A building’s energy performance involves the interplay of the environmental – climate and weather, the building’s systems – envelope, mechanical, plumbing, and lighting, and the building’s occupancy – people, appliances, equipment, devices, and function.
An energy efficient envelope is one that integrates and optimizes insulation levels, shading of glazing, solar reflectivity of exterior surfaces, air and vapour barriers, and thermal mass.
The concrete layers provide excellent air barriers and limit air infiltration.
In the 1970s, masonry contractor Mark Graham come out with an idea for a better and faster way to build structures rather than by stacking bricks and cinder blocks one by one in mortar.
His goal was to build a strong and energy efficient wall system that would allow us to stop building “Energy guzzling buildings” and build them faster. He came up with a revolutionary idea that would become Solarcrete.
Solarcrete gets its name from its ability to absorb and hold heat, an attribute known as thermal mass.
This is the main advantage it offers. With an R-value of 36, the energy-efficient wall reduces heating and cooling loads.
Its energy efficiency also comes from its seamless construction and the fact walls run continuously from footers below ground to the eaves with no gaps or voids.
Known as an insulated concrete composite wall system, Solarcrete consists of a core of expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam insulation sandwiched between two layers of concrete formed by spraying shotcrete over steel reinforcing bars.
A standard Solarcrete wall, which can have angled roof lines and cut-outs for windows and doors, measures 12 inches thick, including seven inches of EPS foam and 2.5 inches of shotcrete on either side of the foam.
Solarcrete offered alternative construction methods which combined with active solar heating.
Solarcrete Wall System combined with good energy efficient design, gave consumers a significant advantage over traditional buildings.
The incorporation of active solar systems became less significant in creating an energy efficient building, but still can be used along with other alternative energy sources to further enhance energy savings and to achieve zero net energy buildings.
This innovative construction technology utilizes an integrated “systems approach” which offers significant advantages over conventional construction.
Solarcrete advantages includes it reduces heating and cooling loads and costs.
It offers continuous wall insulation from footers to eaves and has no gaps or voids.
Solarcrete integrate basic components that serve multiple functions (structure, insulation and finish) and reduce the total number of steps in the construction process.
Solarcrete construction eliminates conventional form work and enables unlimited curvilinear design flexibility at an economical cost.
Shotcrete application that encase core panels into a monolithic structural entity can progress at a rate of 200-250 square meters of wall surface area per day, per crew.
The EPS insulation in Solarcrete as the core yields a height-thickness ratio, which results in higher load bearing capacities and permits greater wall heights.
Solarcrete provides two hour fire safety and security. Solarcrete walls are waterproof; storm resistant;and insect, rodent and vermin, mold, mildew, rot resistant.
Solarcrete’s use of durable materials provides low maintenance and high security.
Solarcrete energy efficient construction yields low operating costs and a comfortable building environment which results in a more pleasant, productive and economical environment.
It energy efficient construction requires less heating and cooling equipment.
Solarcrete buildings provide comfortable and constant interior temperatures which results in a more pleasant, productive and economical environment.
Source : Solacrete.com and Progressive Engineer
(this article written for 1BINA.my)