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This type of construction system consists of an internal and external sleeve of Styrofoam or Neopor linked together by ties to form a building block.

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The blocks are pushed together in a manner similar to lego to form a wall. The wall is then pump filled with concrete to form a solid structural element of the building. Work can be performed in almost all weather conditions.

Special trestles assist to give the walls a precise lining and provide a working platform off which to pour the concrete.

A superior quality system known as styrostones, ICF or PIF will provide a wall shutter capable of safely accepting a concrete pour of up to 3m high in one continuous pour. This determines that most projects can be built one storey at a time = less pump visits . Where time is critical, the project can be fast tracked to a weather tight stage in a minimum period. This enables all the follow on trades to mobilise earlier thus saving money in all areas.

The density of the Styrofoam/Neopor should be at least 25g/l or 25kg/m³ to be robust enough to withstand the pressure of a concrete pour and sufficient compaction.

Boards formed from Neopor have a superior thermal insulation value than that of a Styrofoam board of equal dimensions. Styrofoam however is inexpensive and might be sufficient for certain climate conditions.

The core for the concrete is usually 150mm and suitable for 95% of all European buildings. Dwellings of up to 6 storeys high and earthquake proof up to Richter scale 7 can be constructed using a 150mm core. For other cases a 200mm core for concrete can be provided.

There are 4 basic concepts for the ties:

  • ties of styrofoam/Neopor (monolithic styrostone)
  • pre-fixed ties of plastic
  • pre-fixed ties of metal
  • separate delivery of ties to be assembled with the boards on the construction site

advantages and disadvantages of the different concepts:

ties of styrofoam/Neopor (monolithic styrostone)

  • + inexpensive production
  • + more insulation due to styrofoam/Neopor grid

  • - lower fire protection
  • - lower acoustical value

  • suitable for detached homes

pre-fixed plastic ties

  • + fire protection
  • + superior acoustic protection
  • + speed of reinforcement placement
  • + very robust while pouring concrete

  • - price

  • good choice for most constructions

pre-fixed metal ties

  • + cheap in production
  • + fire protection
  • + acoustical protection
  • + speed of reinforcement placement
  • + robust while pouring concrete

  • - metal is a high thermal conductor and therefore can significantly reduce the insulation properties of the boards

  • - can be hazardous to cut on site

separate delivery of ties to be assembled on the construction site

  • + cheap in production
  • + fire protection
  • + acoustical protection
  • + easy reinforcement
  • + possible savings in transport

  • - not as robust while pouring concrete
  • - additional labour cost on site and inferior quality control

  • good choice for extreme long distance delivery and negligible labour costs on site