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Re: Intergrid

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I'm involved with a similar material currently, and live on the west coast
in a Zone 3 area.  We're building a high-bay warehouse out of something
called RASTRA.  They use it all the time in Europe.  It's a stay-in-place
concrete form that is made of styrofoam like beads coated in concrete, and
the mfg calls this "Thastyron" (similar or same as Intergrid?).  It has 6.3"
diameter cores at 15" o.c. both ways. We designed the building using slender
wall design procedures for a given vertical core, and ignored the styrofoam
completely.  Essentially, this is just a concrete building design.  The main
problem we ran into was preventing the cores from being over-reinforced
while still getting enough strength & stiffness for a relatively slender
wall.  I think, the material would work very well for residential
construction, but to be sure, there is a lot more engineering that is needed
compared to a wood framed building.  Cost per square foot shipped was around
$3.55/sq. ft, and construction is in process and going well.  The system
accepts a stucco finish directly (which I believe is the normal method of
finish), unlike other styrofoam systems I've seen.  Electrical and piping
can be attatched by cutting out the stryofoam as needed, without too much
fuss and I've heard of some people actually running electrical conduit in
the cores of the cells too.  

UC Irvine did some research on this stuff...see report # RAL-20177, November
1996, by Carla Yland and Medhat Haroun.  The have a web page at: Phone in USA:  (888) 727-8721, located in Santa Barbara, CA.
Both UL and ICBO have seen this stuff, too.


Joe McCormick

At 06:46 PM 9/30/97 -0500, you wrote:
>Is anyone familiar with the performance of a CMU-like building material
called Intergrid?
>I've got an architect who wants to use it for residential 2-story
construction in a
>non-seismic area (Texas).  From my understanding, Intergrid is made of
mortar with
>small styrofoam spheres that reduce weight, allow for much larger block
sizes and
>raise the R value to 38.  Rebar is inserted vertically and horizontally and
the voids
>Any information regarding durability, cost, structural capacity, detailing,
ability to
>accomodate plumbing and electrical, manufacturer websites or general
pitfalls would
>be appreciated.
>Dean Van Landuyt,  P.E.