Anyone actually build with Durisol or Faswell and care to talk about the home
Last Post 05 Sep 2023 11:52 PM by dalbroker. 26 Replies.
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blaqgenieUser is Offline
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22 Apr 2017 05:46 PM
Hi all, Just got a nice 1.84 acre parcel of land in north Texas. I will be using Durisol ICF's and wanted to get either some advise or reviews of those who have actual built their homes with Durisol or Faswell (similar products). Thanks in advance. Regards, Tony
pcraigUser is Offline
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24 Apr 2017 04:48 AM
I'd like to hear as well, thanks.
RobertsonUser is Offline
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24 Apr 2017 11:35 PM
The reason you hear just crickets; there is little fanbase around here for those products, and the subject been beaten to a pulp.

Maybe someone who has used it might chime in, but I think it's been buried in the graveyard where the little headstones are made from Rastra. Sorry.
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25 Apr 2017 10:12 PM
Robertson, Thanks for the reply. I know there are people who have built ICF homes in North Texas. I will just have to get with the builder and see if I can contact his past clients. He has done a couple in Dallas. Regards, Tony
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26 Apr 2017 04:27 AM
I visited 2 building sites and 1 completed house in Perth and was blown away. The completed house felt very comfortable. The temperature on the day was 38C (100F) and had been in the low 40s (over 104) all week. I asked the owner if he had his AC on and his response was "I don't have AC". I only visited 2 building sites but I understand there are lots more in the area so it isn't dead in this part of the world. Being a Canadian company, I have to wonder if it just a bit understated. Also, they changed (or are changing) the name to Nexcem but that is in Canada and it appears that it is still known as Durisol in other countries. I'm afraid that is about all I know. So, I'm interested to learn more.
blaqgenieUser is Offline
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26 Apr 2017 02:08 PM
Pcraig, I meet with the builder again tomorrow. I initially met them (Anderson Sargent) a couple of years ago when a lot in the same subdivision came up. The Durisol (Nexcem) product is VERY sturdy and heavy. Much different than the EPS icf framing. I'd prefer a large 1 level home (4000 sq ft) but it is usually cheaper to build up in height than it is to build out with a larger foundation and roof. I am very excited about this build process. Since I work from home I can get to the site daily and learn. Regards, Tony
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28 Apr 2017 01:58 AM
Posted By blaqgenie on 25 Apr 2017 10:12 PM
I know there are people who have built ICF homes in North Texas.


Really? You don't say. I've built several myself in North Texas. Whether you will get any interest on a thread about Faswel or Durisol is quite a different subject.
blaqgenieUser is Offline
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29 Apr 2017 04:07 PM
@Robertson, wise crack comments are not needed nor warranted.
PARAHOMESUser is Offline
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30 Apr 2017 03:17 PM
Posted By blaqgenie on 29 Apr 2017 04:07 PM
@Robertson, wise crack comments are not needed nor warranted.
Even if you get responses they are more than likely not accurate and anecdotal tribal knowledge dominates out here ... No the subject has not been over discussed since most out here don’t know what they are talking about. I hope you were not expecting more from free internet advice.

These all natural materials you are referring to, "100% petrified cellulose" in a proprietary MAG/CA” binder which is the claim, chemically stable and inert, mold free, like alot of mfg claims needs to be verified by third party and life cycles. Last I checked both have lots of field history and lab data on their sites. Over 30 years and the cellulose/binders centuries.

With a center insulation core value that needs to be determined for your design, the assemblies hygrothermal properties alone should exceed by far any junk synthetic foam ICF on the market (long story).

The biggest test and as far as I know they have solved long ago, is salt leaching (efflorescence) of the MGO but, you should ask to see proof especially around moisture...thats why their cellulose design is rated for below grade, ask to see chemical lab results. The outer skins may need water protection like a siloxane-silane sealer they can recommend how many solids. The new WUFI_COR can assess this.

