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 Post subject: Tilt panel house
PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:06 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 25, 2012 11:13 am
Posts: 1
Hi everyone :P

I am really considering building a tilt panel house and would appreciate any info from anyone that has looked into or has built one. I am in the construction industry so the making of the panels is the easy part of the equation for me. The more i look into OB the more I think that it doesnt suit someone that has to work as well as try and OB. Thanks in advance for any advice offered


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 Post subject: Re: Tilt panel house
PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 12:43 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2005 11:43 am
Posts: 310
Location: Perth, Western Australia
bigdreamer wrote:
I am really considering building a tilt panel house and would appreciate any info from anyone that has looked into or has built one. I am in the construction industry so the making of the panels is the easy part of the equation for me. The more i look into OB the more I think that it doesnt suit someone that has to work as well as try and OB. Thanks in advance for any advice offered


I haven't built or designed a tilt panel building, but I am familiar with the technology. Here are the main issues I see with using tiltup for residential construction:

1. You need space. The panels are normally cast on the floor slab, one on top of the other, so you need a big enough clear area on your floor slab for the largest panel at least. When I say "clear" you probably need to avoid wet areas which will have reduced floor level to allow for grading to a floor waste. The more space you have the more panels you can cast at once, reducing the number of concrete deliveries. You also need room to swing a crane.

2. Thermal performance is an issue. Concrete has bugger all insulation value. Which means you need a second skin either inside or outside the panel. Inside is more common - either an independent stud frame (usually steel, but no reason it can't be pine) or battens fixed directly to the panels. The frame is filled with insulation and then you fix plasterboard. You will get some heat wicking through the frame, especially if you use steel. You can reduce this by introducing a cavity between panel and frame (uses up space and the frame needs to be more rigid) or by using transverse battens to reduce the wicking surface (uses up space).

Alternatively you skin the outside using frame or battens but with some weatherproof cladding (fibrecement, steel, timber...). This is better because the thermal mass of the concrete is now working for you instead of against you. More expensive obviously and has other pros and cons (see below).

3. Hard to run services. Especially if you clad the outside. You can run conduit in the panels but it needs care and planning and it can still go wrong (plus it weakens the panel).

4. Hard to modify. You can cut concrete, but a nasty job. And mods include fixing stuffups.

5. Expensive material and environmentally nasty (but fast with low labour costs).

6. Ugly. Okay, this is subjective, but it is really easy to make tiltup look ugly. And even if you like a house that looks like a warehouse you may find it hard to sell 10 years later. Use of external cladding materials and renders can help or even hide the construction completely.

7. Not suitable for remote locations where you can't get wet concrete delivered.

8. Incorporating large openings can be tricky, or requires heavy steel to compensate.

That's all I can think of for the moment.

Of course there are lots of reasons to use tiltup, but you will have thought of these. There are good reasons why about 95% of commercial and industrial buildings around here are tiltup.

Other technologies you might like to consider for fast construction and reduced labour:

1. Prefabbed stud wall frames, either pine or steel

2. Precast concrete panels - smaller panels cast offsite and trucked to the construction site

3. SIPs (Structural Insulated Panels) - a foam core clad with a steel, plywood or fibrecement skin

4. Aerated concrete panels - hebel etc

5. Interlocking foam blocks - zego etc

Also keep in mind that the walls are only a very small part of the house, and even when you have it to lockup you are probably less than halfway there.

_________________
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Bruce
Draftie


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