Total Concrete Housing Technology AnalysisThrough the use of common materials and methods, Insulated concrete structures c...
construction tasking, which combine two or more tasks into one. Lowered experience andknowledge requirements through effic...
All materials and components as well as the manufacturers have been selected based on theproducts ability in speed, durabi...
wall area. Assuming these numbers to be correct, we can, in theory say that 17% (heat lossthrough windows and doors in sta...
parallel loop to increase the geothermal bed temperatures, thereby effectively storing heat forlater use in the ground. Du...
earthquakes, tornadoes, projectiles etc. Due to the decreased risk of material failure, theoccupants can enjoy a safe envi...
available. However, current technology has expanded to include such items as Heat RecoverVentilators, Air Cleaners, high-e...
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Total concrete housing technology analysis

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Total Concrete Housing Technology Analysis
Through the use of common materials and methods, Insulated concrete structures combined with advanced integrated systems design can outperform existing methods of construction, and provide much safer and more comfortable living environments. Our approach is to utilize ICF (insulated concrete form) construction to its greatest advantage, by incorporating all of the structural, mechanical and finish components, in a manner that is cost effective, structurally sound, maintenance free, environmentally friendly, promoting healthy lifestyles as well as aesthetic.
Design, material and component selection.
The Design.
The best design for the structure, (to ensure compatibility for design, market acceptance as well as accurate test results), is to be a small home complete with basement, targeting the low to mid income bracket.
Materials.
Advanced Materials to be used in the structure include existing products such as ICF wall system, basement insulated slab on grade system, composite concrete intermediate floor system, High performance, dual glazed, low-E and argon filled windows, with exterior stucco and cultured stone systems.
New technologies developed include; A hybrid ICF composite concrete cast in place roof forming system utilizing both Formtech and Speedfloor components. A simplified radiant in floor heating system. Earth coupled geothermal water to water hydronic heating/cooling system, utilizing passive soils heat transfer methods to reduce loop lengths, and engineered soils to increase performance. An advanced air separator cleaning unit and fresh air energy recovery ventilation system complete with an integral mid volume air conditioning system.
New methods of installation including external vibration methods utilizing new technology. More efficient design and detailing methods. Introduction of new installation methods, which simplify and demystify the processes involved in the construction. Multi function or combined construction tasking, which combine two or more tasks into one. Lowered experience and knowledge requirements through efficient material selection, management practices, design, detailing, and scheduling.
Criteria included in design and developed products and/or techniques
Over the last years we have accumulated information and research into the needs of the building market place, and determined that the following base criteria for all products would have to be addressed within the design and/or construction of the building.
1. Cost. Overall, the cost of materials and/or labor would have to ensure that the current construction methods associated with ICF construction would have to decrease the total cost of the building by the offset cost of utilizing these types of products installed to current standards.
2. Efficiency. The material and labor components must comply with efficiency in design to reduce construction time, and reduce material requirements by a undetermined acceptable level. Material components should perform two or more construction or building functions per item, or combine several aspects required into the design, such as stay in place formwork.
3. Methods of construction. The methods of construction must simplify the construction process, allowing low skill labor to be utilized effectively.
4. Quality of construction. The Quality of the building must be increased to meet the new challenges of a modern world including Longevity, durability, strength, esthetics, operation, form and function.
5. Compatibility. The building must be constructed in such a matter as to be identical in form and function with current residential structures.
6. Versatility. Any normal residential structure must be able to be designed and built with the systems and methods, to ensure compliance with current designs in the construction industry.