They should have installation instructions on their sites and be able to consult you and your trades. I suspect you won’t find much experience like other better materials but, would think anyone with ICF experience can handle this for starters. The design is totally different than typical junk ICF-ICI (Insulation Foam Concrete Insulation Foam) .... It's been proven many times by many top industry pro's CIC is better, and in many industries so you are on the right track. Ref: NREL, BSC, John Straub, George Swanson & Associates, testing and builds. The best you can do is hire a design-build-inspect pro that understands to develop good plans for all trades, and production planning.

I'm guessing Premier MAG minning may have some insights. See if chemist Jerry @ [email protected]  still works there. Not for the average DIY but, another option in cast-in-place MGO/Lime/Concrete/Cellulose/Rock skins with a insulative core, Jerry could help with that maybe @ lower cost than shipping blocks. I’d personally get a block take it to lab or if you have a microscope see if it is 100% petrified and while I was there test a few of my own using hemp, or other high silica wood. For thickness there are some good therm software models out there.

With lumber prices being as ridiculous as they are, alternate materials is the way to go. Most markets are already over valued. Something has to give.  

Hope that helps and good luck!

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30 Apr 2017 06:59 PM
Would love to see more discussion on CIC even though you have thermal bridging at structural locations in the assemble, its exposed surfaces is very durable.
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01 May 2017 02:42 AM
Posted By PARAHOMES on 30 Apr 2017 03:17 PM

These all natural materials you are referring to, "100% petrified cellulose" in a proprietary MAG/CA” binder which is the claim, chemically stable and inert, mold free, like alot of mfg claims needs to be verified by third party and life cycles. Last I checked both have lots of field history and lab data on their sites. Over 30 years and the cellulose/binders centuries.



Para - could you provide some of the third party test results? I could not find any on Durisol's website.
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01 May 2017 10:19 AM
Posted By FBBP on 01 May 2017 02:42 AM
Posted By PARAHOMES on 30 Apr 2017 03:17 PM

These all natural materials you are referring to, "100% petrified cellulose" in a proprietary MAG/CA” binder which is the claim, chemically stable and inert, mold free, like alot of mfg claims needs to be verified by third party and life cycles. Last I checked both have lots of field history and lab data on their sites. Over 30 years and the cellulose/binders centuries.



Para - could you provide some of the third party test results? I could not find any on Durisol's website.

Good call...I did a quick search nothing. My bad for being complacent. They use to have some limited testing. In George Swansons "Breathable Walls" book , he's in Austin and his book is very tech w/ references, but, means nothing if it's antiquated.

Interesting they changed their name....hmmmm!

I'm working in a lab now this week doing hot box temperature & humidity HVAC testing with various sensors, then I'll do freeze testing, salt-fog, then I'll write a final Qualification Test Report (QTR) interpreting the results, that could be published in this case. That's the fact based evidence.

I'll take that data acquisition and back calibrate a CFD model, now I can get fairly accurate data to design in various climates. From there I can access thermal bridging with real wet/dry u-values, no hersay most people produce. The next step is collect instrumented field data in all climate zones the client intends to operate in and, continue to back calibrate the model. I don't recall petrified wood being in WUFI. We could user define if they published some basic materials properties from bench testing thats not too expensive.

I'll be conducting mold testing, or it can be done by analysis if there is proof there are no organics like cellulose being a big issue. We should see testing there too, not just "mold resistant" , and mycotoxin testing being the biggest threat to human health. Test should conclude approved mating materials in their approved climate zones.

IOT (Internet of Things) is on it's way to changing all this, making it simplier (long story) but, it will be cost prohibitive for a while.

We just identified the bulk problem with the entire industry....Lots of anecdotal evidence supported by little fact and that holds true for code. Mind blowing how much money people waste w/o knowing all the facts. 

Like I said, I need to find the time to put this product under the scope. Better yet, I should start a third party test lab and on-line consume reports.

Too labor intensive & too much cost for it anyway, perhaps low quality results since the design is not build friendly nor monolithic. With labor shortages everywhere and over priced homes, not a good idea if one cares about ROI which most don't understand either.

