Preformed walls instead of stud/sheetrock construction?


Somebody at work told me about a new type of wall construction (residential). It is made of pressed board on each side filled with foam and is fully structural, no studs. I may have the details confused but that was the basic idea. Has anybody heard of something like this and could share some info?
-Jim
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It has been around at least 20 years that I'm aware of. People are often reluctant to use "new" methods because they are different that what has been used for centuries. They are superior though.
SIPS, Structural Insulated Panels is the term to look for. An example is http://www.thermalfoams.com/construction/sip.htm
If you want strong construction and good insulation, also consider ICFs. Insulating Concrete Forms www.polysteel.com or www.integraspec.com They also make for a very quiet house.
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Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

Edwin,
I took a look at those sites. The first one had a nice video explaining how it works, very interesting. I'm going to give them a call for more info. I just wonder how they do plumbing and electrical, especially after construction is done.
-Jim
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There is a sub-industry to provide the tools for working with those types of materials. One is http://www.wind-lock.com/public/main/default.asp
I know they try to design the plumbing for interior walls and have a tree go up that way. Electrical is doe with a cut out by a hot knife for the foam.
If I was building anew house today, I'g go with one of these methods. Construction cost is very competitive with stick built and thee is savings for years in energy.
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Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

Thank you. I called one of the companies that does the wood/foam sandwich type. They told me they put vertical channels every 16 inches on center and 2 horizontal channels in every panel. They are about 1.5" in diameter. Of course, locating them years later might be tough, but they are there.
-Jim
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In 1978, I worked for a firm in Southern Louisiana that made walk in coolers and freezers. One of the engineers there came up with the idea of making preformed panels that could be used in the housing industry.
IIRC, they were simple 2 x 4 construction skinned over with different types of coverings, both on the interior and exterior. They were then held in a hydraulic press, and a two element expanding foam was injected. The mixture had to be precise, as overfilling caused some of the presses to be blown apart, pulling the anchors from concrete floors.
All in all, about 30 houses were built with this construction, and they had a very good R value. They are not very advanced in nature, construction, or components. They locked together with the regular cam locks used in commercial refrigerated boxes. They also cam locked to the top and bottom plates.
Funny. I haven't really heard much more about these in the past 28 years until now.
Steve
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