still using a built-in screed that stands up 1/2" beyond the wire mesh.

Was it Envirolast that was unable to deliver?

The 3/16" finish I was talking about is like a stucco that covers the 1" thick or thicker shotcrete.  The space between the wire mesh and EPS is 1/2" plus the 1/2" of the screed makes 1" thick as the nominal thickness.  Unless I am wrong, then the total thickness is one and 3/16".

Feel free to send your comments to my e-mail address if you feel they should not be posted here.


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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09 Jan 2012 11:58 PM
Posted By SCIP Panel on 09 Jan 2012 10:57 PM

 

 

4 The correct application methods and additives cutting costs and waste.

 

I think Met Rock has moved away from the screed at least when I talked to them two years ago that was being discussed.

 

A skilled craftsman can get consistent depths its done all the time.

Some obvious choices are Pools, Shotcrete, Stucco contractors.

Tridpanel has a number of suppliers Rod Hadrian, Vista  and Jim Bolton,  Reno are two that I have talked to.

I am told as  many as six are selling or building panels in Southern Ca.
One in Texas and one in Denver that I have talked to. 

The one in Denver builds a really clean panel mostly R40 I think.

 

Met Rock  is a solid panel as well.

 


The biggest drawback I would see is the financial risk if the crew is inexperienced and begins the Shotcrete and ends up doing it all wrong (wrong mix, poor adhesion, cracking, etc). In the end you end up with a concrete shell that needs to be bulldozed.

With the interior finishing, what happens if they missed a plumbing or electrical line? Would you have to chisel the interior concrete wall open to run the line?

What advantages does this system have over ICF?



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10 Jan 2012 12:02 AM
I'm guessing two different crews. Experienced erection crew and then the shotcrete crew. But, If I were a pool builder or concrete contractor sitting on my butt for the next few years in this economy I might learn the erection part, maybe targeting fences and sound walls at first.

Interesting on metrock going away from the screed guides? It seemed to the untrained that it was a good feature. I guess an experienced crew can get a consistent flat wall without one?

Cost factors. Obviously depends on panel cost, shotcrete finishing cost, any other trade savings(insulation/sheetrock) framing vs panel erection cost vs more equivalent alternatives such as Sip or icf or double wall . I have no idea what larger scale shotcrete costs are (home vs. normal jobs such as a pool).

If one didn't mind a smooth concrete exterior finish for a modern look, could waterproof mix be used in the shotcrete coat troweled a bit smoother as a finish layer, saving on additional stucco finish process or any additional siding cost? (locale is MN-lots of freeze thaw)

Seems there are quite a few advantages. Monolithic strong structure with much less material than ICF. Should be easier erection w/ larger panels vs. forming with many more smalller eps blocks etc...

The rest of the trades, plumbing, electrical look fairly easy to adapt, spray painting lines on panels then torching back eps for additional space behind the metal mesh. Gotta be much easier running stuff behind mesh then running through sip chases or drilling holes through multiple studs? Would save the interior wall construction in ICF and sheetrock in framing. I'd also go with a smooth concrete wall finish on interior or would I need a finished plaster layer? EPS insulation in the right spot in middle between some two thermal mass layers. Monolithic should yield a very tight structure to maximize efficiency. Have these methods achieved any prescriptive building methods or are they one-off requiring more expensive engineering sign-offs?

Was also wondering about midfloor connections between panels, are the mid floor panels just ring tied to the inner wythe with a shotcrete coat making it plenty strong?





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10 Jan 2012 03:01 AM
Unless things have changed met rock sell equipment/ materials not panels.

I used the same basic design. For you south easterners I got my best deals on materials from your neck of the woods easily paying half what Denver prices were.

I am currently not looking to make more panels as I have too much going on so I too have been looking at panel options.

Only thing about Tridipanel is I think for the colder climates I want a higher R factor.

All the additives I wanted and used were from California and not available in CO.
Densafires (sp) and waterproofing additives are not on the shelf in CO.

The engineer is available; he is not on the internet no email, old schoowith Iphone. He did a building in SC or GA, not sure after he designs you may need a local engineer to sign off and do inspections.
He is working on a hospital design currently. The system has been designed to ten stories I believe.
I will give out his number but not post it. He had surgery two months ago so I do not want to get him overwhelmed.

Screeds – the Met-Rock guy in Colorado stopped using wire with screed.

Envirolast if that is the guy in Georgia currently building for someone on this forum I have only heard good things about him but it is all third party.

As far as the finish and mix
Getting the mix wrong could be a death blow.
Most of ours was redi mix. Then you run into needing short batches or loosing some as it is time consuming to shoot it.
It’s back to the additives; I am getting ready to try three different mixes on small structures. One of the additives I used to waterproof the sun deck. I want to test a claim from Japan that it also reduces conductivity of the concrete.

My client changed the master bath room and kitchen layout. The bath was no big deal as the ceiling below both baths was to be dropped. The kitchen changes caused some extra work and resulted having to channel the concrete to add outlets.

Pulling conduit and doing the plumbing is not bad but you need subs with the right / open mindset.

(Would you have to chisel the interior concrete wall open to run the line?) That and we were also able to drill between some outlets to avoid cutting.

(What advantages does this system have over ICF?) Energy wise look below.