Might want to do some TX market analysis. I'm looking @ Austin, DFW, closely right now as the land of opportunity for the right design this would not be one. A very close design would be.

http://www.metrostudy.com/austin-housing-3q16-austin-poised-banner-year-annual-starts-rate-highest-level-since-2006/

US needs to focus on it's local resources.
blaqgenieUser is Offline
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01 May 2017 05:22 PM
@PARAHOMES, Thanks for the reply. I went and had a good long sit down with the builder last week. He had both the Faswall and Durisol blocks in his office. I definitely like the Durisol blocks better. For the block insulation they use Rockwool which is a natural product compared to the foam or whatever it is insert the Faswall uses. I know I will be using the Durisol whenever we start the build job (within the next year). I am tired of the stick build jobs. It's funny, it was very windy the past few days and it feels like you can hear the house moving or swaying. I am thinking about going concrete all the way to the roof but haven't found much in regards to cost to see if it is even worth it. Looking at geothermal instead of the old tried and true air sourced HVAC. Regrads, Tony
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02 May 2017 03:44 AM
Para - I'm not against anecdotal evidence, if there is enough of it. It should not be just the manufactures hype. If we had five or ten people here that said these are great products, I would feel better about them.
I could not find enough 3rd party info on Durisol's site to convince me, but this might be a good product for someone in some location.
They are a Canadian company but don't appear to have any certification. Most serious contenders will spend the money to get a CCMC approval number.

"They have a very STRONG prejudice against the Durisol ICF and have made it clear they will not allow on another structure in North Van until the manufacture gets a full CCMC report for the product"
http://www.theenclosure.ca/relief-2/

They do not list a single approval for their insulation but suggest that they are approved by many agencies.
There is a number of items I would want to get clarified before I would commit any money into a Durisol project. Not the least, some actual approval reports showing their thermal properties.

A couple of other items.
They suggest 17 mpa (2500 psi) at 7" to 9" slump and than say "High slump concrete and corresponding higher water to cement ratios are acceptable with Nexcem Wall Forms because of the free-draining nature of the material."
I don't know anyone that uses less than 30mpa in 6" ICF construction and than to suggest its okay to water that down even more, leaves me scratching my head. If their product is free draining, it means that the water will pull the grease or paste out of the concrete and leave a much reduced final strength.
If the product is being used with mineral insulation, would we not expect the paste to drain into the mineral wool and leave the concrete weak? And if it drains into the wool, will it not reduce the thermal capabilities of the wool?

Even though they suggest that there is less thermal bridging in their product than in wood framing, I'm not convinced that with thermal inserts, the webs would not bypass enough thermal units to negate the value of the thermal inserts. Especially if they are saturated with concrete paste.
Without inserts, they are only R8. Probably why they don't have a CCMC number.
Even the R8 is suspect for me. If you surround wood chips with concrete, you have a lot of bypass happening.

the hygroscopic nature for better indoor air quality.
Yeah not quite sure about this either. Concrete certainly is not hygroscopic in nature. Yes, water molecules can reside in the pore spaces of concrete but that is not the meaning of hyroscopic. The wood fibres are encased in concrete so there is little chance of them acting in this way. If indeed, the wood fibers were to absorb water, would they not turn into mold food?
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02 May 2017 06:49 AM
Oh wow, this is getting feisty.

I spoke to them over at Durisol/Nexcem a few months ago and apparently the name change is because there was a change in ownership and the new group wanted to put their stamp on it. Hence "Nexcem".

As for approvals, I found the following on the Nexcem website:

"Please click on one of the following downloads for additional information
Please note that with the inclusion of ICF systems in the 2009 IRC and IBC Building Codes, ICC approvals are no longer required.
Most jurisdictions will require local engineers stamp on drawings in order to issue building permits
The BMEC approval (below) is for Ontario, Canada and allows for design without an engineers stamp if the design tables included in the approval are followed
Ontario BMEC Approval
The approval letter (below) is for Shelter Island, NY and confirms the use of Durisol in that jurisdiction in accordance with IRC 2009
Shelter Island (Sag Harbor), NY Approval"

So, I don't think anyone can say they need an approval when the government says they don't at least in Canada. Down here, I ran into resistance. I contacted a few building certifiers that told me they needed a BCA number or it couldn't be used. After speaking to the state construction regulator, I found you didn't need a BCA number since the product is non-structural and falls under a different part of the building code. So, it was just a bunch of lazy certifiers being little napoleons and throwing their weight around. Finally found a certifier who said the same thing as the state regulator. You have to realise that ICFs are 'different' and people resist change and Durisol is different again!