7. Needs and shortfalls. The building has to address most, if not all, of the current needs and existing s

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Total concrete housing technology analysis

  1. 1. Total Concrete Housing Technology AnalysisThrough the use of common materials and methods, Insulated concrete structures combined withadvanced integrated systems design can outperform existing methods of construction, and providemuch safer and more comfortable living environments. Our approach is to utilize ICF (insulated concreteform) construction to its greatest advantage, by incorporating all of the structural, mechanical and finishcomponents, in a manner that is cost effective, structurally sound, maintenance free, environmentallyfriendly, promoting healthy lifestyles as well as aesthetic.Design, material and component selection.The Design.The best design for the structure, (to ensure compatibility for design, market acceptance as wellas accurate test results), is to be a small home complete with basement, targeting the low to midincome bracket.Materials.Advanced Materials to be used in the structure include existing products such as ICF wallsystem, basement insulated slab on grade system, composite concrete intermediate floor system,High performance, dual glazed, low-E and argon filled windows, with exterior stucco andcultured stone systems.New technologies developed include; A hybrid ICF composite concrete cast in place roofforming system utilizing both Formtech and Speedfloor components. A simplified radiant infloor heating system. Earth coupled geothermal water to water hydronic heating/cooling system,utilizing passive soils heat transfer methods to reduce loop lengths, and engineered soils toincrease performance. An advanced air separator cleaning unit and fresh air energy recoveryventilation system complete with an integral mid volume air conditioning system.New methods of installation including external vibration methods utilizing new technology.More efficient design and detailing methods. Introduction of new installation methods, whichsimplify and demystify the processes involved in the construction. Multi function or combined
  2. 2. construction tasking, which combine two or more tasks into one. Lowered experience andknowledge requirements through efficient material selection, management practices, design,detailing, and scheduling.Criteria included in design and developed products and/or techniquesOver the last years we have accumulated information and research into the needs of the buildingmarket place, and determined that the following base criteria for all products would have to beaddressed within the design and/or construction of the building.1. Cost. Overall, the cost of materials and/or labor would have to ensure that the currentconstruction methods associated with ICF construction would have to decrease the total cost ofthe building by the offset cost of utilizing these types of products installed to current standards.2. Efficiency. The material and labor components must comply with efficiency in design toreduce construction time, and reduce material requirements by a undetermined acceptable level.Material components should perform two or more construction or building functions per item, orcombine several aspects required into the design, such as stay in place formwork.3. Methods of construction. The methods of construction must simplify the construction process,allowing low skill labor to be utilized effectively.4. Quality of construction. The Quality of the building must be increased to meet the newchallenges of a modern world including Longevity, durability, strength, esthetics, operation,form and function.5. Compatibility. The building must be constructed in such a matter as to be identical in form andfunction with current residential structures.6. Versatility. Any normal residential structure must be able to be designed and built with thesystems and methods, to ensure compliance with current designs in the construction industry.7. Needs and shortfalls. The building has to address most, if not all, of the current needs andexisting shortfalls in residential dwellings.8. energy-efficient. Energy requirements should meet or exceed, even the highest standards ofcurrent construction materials and methods.9. Environmental Friendly. The materials and methods should address as many environmentalconsiderations as possible, including waste, energy required for production of materials, andenergy required for construction. Low environmental impact products and methods ofconstruction would be a must.10. Manufacturing capability. All products and existing labor markets must be able to be easilyadapted to meet the needs for construction of buildings of this type.
  3. 3. All materials and components as well as the manufacturers have been selected based on theproducts ability in speed, durability, workability, quality, strength, warranties and marketacceptance from existing raw materials and/or processes.Heat loss.Component factorsRoof effectiveness.Existing energy efficiencies for ICF wall systems rate about 30% more effective in overallheating and cooling when combined with current standards of wood truss roof installation andslab on grade basement installations. Knowing that the current energy losss in a heating climatefor walls in residential structures is about 23% of the overall loss of a home, and the roofrepresenting about 42% of the overall heat loss, I am assuming the following: 42% (total roofloss on a normal home)/ 23% (total wall loss on normal home)X 30% (the known effectivenessof ICF walls only on a home) should in theory increase the effectiveness of the above slabthermal envelope by about 54.78%.This assuming comparative R-value increases, combined with reduced air infiltration andthermal conductance characteristic differences associated with ICF construction.Below grade and under Slab effectiveness.Although smaller, below grade and under slab losss do count in the overall building heat loss,and typically represent about 7% of the total heat loss on the building. This can be reducedsubstantially through the use of effective drainage of ground water, the inclusion of foil coveredExpanded Polystyrene insulation to isolate the slab from the ground as well as ICF constructionfor the basement walls. By including 4" of EPS foam, a reflective