Taken from Oak ridge National laboratories study.
http://www.ornl.gov/sci/roofs+walls/research/detailed_papers/thermal/index.html

Thermal Mass - Energy Savings Potential in Residential Buildings
CONCLUSIONS
Comparative analysis of sixteen different material configurations showed that the most effective wall assembly was the wall with thermal mass (concrete) applied in good contact with the interior of the building. Walls where the insulation material was concentrated on the interior side, performed much worse.
Wall configurations with the concrete wall core and insulation placed on both sides of the wall performed slightly better, however, their performance was significantly worse than walls containing foam core and concrete shells on both sides.

One crew or two, a good framing crew would be perfect to stand and plum and line.

We still used sheet rock on interior partition walls.
If design needed a thermal mass interior wall then SCIP would be the answer.

I will go back to wood floors next time as well. The roof would still be SCIP roof for strength, fire and hurricanes. If not needed then trusses would be cheaper.
The walls can be finished smooth it takes more man power the smother you want it.
You can also use sanded paint for texture.

The monolithic system is incredibly tight and strong.
With blue tape for temporary door bottoms I was able to heat all three floors to the low 60s (lows 17-30 degrees) with one small $20.00 heater in the garage by leaving the door open for the heat to rise.

Mid floor connections is where I error with a little more rebar than less or none.
I have seen it done with floors stacked on walls or walls connected to the interior of the wall. Both have plusses and minuses so I would look at each situation before I decided. .
I am not an engineer but I would not be comfortable if my 25’ span floor and roof panels were just wired to the interior of the wall.
I have seen crush tests on beams made from the panels that are incredibly strong.



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10 Jan 2012 03:01 AM
Unless things have changed met rock sell equipment/ materials not panels.

I used the same basic design. For you south easterners I got my best deals on materials from your neck of the woods easily paying half what Denver prices were.

I am currently not looking to make more panels as I have too much going on so I too have been looking at panel options.

Only thing about Tridipanel is I think for the colder climates I want a higher R factor.

All the additives I wanted and used were from California and not available in CO.
Densafires (sp) and waterproofing additives are not on the shelf in CO.

The engineer is available; he is not on the internet no email, old schoowith Iphone. He did a building in SC or GA, not sure after he designs you may need a local engineer to sign off and do inspections.
He is working on a hospital design currently. The system has been designed to ten stories I believe.
I will give out his number but not post it. He had surgery two months ago so I do not want to get him overwhelmed.

Screeds – the Met-Rock guy in Colorado stopped using wire with screed.

Envirolast if that is the guy in Georgia currently building for someone on this forum I have only heard good things about him but it is all third party.

As far as the finish and mix
Getting the mix wrong could be a death blow.
Most of ours was redi mix. Then you run into needing short batches or loosing some as it is time consuming to shoot it.
It’s back to the additives; I am getting ready to try three different mixes on small structures. One of the additives I used to waterproof the sun deck. I want to test a claim from Japan that it also reduces conductivity of the concrete.

My client changed the master bath room and kitchen layout. The bath was no big deal as the ceiling below both baths was to be dropped. The kitchen changes caused some extra work and resulted having to channel the concrete to add outlets.

Pulling conduit and doing the plumbing is not bad but you need subs with the right / open mindset.

(Would you have to chisel the interior concrete wall open to run the line?) That and we were also able to drill between some outlets to avoid cutting.

(What advantages does this system have over ICF?) Energy wise look below.

Taken from Oak ridge National laboratories study.
http://www.ornl.gov/sci/roofs+walls/research/detailed_papers/thermal/index.html

Thermal Mass - Energy Savings Potential in Residential Buildings
CONCLUSIONS
Comparative analysis of sixteen different material configurations showed that the most effective wall assembly was the wall with thermal mass (concrete) applied in good contact with the interior of the building. Walls where the insulation material was concentrated on the interior side, performed much worse.
Wall configurations with the concrete wall core and insulation placed on both sides of the wall performed slightly better, however, their performance was significantly worse than walls containing foam core and concrete shells on both sides.

One crew or two, a good framing crew would be perfect to stand and plum and line.

We still used sheet rock on interior partition walls.
If design needed a thermal mass interior wall then SCIP would be the answer.

I will go back to wood floors next time as well. The roof would still be SCIP roof for strength, fire and hurricanes. If not needed then trusses would be cheaper.
The walls can be finished smooth it takes more man power the smother you want it.
You can also use sanded paint for texture.

The monolithic system is incredibly tight and strong.
With blue tape for temporary door bottoms I was able to heat all three floors to the low 60s (lows 17-30 degrees) with one small $20.00 heater in the garage by leaving the door open for the heat to rise.

Mid floor connections is where I error with a little more rebar than less or none.
I have seen it done with floors stacked on walls or walls connected to the interior of the wall. Both have plusses and minuses so I would look at each situation before I decided. .
I am not an engineer but I would not be comfortable if my 25’ span floor and roof panels were just wired to the interior of the wall.
I have seen crush tests on beams made from the panels that are incredibly strong.



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10 Jan 2012 10:12 AM
Regarding getting SCIP experience, I suggest building a few stand alone privacy walls/fences with it first.

As discussed elsewhere, people are even leaving exposed concrete on SCIP roofs. Ie, you can have a complete house with no additional interior or exterior finishes (no metal roofing or shingles, siding, wallboard, etc). And nothing to get eaten by rot or termites.


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