I'm no materials engineer so I could have this wrong but my understanding is that the high slump and extra water is to get the concrete to flow into all the cores and pockets as well as bind into the block itself. Because it is free draining, the water content then flows out leaving what is effectively a much lower slump concrete behind, which then cures as normal. From what I'm told, test show the strength increases above the specified strength once cured. I haven't seen the tests so I can't say if that is a result of the water draining and curing or if that is a result of the safety margin built into the spec in the first place.
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02 May 2017 02:15 PM
@Pcraig, There are a couple of youtube videos out there regarding the water transfer properties of the Durisol (Nexcem) blocks (search SENWIEco). To me, the water transfer properties in the Durisol blocks is very similar to the heart transfer properties of the thermal mass of concrete floors and walls. The walls and floors absorb some heat during the day when it is hotter and slowly release that heat during the night when it is generally cooler. With the water absorption properties of the Durisol block, if it absorb some moisture it in theory will slowly release that moisture when the air is dryer. I could be wrong (probably, lol). Also, it is not like this product is brand spanking new and untested. They have been using this style of block in Europe for decades. Across the pond (America), we usually adapt things slower because we follow the herd mentally. A lot of the European countries are way ahead of us when it comes to home building practices. They aren't necessarily more expensive to do it's just different. Regards, Tony
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02 May 2017 02:51 PM
pcraig - nothing feisty, just open discussion.

It is true that the Canadian code includes a prescriptive form for all ICF and as such, any stay in place form can meet the STRUCTURAL component of the code if they are flat panel walls. Both the Canadian Code and the IRC are simply saying that if you build a concrete wall to meet the code, it does not matter what formwork you use. This does not mean they meet the thermal capabilities of the code.
I don't know about the IRC but Durisol does not meet the requirements of ICF under the Canadian Code, as it is not a flat panel but rather post and beam. Also I don't believe it meets CAN/ULC-S701.
Both the Ontario and NY approvals are along the same line. Structurally they are allowed as long as the concrete core meets the requirements of a concrete wall under the codes, but there is no certification for their thermal position.

In Canada, all products used in the construction industry need their CCMC number. That is why the inspectors in Vancouver will not allow Durisol there. I suspect that your certifiers felt the same way. They should have called for an engineers stamp because it is post and beam. And yes, after thirty years of working with ICF's, I understand that they are "different" but you don't get to add some wood shavings to what is essentially a concrete block and call it an ICF.

The main reason concrete fails is over watering. This both reduces strength and causes severe shrink cracking. Once the soup is watered down, it will never again be the same. Try watering down your beer and than letting the water evaporate!
It is possible to get flowability by using water reducers and densifiers but this cost money.
If you let the water flow out, it takes the lime with it so less binder for strength.
Think about pouring a floor slab directly on sand or over a poly sheet. The pour over the poly will always take longer to kick over and will always be a much stronger slab. It is the same with foam ICF walls. Because the water is retained and does not evaporate, no paste is removed from the mix and because the waters are retained there is full hydration of the cement powders.
It is because of the damage over-watering does to the mix that the Canadian code A-9.3.1.7 say that a wall mix should have a maximum slump of 80 plus or minus 30 mm (3 5/32 +/-1 3/16") but may be reduced with a super plasticizer to 140 +/- 40 (5 33/64 +/- 1 37/64") Again Durisol does not meet Canadian codes.
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02 May 2017 04:42 PM
Hello All:

The folks at Nexcem asked me to post here in response to the information and misinformation being provided here. For the record, I have built over 30 homes using Durisol-Nexcem. I have also spent a lot of time with folks at Nexcem over the years and have experienced it first hand. So rather than listening to people who think they know what they are talking about, I am happy to tell you what I have seen, tested and experienced. I don't really have the interest in carrying on a protracted debate online, but will offer the following:

- I have also built with styrofoam and will never choose styrofoam over a Nexcem product (if budget allows). That is primarily why I don't post here anymore. It gets tiring listening to styrofoam advocates self promote and bash anything that isn't styrofoam. The folks at Nexcem have a detailed explanation of why they think they are better.
- In Canada, all Nexcem projects are designed, permitted and built under Part 4 of the building code. That is when Nexcem engineers, review and provide the structural information including rebar and concrete specification for the designer to include in their drawings. They will have a professional engineer stamp the drawings and there are no issues.
- CCMC is required if you want to build a house under Part 9 of the code without an engineer. They do not bother with the CCMC because in addition to houses, they also build non-residential.
- If it didn't meet Canadian Codes, it wouldn't be allowed. It is allowed and does meet Canadian Codes.
- The issue is that term "ICF" has essentially been taken over by the styrofoam products. So if the definition of an ICF relies on styrofoam, then no Nexcem is not an ICF. Nexcem is not styrofoam and does not try to say that they are. In fact they try to say they are not. Whether you
- The last poster states that Nexcem doesn't meet CAN/ULC 701. As if this is some disadvantage. If you look up that standard it is a standard for EPS and XPS styrofoam. Since Nexcem isn't styrofoam, of course it isn't going to meet that standard.
- They do have material testing under C177 that shows the termal value of the material. It less than half of styrofoam at R-1.75 per inch. I agree it is nothing great. But they also incorporate Roxul insulation at R-4.2 per inch. Anyone can do their own thermal modelling and confirm the quoted R-values. They are real, steady-state, 2 dimensional. They make an effort to only quote measurable values and not inflated "Effective" R-values that others do. Ask them for the thermal test and they will provide it.
- I am not sure how you can say that inspectors in BC don't allow it. I personally have built in BC. I have also been informed that there are projects under way on Salt Spring Island, projects completed in Kelowna. That Senvico person actually built in Vancouver.
- They also have tests that show that high slump "watery" concrete has the same strength or in some cases a little higher strength than normal slump concrete in a wood or plastic form. I have seen the cylinder tests from third party testing agencies. The quoted code 9.3.1.7 is again Part 9 of the building code for home builders using prescriptive methods, without an engineer. Anything that is not a house would not follow this table. You would specify a concrete strength, aggregate size and go from there.


Anyway, my only real suggestion is to speak with Nexcem directly and satisfy yourself rather than believing what you read on the internet.
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02 May 2017 05:20 PM
Hello all,
Not sure what I can add to the above discussion, but for what its worth - I've been to the Durisol (now Nexcem) plant in Mitchell ON, albeit a long time ago. I've worked as a sub over time on a good handful of jobs, all in Ontario. I'm a little out of it now, but still get bugged on occasion and I still enjoy following the industry. I think the ICF industry in general is moving in the right direction. An older friend of mine has a Durisol home (2001). Loves it. Has a "theater room", a little too much for me!

They do not use MGO/MAG as some may assume, I'm sure it is just portland cement and "treated" wood chips made from the wood offcut industry. No sand. No stone. No magnesium. It is not a concrete block. George Swanson dabbles with a lot of magnesium oxide things and has done some Durisol as well, don't confuse the two. I've heard of Jim Sargent and Vickie Anderson builders down in TX that have used it a fair bit, I think someone mentioned them already. They got some big aware in 2006. I reviewed that b/c of Building Science Corp did a consult on it.

