Sandwich panels – energy-efficient and cost-efficient
Architectural precast concrete Sandwich panels can either be load-bearing or non- load-bearing. The panels provide an energy-efficient solution for exterior walling, while also being fire-resistant and durable. They are available in a range of widths, lengths, thicknesses and exterior finishes.
The panels consist of:
- an outer, non-loadbearing leaf of precast concrete (typically 80mm) with an architectural finish for Recon
- an inner leaf of loadbearing plain grey concrete (100 to 200 mm) with a power float finish (optimal) for direct painting
- an insulating layer sandwiched between the outer and inner layers to meet regulation U value
The Sandwich panel can be used as the entire wall structure (internal and external). There is no need to plaster-line internally so as to maximize the thermal mass benefits. We can change the shape, thickness and size of the concrete as required, and adjust the thickness of the insulation to attain the required U-value.
Sandwich panel advantages
- Fully integrated structure/skin system – load-bearing wall panels provide both structural support and external finish
- Factory production enables optimal finish
- Construction is quicker, with ‘just in time’ site delivery
- On-site labour costs minimized
- No need for external scaffolding, thus saving contractor costs and prelims
- Strong, durable, energy-efficient
- Load bearing panels are installed as the building is being constructed
- Reduction of wet trades on site
- Acoustic benefits
- Reduction of waste
- Offers designer more scope, as anti-gravity features can be pre-moulded, avoiding need for cumbersome secondary support on-site
- Can include windows, doors etc (as with all precast cladding)
- Greater quality control
- Can be manufactured in large sizes; typically grid width x storey height – this lowers cost and increases the speed of enclosure
- Achieves building weather tightness much more quickly
- Very low maintenance and lifecycle costs
- Offers reduced overall cladding zone, resulting in greater net lettable area
The two layers of the Sandwich panel can be connected by stainless steel or plastic connectors, which allow suspension of the outer leaf so it can expand and contract within its plane. The thermal bridge through the steel/plastic connectors is minimal (typical diameter of 4mm for steel). The system provides structural integrity without relying on the insulation for any transfer of loading. Thus fibrous insulation materials can be used and a cavity may be included.
To fully optimize the system, the inner leaf of the panel should be load-bearing so as to support floor units. This minimizes the number of columns needed around the perimeter of the building, thus offering further economies in the building and reducing the need for coordinating different trades.
- Acid Etched (mixes)
- Grit Blasted
- Mini-Coat / Retarded
- Exposed Aggregate
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Dundrum Shopping CentreDublin
Northumberland Police HQNewcastle