layer of foil, and effectivesubsurface drainage, we can increase the efficiency of slab on grades and below grade areas byabout 67% over the current accepted standard of 6 mil polyethylene sheets only. Assuming thesenumbers to be accurate, we can include the following, 7% (total heat loss through the substructure area) X 67% (effective increase in thermal performance of the slab) = 4.69% (totaladded savings overall to the heat loss characteristics). Adding this to the above slab thermalenvelope effectiveness, we now have a building which is 59.47% more effective than standardconstruction methods.Window/Door factors.Outside issues, such as windows and doors have an overall heat loss characteristic of about 17%on the total home, through infiltration, loss/gain and conductance. Primarily by incorporating ahigher quality window, built with lower air infiltration rates. Less thermal conductance and theinclusion of affordable low E glass with Argon gas between two thermal panes. Existing studiesand tests prove that these types of windows and doors increase the thermal performance of suchunits by about 30%. On a home, this a relatively high factor outside of standard construction, dueto the extensive use of window area in design. We will be assuming normal use of about 15% of
  4. 4. wall area. Assuming these numbers to be correct, we can, in theory say that 17% (heat lossthrough windows and doors in standard construction) X 30% (increase in performance of higherquality windows) = 5.10% (savings in heat loss for new structure). Adding this to total thermalenvelope effectiveness, we now have a building which is 64.57% more effective than standardconstruction methods.Overall factors.Standard Ventilation factorsVentilation factors of.3 air changes per hour are a standard code requirement. Current standardsof construction achieve this through the use of exhaust fans or air changers. The proposedstandard will include a high-efficiency, dual core system from NuTech, which operates toeffectively supply.3 air changes per hour with 87% effective heat recovery from the exhaust air.Knowing that the mechanical ventilation accounts for about 8.5% of the total loss to the building,we can effectively assume the following. 8.5% (mechanical ventilation loss to building) X 87%(effectiveness of Heat Recovery Ventilation unit used) = 7.39% (increase of performance for airexchange. Adding this to the above effectiveness, we now have a building which is 71.96% moreeffective than standard construction methods.Radiant heating.Further energy savings, in the heating climate which would have a significant impact on thestudy, include Radiant Heating and high-efficiency boilers, through a hydronic installation,which is supported by existing studies to increase energy efficiencies about 20% overall. Thebase theory to support this the effectiveness of radiant heat over convected or conducted heattransfer to occupants of buildings. Taking this factor into account in a ratio for normalconstruction and the proposed ICF shell, 20% (representing standard construction methodseffective reduction in heat requirements) X (100% - 71.96%) = 28.04% (representing remainingenergy required by incorporating ICF envelope) = a further 5.61% in total energy savingsthrough the use of radiant technology. This equates to 77.57% total energy savings included inthe calculations.Thermal Mass and Heat StorageBy utilizing a compromise, the home is designed to take advantage of off-peak heating throughthe use of concrete in the structure. Effectively, the building would be utilizing the off-peakhours to store heat energy in the thermal mass of the concrete floors, for daytime use. This to beachieved simply through the use of programmable thermostats, which would store heat in theconcrete slabs during the early morning hours. The overall effectiveness is currentlyundetermined.Geothermal Applications.Through the use of passive solar collectors, installed below the roof shingles, and integral withthe ICF roof assembly, on warmer winter days, solar heated water would be used in a closed
  5. 5. parallel loop to increase the geothermal bed temperatures, thereby effectively storing heat forlater use in the ground. During summer months, the same parallel loop, will utilize rain waterand cooler nighttime temperatures, in an effort to reduce ground temperatures. Over the loops, anew product, "InsulTarp" will be installed to prevent excessive losss to the earth surface. Thisbeing studied in an effort to reduce trench depths, and loop lengths from the current standard, aswell as increase efficiency of the geothermal heat pump system. Overall effectiveness iscurrently undetermined.Geothermal units operate much more efficiently as the load decreases on the unit. When anyfluid material, (including air which acts in the same way as a fluid) requires a large delta Ttemperature increase, (the difference between the return fluid temperature and the supplied fluidtemperature) a geothermal heat pump has to work very hard to pump enough heat to supply thedemand, so the efficiency of the unit drops. This called the COP or "coefficient of performance".Most geothermal units operate with a heating COP of about 3. What the COP represents is thecomparison of the overall energy output from the unit, over the energy input to the unit. A COPrating of 3, means that for every 1 unit of energy or "watt" we put into the geothermal heatpump, we get 3 watts of heat out of it.Now here is where it changes when we combine it with ultra efficient structures, hydronic infloor heating and thermal mass.The much lower heat loss of the building, means a lower Btu output per square foot of floor area,In the case of some of our research structures, this equates to about 10-13 BTU per square foot inareas such as Michigan USA and Ontario Canada. Now, water entering the radiant system of aconcrete floor, needs only be 76 degrees F to maintain a 71 degree F temperature for theoccupants. This means that the radiant system only needs to supply a 6 degree temperature rise.This means that the coupled geothermal system now only needs to combat a heat pressuredifference (for lack of a better word) of only 5 degrees F instead of a normal 50 degree rise fornon concrete, radiant systems. Less temperature difference means more efficiency as thegeothermal system works less, to produce more. An