It is hard to find non-anecdotal evidence, but there is some out there. The Nexcem folks can direct you to where it can be found. I recall reviewing WUFI modelling that John Straube had completed years ago already, using 3rd party tested thermal conductance's as the reference. I also recall reviewing a 6 story Durisol structure in Kit/Waterloo for energy usage over time. That was through Building Science Corporation. It performed exceptionally well. I also recall at the same time the city was on the edge of banning ALL ICF's b/c of a near structural failure they had with an Arxx project. The product was absolutely fine. The forms had filled with snow, they filled the walls with concrete, then in the springtime when the plumbers were about to drill through for some venting, they didn't find any concrete in the wall along the bottom 15 linear ft x 1 ft high on a 3 story building. All being held up by 15M bars. Poop hit the fan! In no way was that the product's fault. Regardless - go to KW today, you cannot avoid seeing multiple high rises going up with various EPS products. All good for the ICF industry. Point of the story is that they (the city) were reacting negatively without understanding.

I'm sure they have not done any hot box testing, but have many others?

It has its nuances for sure, don't get me wrong - but the projects I've been involved with, the customer(s) always seem happy with the end result, and this is years afterwards. Was at my buddies this past Christmas, the attitude has not changed, still loves it and is planning retirement home with it. (who has time to retire?) Ecoinhabit, which became Third Line Homes up in Meaford (met them many times!), have directed potential clients to previous builds they've completed to discuss living in these types of homes. They've built quite a few (but that's not TX!).

Not meeting CAN/ULC-S701 makes sense - that standard is specific to factory made rigid polystyrene, specifically NOT fibre boards or other boards of varying composition.

I've only been to TX once (loved it) to a NAHB show back in the late 90's. I don't think Durisol had anything on the go down there back then to reference.

Anyway, keep on bugging people who have worked with it or live in it to get your own sense of comfort moving ahead with any product you consider - wise approach!
Good Luck!
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02 May 2017 05:53 PM
James: I with ya on the foamaholics out here that post a bunch of BS. All “green” sites are this way, rarely learn/discuss the better materials being realized here.

I gave them a call yesterday to find out what’s going on with the name change, etc.…I was told they were paying fees to other “Durisol” manufactures now they don’t. Must be more to the story. Word of caution is I would think the sustainable design & intellectual property is with “Nexcum”.

They claim Nexcum is a proprietary “cellulose sugar removal manufacturing process” , which btw is nothing new and can be found on the internet using hydrochloric acid, ethyl alcohol, other chems, etc. I’m betting a good chemist can figure this one out, depending on species. They may be using heat and pressures. The binders, MGO not being one, so scratch what I said about efflorescence & fastener corrosions, although, long rumor had it they used MAG which could be a more expensive phosphate w/less issues. I don’t know.

The wood purification process in theory allows better/stronger cement binder/cellulose aggregate infusion bonding. The same happens w/high silica content hemp we in the US will see more production of, lime, MAG, mineral, soil, etc, binders. There are and has been for centuries several ways to skin this cat. Whether the wood is 100% “petrified” or all organic matter has been replaced with minerals is TBD, I see no proof on the site, and I’d like to see more test results. However, I will say that most specs allow analytical mold analysis as satisfying requirements if the organic matter is fully encapsulated and air/moisture sealed yielding a fungi index of zero. So their process is trying to simulate a natural process in a factory (MW production does the same). Last I head they use small amounts of high compression strength OPC (Portland cement) which can cause effloresces, corrosion, it does it can have issues we all know that, again WUFI-COR can determine corrosion risk. They should be using a pozzolan IMO as with many other known successful mixes or sorts.

Wet installing a light treated wood or composite bond beam would be a good idea IMO. Under it inert Foamglass isolator with high compression @ max deflection PE determines. PIN it all with rebar @ TBD spacing and sizing, and energy heels.
With that said, at the concrete/Nexcum block interface, it would make sense to me to continue the binder infusion processes using drainable high slump liquid slag transports. That should further maximize concrete/Nexcum bonds @ some penetration depths, primarily pore lap shear/tension structural properties not affecting the outer or surface hygroscopic boundaries which are the main reactors to heat/humidity buffering. Be nice to put assembly coupon test results on the site (cylindrical block) like as required by others like earth construction. The form blocks are secondary structure, concrete/rebar is primary. I’d use FG or basalt since steel potentially has OPC issues: Here is TX company: http://www.fiberglassrebar.us/

