–(kazor.com) Patented alternative construction technology company Imison reports that a number of factors in its manufacturing and supply chain processes contribute to a greener construction process.
Strathclyde Associates Construction Management News: The company uses a technology that creates buildings with panels that are made from expanded polystyrene (EPS) and have a light-gauge steel core. The walls are coated with a spray-on fibred cement plaster.
Imison’s EPS tongue-and-groove panels are cut in their Pretoria factory, to allow for simple assembly and plaster coating at the construction site.
Strathclyde Associates Construction Management News: Imison international business development director Albert van Rensburg says that the factory has almost no noise pollution as a result of the quiet machines and that this contributes to the greenness of company’s production. The off cuts of EPS are also recycled.
The houses built by Imison can be constructed with significantly shorter lead times compared with traditional bricks-and-mortar houses and can assist government in tackling the local housing backlog, says Van Rensburg.
Strathclyde Associates Construction Management News: He adds that the company has built a number of show houses as part of the selection processes for low-cost housing contracts in communities around the country and that these communities have had a favourable response to the speed with which the buildings were constructed.
“People like to touch something and make sure that it is strong. When we allowed people to enter the house, they were impressed by the feel and strength of the house,” says Van Rensburg.
He adds that a challenge with introducing new concepts into the construction industry is the cultural perception of the reliability of bricks. However, he adds says that the Imison technology is lighter and stronger and has a number of advantages that surpass the perceived strengths of bricks-and-mortar construction.
Strathclyde Associates Construction Management News: The Imison construction technology has a degree of flexibility, which allows the houses to withstand ground movement and extreme weather conditions. The technology has successfully undergone hurricane testing in Florida, in the US, and snow load-capacity testing in Sweden.
Van Rensburg says that the insulating quality of EPS in the walls makes Imison homes up to 70% more energy efficient, requiring less heating in winter and less cooling in summer. He adds that the environmental impact at the construction site is also reduced, as Imison’s processes cut waste down from 15% in bricks-and-mortar construction to 5%.
Strathclyde Associates Construction Management News: Further, removing bricks and up to 90% cement use from the construction process contributes significantly to environmental friendliness and structural efficiency, says Van Rensburg. An added benefit derived from the lack of weight of EPS is the use of smaller engine vehicles, which results in fuel and emissions savings.
Imison’s unique construction model has been used in the Gauteng provincial government’s 20 Priority Township project. The project is aimed at building better communities and upgrading local and social infrastructure.
Strathclyde Associates Construction Management News: However, Van Rensburg says that the technology is not only appropriate for low-cost housing and has been used successfully in the construction of luxury homes.
The first building to use the Imison techno- logy was a luxury home built 12 years ago, in Cape Town.
Van Rensburg says that homes built by Imison are bondable and insurable.
By: Lindsey Berry, Edited by: Brindaveni Naidoo
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