Take your buildings to the next level with Monolith Systems
Take your buildings to the next level with Monolith Systems
Q: What is the material cost compared to conventional construction?
A: Concrete panels are more expensive then wood framing in terms of material however when using concrete insulated panels Items such as mechanical systems, construction waste, window install and drywall is considerably less making the two methods very similar in price. This does not include future savings on maintenance and energy used for heat.
Q: What sizes do the concrete panels come in?
A: They can come in any size, To keep costs down we like to make a panel no bigger than 32ft x 13ft the forms that hold the concrete can be adjusted to any size under these measurements. Size is desired creating easy design flexibility.
Q: How are adjoining wall panels connected?
A: They are connected at the bottom of the panel with the concrete floor slab. Two or Three story buildings are connected at the floors and the roof framing ties the panels at the top with steel brackets.
Q: What is the maintenance on the panels?
A: If Panels have a concrete architectural finish then a sealer should be applied. This sealer should be re applied to the manufactures instructions. Typically every 10 years. This is very easily done with a weed sprayer bottle. If Panels are painted then the paint should be repainted within ten years.
Q: What is the wall R-value?
A: There are two types of R value. Effective R value and nominal R value. As the CIP’s have continuous insulation with no thermal bridging. We pour our panels with an effective R value of 32-48 depending on climate and clients budget.
Q: How is electrical wiring Installed when using exterior concrete panels?
A: Electrical conduit and outlets are installed in the structural layer of the panel. The electrician can pull the wiring through the conduit after the structure has been built. The conduit where the electrician feeds his wiring into terminates in the closest wall, second floor framing or roof framing. If a concrete panel is used for the roof structure a framed drop ceiling would be necessary in order for the electrician to run electrical wiring.
Q: Can the panels have different finishes and textures?
A: Yes, when the panels are being poured into their forms, many types of material can be laid on the bottom of the form. The concrete is poured over top to give the desired texture and finish. The concrete can be coloured to help enhance the look.
Q: How are the panels connected to the footings?
A: Continuous concrete footing is poured into an insulated form as shown below, which bears the weight of the panel, however the structural stability comes from a concrete strip footing incorporated with the floor. This is poured the footing and wall have been placed. Until the concrete floor is poured the free standing walls are supported by temporary braces. This detail is extremely efficient, as it has continuous insulation surrounding all of the concrete therefore eliminating all thermal bridging (a path for heat to flow from the interior to the exterior. 30% of heat loss is through the floor and foundation walls.)
Q: How easy is the installation on site?
A: As long as the crane has access then the panels can be installed on your site. It is a fast and easy process. Lifting Anchors ( points at which the crane is to lift the panel) are installed into the face or edge of the panels and lifted in to place. Braces are installed to stabilize the panels.
Q: Where are the panels manufactured?
A: They are usually manufactured on site, therefore reducing transportation costs, however panels can be pre manufactured (pre cast) and brought to the site via truck or barge if necessary.
Q: What is the maximum panel size that can be transported?
A: The maximum width is about 14ft, and the maximum length is about 60ft.
Q: How long does it take to construct wall panels in comparison to conventional wood frame construction?
A: If the CIP’s are pre casted then it will cut down your construction time by 30%. If cast and poured on site then it is the same as wood frame construction.
Q: How well do the panels weather when exposed to the environment?
A: Concrete is a very durable material, there are no problems concerning mold growth or material deterioration. To keep a nice natural finish, apply a penetrating sealer.
Q: How is air barrier continuity achieved at panel junctions?
A: Spray foam insulation is sprayed in the crack between the two panels, then backer rod and sealant are applied on both the interior and exterior of the joint. Most Concrete homes achieve an air tightness (ACH) of 0.6 easily. Air tightness is important for energy efficiency and a healthy home.
Q: What type of insulation is used or can be used?
A: ESP insulation is commonly used with the concrete panels as it will not absorb water and loose R value during its lifespan if buried below ground. Therefore it will always perform to its specified R value.
Q: How easy is it to put in new exterior windows?
A: It is just as easy if not easier to install a new exterior window as it is to put in a new window in a wood framed house.
Q: How do you hang pictures or Art?
A: This is no different to the houses that had lath and plaster on the walls. You simply drill a small hole into the concrete and install a nail or screw. Don’t try hammering.
Q: Does the concrete crack?
A: Yes. You will see minor hair fracture cracks on corners. This would be no different to a crack in stucco (which is concrete) or splitting in wood.
On the interior where panels meet each other. If an abutting wall cannot cover a panel joint then an expansion joint is installed in the mudd. This leaves a very fine line that is painted the same colour as your wall.
Q: How is the interior concrete finished?
A: You can either leave it as troweled concrete with textures and colour. Or you can leave it rough and have the concrete finished with mudd or plaster for a smooth finish.