In this design, the intercostal stiffeners between the skins or “webs” are reacting web shear/buckling, we been doing this more robust load monolithic transfer for decades and, it is better than transferring load mechanically through fasteners which would be closer to post & beam. Although a better design is a completely bonded sandwich construction with high strength-to-weight ratio, as in SCIP AEC does not have to date since concrete is too heavy even as skins, so is steel, or any metal SIPs. The best are Carbon Reinforced Polymer Plastics (CFRP) with insulating honeycomb as proven by Aero/Auto industries, but expensive.

The field test artifact was at The University of Waterloo, they have no hot box lab testing. Email them for it. BTW: Mine just failed a silicone seal in the acidic environment humidity/temp chamber test, replacing w/EPDM/EPR…… AEC does not understand this as with air sealing/sealants/caulks needs a spec, or designs like this that reduce the need…. Now we are delayed a week since the UUT (unit under test) has changed design. It now has to be “re-conformed” by client’s 4-expert witnesses flying in. One is a materials engineer, structures, QA, Production, etc.…. So be careful the UUT is current.

In “Material Properties” I finally took the time to find, they list mechanical, hygric, & thermal properties. That is where their job ends, design “allowables”.

https://nexcembuild.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Nexcem-Material-Properties.pdf

Competent Engineers now take that data to FEA/CFD analysis models, many of which have both structural and environment load inputs (TMY2-3 local weather files), etc, that will determine the thickness or “sizing”, thermal bridging if any, worse case being dynamic wet u-values of a solid block is what I would model for hydrothermal. FEM would need fully dimension 3D blocks I’d do in CAD & export, and applicaple margins. Done and optimized for cost. No wasting $$$ on guess work. I be more concerned about cold bridging in CAN, hot/wet in TX can be just as bad and, I’d put over-heat HVAC zones especially in TX SW rooms with this much mass. A room CFD or Energy model would reveal HVAC capacities. WUFI does both now as of its latest April release. Germans, Swiss, Sweeds, have this down pat, USA does not.
FBBD: Interesting read although be careful with the builder’s word “deflection” as in formwork boe, not Nexcum….. MW or most low cost foam needs deflection stability this design provides, most don’t have under slabs for example. Foamglass is the superior product but expensive. As far as adding a plasicizer, my guess is Nexcum Engineers would make that call it would not make sense to me anyway.

Here is a MW deflection test: http://static.rockwool.com/globalassets/rockwool-na/downloads/technical-guides/residential/deflection-testing.pdf Kind of cheap with dial indicator LVDTs. I just got done with a metal test using digitals @ strain gages. Again, test data is fed back to FEM for third party certs and can be combined with hot box.
All this data acquisition is all that should be required to satisfy any design or AHJ. Instead, in AEC, we have money making bureaucracy’s other countries don’t have that drive up the cost with little to no added value. Let’s not get started on that like the low 90-150 mph wind speeds in tornado alleys like TX/OK/ETC that kills many annually. Any higher stick build wood will die, crumbles proven many times, these concrete design would sustain ballistics as proven many times in the field an TX tech. Some code/certs/regs are needed, granted, since people can be dumber than them.

One of the big issues in the US is finding quality labor cost, stick too, so, designs that lower both will sustain, along with lower optimized material usage and cost. I think that is why this design has not went that far in market share over twenty years and it will get worse as lean production designs cost less. The big push will be CAD-to-CAM, Quality Validation & Verification by IOT. As this matures, builder/DIY/Raters won’t survive. Job loss will occur as IT tech takes over. Only the strongest, smartest, will survive. It’s alive and well in a lot of industries and underway in AEC commercial. It will be interesting to see inspectors and builder learn how to interrogate simple CAD-CAM models and the IOT data won’t lie when the build does not meet design requirements. Code will be in the 3d BIMs model, requiring more IOT competent code officials too. I doubt Nexium will tell you all that , I’m experiencing it now, and working on it for AEC and I'm not the only one.
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