DEVELOPMENT OF THE SIPCRETE 3D PANEL SYSTEM:-
The origin of this type of panel manufacture / system dates back to 1970s when an Austrian company developed a panel with a steel mesh placed on either side of an insulation core (Polystyrene).
The panels were erected on site then a concrete facing was applied to the inner and outer surface thus creating a monolithic structure with thermal Insulation. Other products were produced copying / cloning this technology, they are identified as Emmedue, 3D Panel, Tridi Panel Solarcrete.
ALL of the aforementioned systems however suffer from a serious defect in that they all suffer from thermal bridging between the inner & outer concrete facing, this leads to interstitial condensation and damp spots occurring on the inner wall because of the thermal bridge created by welding steel wire every 7 cms to the external and internal steel mesh facings, thus creating a massive thermal bridge.
Temperature differential TD between inside the home and outdoors creates the condensation manifested as black spots on the internal wall.
The other major Problem with these products is the high Investment needed in plant and machinery to produce these panels.
In 1986 Tony Palmer the innovator of SIP Panel construction in Europe was approached by an American Humanist and Investor called Albert Huber.
All Huber was actively involved in the construction of low cost homes for poor families in the USA and the African Continent he had recognised and suffered with the problems of the 3 D Panel system and his approach / brief to Tony Palmer was to assist in the development of a System that would bring the perceived benefits ( Low Cost, Massive Strength & Insulation )of the 3D panel but without the high investment cost of production and problems encountered with Thermal Bridging.
A development programme followed over a no of years, to refine the Interconnector concept (registered / Patented design) to bring Rapid low cost assembly of the panels to the market this is The Sipcrete Low Cost 3 D Panel Construction System.
The Interconnector concept grew out of a connector used by a US manufacturer who made pre cast insulated panels, their connector was made from a Polymer material, this connector addresses the major problem of thermal bridging however it had a major flaw in that it did not structurally / physically connect/ the the two steel mesh facings together, it just connected the concrete facings together.
The Sipcrete Interconnector is galvanised steel with a plastic coating, it physically hooks over the Steel mesh facings and is secured with the plastic clip that creates the spacing between insulation core and the steel mesh, necessary to ensure structural strength, the physical hook connection is impossible to break/ disconnect means only 10 connectors per sq meter are required to give the required panel strength.
Further work was carried out with the major UK manufacturer of sprayed concrete products to produce a Low Cost Eco concrete to spray on the facings. Another Major advantage over its competitors is that the Sipcrete system can utilise any type of Insulation core and without doubt this is a major feature particularly when PIR or PUR cores are used as they give far superior fire resistance and a Lambda value (thermal resistance) some 40 % better than EPS/Polystyrene.
Unfortunately All Huber Passed away and the marketing of the system took a back seat as my company was very busy in the Sip market that was starting to take off. I believe that Sipcrete is a far superior product to SIPs my core business, ICFs and other building methods, I am so confident in the system that I constructed my retirement home in Greece using the Sipcrete 3 D panel system.
I would like to form an association/ partnership with a UK Co or individual who shares my confidence to meet the growing demand for the system in the UK.