easier way to look at is to think of water, inwhich much higher volumes can be moved a small vertical distance with the same amount ofenergy, as compared to a large vertical distance. More water per energy unit can be moved, ergoa geothermal system can move more heat per energy unit. COP ratings up to 10 can be achieved.This means that by building with concrete, and incorporating good design and materialselections, we can extend the efficiency of geothermal heat pump systems to gain efficiencies 2to 3 times that of existing geothermal pump capabilities.Strength and durability.Strength.As the entire shell, including all interior structural components consist of steel reinforcedconcrete, known to be much stronger and more resistant to active loading conditions. Typically,the components used have proven, through existing engineering, testing and analysis to faroutperform standard construction methods when subjected to dynamic loads suffered from
  6. 6. earthquakes, tornadoes, projectiles etc. Due to the decreased risk of material failure, theoccupants can enjoy a safe environment, and the structure will unlikely suffer damage in theevent of such natural or mechanical damages, which other structures are likely to fail at.Used independently, each system suffers from weak connections, such as the ICF wall with atruss roof, in which the roof becomes separated from the structure due to uplift, exposing theinterior. Although this test model does not incorporate a product line of windows and doors,designed to withstand these types of occurrences, they are currently being manufactured. Thehope is that one day we may be able to see the results from this type of construction, whenincluding windows and doors with comparatively high strength ratings. This decision was madeupon evaluation of the location in which this home was to be built, in which it would beimpractical to include. Future studies of this technology should be incorporated in a coastalstructure in the state of Florida, for a more accurate investigation into these types of components.It is suggested that the ICF walls, in existence today are about 10 times stronger than standardwood frame construction methods, it may be safe to assume, that the roof system may now havethat same capability.Durability.All of the buildings structural components are of concrete and steel. It is known that reinforcedconcrete is truly capable of spanning several centuries. Although it is not known as as to theoverall life expectancy of concrete, many researchers have suggested periods in excess of 5,000years. The secondary insulating component, Expanded Polystyrene, in a non-degradable plasticcomponent, in which it is expected to last several hundred if not thousands of years, if suitablyprotected from Ultra Violet breakdown. As all of the EPS foam which is in the building iscovered and protected from both this and mechanical damage, we can safely assume that the lifeof the structure would be in excess of 100 years. Potentially it could be equivalent to that of theconcrete, which is expected to be several thousand.The exterior stucco and stone coverings are highly durable. Utilizing Acrylic stucco compounds,these face coverings are almost impervious to degradation and breakdown, although they may besubject to mechanical damage, as they are exposed. However, these types of finish materials areeasily repaired or replaced, and can be maintained with much lower cost/year ratios than wood,vinyl or aluminum. By replacing the shingles with long-lasting Acrylic stuccos, which are alsohighly resistant to the effects of acid rain or frost action, we can extend the life of the rooffinishes well beyond those of standard asphalt shingles. The stuccos longevity is furtherenhanced as the ICF base construction on which it is applied is not only an ideal substrate,however it is dimensionally stable during temperature and humidity shifts.Mechanical Considerations.Although the strengths of the mechanical components are relatively unimportant, durabilityissues such as usable life span are reflective primarily of the wear and tear of the components.These units are expected to last a relatively short duration, as compared to the building itself, andactually should be replaced periodically as newer and more efficient units or means become
  7. 7. available. However, current technology has expanded to include such items as Heat RecoverVentilators, Air Cleaners, high-efficiency boiler systems, and radiant heating systems which areboth energy-efficient as well as cost-effective to install and operate. Most importantly, theysystems need to be de-mystified and standardized sufficiently to not only operate properly,however allow for less complicated installation methods and materials, and make thetechnologies easier for the public to access.Future Development.This initial structure will utilize components which are readily available in the marketplace toachieve the basic structure and mechanical considerations, through modification of such productsor methods. It is forecasted that this structure will cost 14.6% more than an equivalent structurebuilt to code standards for wood frame construction. Due to the costs associated with prototypemanufacturing for single project purposes of some components, this forecasted shortfall shouldeasily be reduced. The projected forecast, once all manufacturing and standardization is in placefor the products and methods of installation, is projected to be at or below the cost of woodframe code construction.The benefits associated with this type of building should not be compromised as a result. We areexpecting that as products and people become more readily available, that cost competitivenesswill reduce the prototype buildings construction costs sufficiently. Market acceptance should berelatively good, as there are no detracting features or concerns associated with efficient buildingssuch as dome structures or plastic buildings. The final product will present itself esthetically andfunctionally, identical to current residential structures.Julian Arhire is a Manager with DtiCorp.com - DtiCorp.com carries more than 35,000 HVACproducts, including industrial, commercial and residential parts and equipment from Honeywell,Johnson Contols, Robertshaw, Jandy, Grundfos, Armstrong and more.

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