December 2009 | Reinforced concrete – Expanded PolyStyrene (EPS) sandwich panel:Megatrend energy efficient and earth quake building material

Reinforced concrete – Expanded PolyStyrene (EPS) sandwich panel:

Megatrend Energy Efficient and Earth Quake Resistant Building Material

Styrofoam is a material that is familiar in our daily lives. Most of us know him as a material for packaging / packing (packaging), especially for packaging applications that require thermal insulation (thermal insulation) is good, such as packing fresh fish, other perishable foods, ice cream, and so forth. Some of us also know that styrofoam is a waste (waste) that is increasingly become a serious environmental problem, because it looks more and more berserakannya cups, blocks, and sheets of styrofoam along the eye could see at his disposal – the disposal of waste, and exacerbated its image with the fact that styrofoam This is not rot (non-biodegradeable), so that the Styrofoam waste will continue to grow if not recycled (recycled) in a professional manner. Actually the term of this Styrofoam is a trademark of Dow Chemical Corp. of the United States. So, to respect their copyrights, from this point, this article will discuss these materials with a general, that is EPS (expanded polystyrene). Fortunately, with the development of the research will use the last EPS, the use of EPS is much more insightful and responsible compared with the use for packing material (packaging) and decorations. One example of new uses of EPS is to start building panel material. The use of EPS for building materials is much more environmentally friendly than the use of EPS for packaging, for a very long-term use (the years for building use), and instead of “disposable waste” such as the EPS for the packaging. In addition, while building one day be dismantled, EPS recycling process can be carried out systematically. EPS is one of the leading companies in Europe, Jebsen & Jessen, for example, the former producing EPS only for packaging, but it’s been more than 70% turnover in Europe is from the sale of EPS to non-packaging purposes, such as for construction material applications.

Thermal Conductivity Comparison

As in the use of packaging, EPS characteristics that are useful for applications for building materials is a very superior insulation temperature. This makes the EPS as an ideal material for energy efficient buildings in tropical regions where the outside air throughout the year is always hot and humid.



One of the development of building materials by using the EPS was reinforced concrete – expanded polystyrene (EPS) sandwich panels. Basically, this material is a composite panel with a double layer of reinforced concrete that is designed specifically with a layer of expanded polystyrene in the middle. Reinforced concrete – expanded polystyrene (EPS) sandwich panel, such as for example: b-panel ®, has begun to be produced and marketed in Indonesia in recent years, and have started well received by consumers, both property developers, consultants / contractors and owners building. EPS layer functions, as well as insulating the temperature, humidity, and an effective voice, and as a reduction density of the wall, is also as formwork (formwork) during the coating process of concrete. In the example ® b-panel, form a wavy layer of EPS (Corrugated) allows terbuatnya small columns are connected along the wall (continuous micro-columns), because each high-tensile steel wire (part of wiremesh) wavelength unidirectional layers of EPS will have adequate concrete cover. This factor makes EPS sandwich wall panels become very strong, and can be part of the load retaining structure (load bearing wall).

Penampang dinding b-panel

With characteristic load bearing strength of this, then in building occupancy by using EPS sandwich panel, the number and size of columns and beams that needed to be reduced, even eliminated. For example, for most one-story building, using EPS composite panels, the room with span up to 6 meters do not require a practical column!
The advantage is of course, saving time and expense of making the column and beam structure, and also the reduction of static load structure.

With concrete coating by spraying concrete on the spot (in-situ shotcrete) on EPS panels have been installed when the entire panel, the result is a structure wall, floor, and no roof, in the form of a unitary (monocoque structure). This characteristic is very important for earthquake resistance of buildings. Where an entity has a good structure, the possibility of destruction / mass failure (catastrophic failure) occurs when an earthquake building weight can be reduced significantly.

EPS composite wall panels can be made as thick as anything, which is a layer of EPS dipertebal his b-panel wall section ® while the reinforced concrete layer thickness is constant (about 3 cm per side). With material like this composition, and density of EPS is less than 1 / 5, or 20%, by weight of the type of concrete, the building load reduction compared konvensonal wall becomes very significant, ranging from 30% for wall thickness of 10 cm, to more than 70% for a thicker wall. With a significant reduction in burden and strengthening the walls that are integrated, then the structures that use composite panels EPS has a very high strength to weight (excellent strength-to-weight ratio) reducing the burden of building a second factor of earthquake resistant buildings, as this will reduce the inertia from the moment the earthquake struck the building swaying.


Posisi bangunan

Back to the topic of energy savings and environmental friendliness, buildings using EPS composite panels can save significant costs, both initial cost (upfront cost) and operational costs long-term occupancy. The initial costs can be deducted from the reduction in capacity (pk) units A / C to be installed. While the reduction in operating costs due to the decrease in consumption (KWH) of electricity per month:
1) unit of A / C is smaller and
2) the operation of compressor A / C is reduced.

We all know that the largest component of KWH consumption of electricity is from the use of A / C. From analysis of R & D team of PT. Concrete Elemenindo Son, one of the manufacturers of composite panel EPS, thermal conductivity (thermal conductivity) EPS composite wall is only 10% of the conventional wall (brick + plasteran) for a similar wall thickness. In theory, a room made with EPS composite wall consumes only 10% of electric power A / C than conventional wall! Of course, in practice, there are other factors that make this not happen, such as thermal propagation of doors, windows, roof, and thermal leakage of air holes. But it is not surprising, if the dwelling is made of composite panels of EPS can reduce electricity load from the A / C about 20-40%. In Indonesia, most of whom are still sources of electricity generation from fossil fuels, the decline in residential electric load this will significantly reduce green house gas emissions (green house gases) and reduce the carbon footprint of each dwelling who use the material. EPS Composite Panel to allow the construction process to be faster, because composite panels are usually made (Prefabricated) with the size and shape in accordance with design drawings from the factory, making it easier installation and reduced waste at the project site. Second, the weight of the panel before the concrete is sealed with a very light (less than 5 kg per m2) greatly facilitates the logistics and handling of materials by artisans in the project.


Financial benefit

Finally, with the price premium above par in conventional materials, the use of EPS composite panels provide a clear financial advantage for the user / owner occupancy. In addition, non-financial benefits were not to be ignored, such as the occupancy is more comfortable (due to temperature fluctuations is awake), quiet and privacy is assured (due to good sound insulation) and secure from break-ins (due to a double layer of reinforced concrete on all walls). And for the earthquake-prone areas (covering more than 80% of the population of Indonesia’s population), the use of composite panels of EPS can mean saving someone’s life at a time when big quake. Therefore, the composite panel producers of EPS in the homeland would expect receipt of this material as the material of choice for the majority of construction in the near future.

Jenis produk b-panel


IAI Magazine – Warta: Buletin Ikatan Arsitek Indonesia, issue two, December 2009 [ PDF ] 1MB;
Techno Konstruksi Mzgazine edition 21 year 2010

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