What is your biggest competitive advantage?
We give our clients the ability to have high-quality construction completed in a much more rapid, and less wasteful manner, which can certainly result in tremendous savings of time and money, and yield greater comfort, energy savings, and sustainability.
How much do the panels cost?
Prices vary with the number of panels, their complexity, and the kind of internal structure selected to be used (metal, wood, fiberglass, or MGO plates, studs, and splines). A rule of thumb is to budget CA$12-13/s.f. of wall area, with additional costs for additional headers and studs at larger openings.
What do you mean by wall panels?
We manufacture panels (4’ wide x 8’, 9’, or 10’ tall, x desired thickness) made of MgO board and rigid insulation that are adhered under pressure, and are highly suitable for the rapid assembly of buildings. Even though we call our panels an “Engineered Wall System”, our panels are also very suitable for use in foundations, floors, roofs, and decks. It’s simply a matter of what structure we put inside them and how they are finished in the field.
Is it less expensive than stick built construction?
The basic materials costs are more expensive than stick built materials, but the savings in time can more than compensate for the materials pricing, often saving months of construction time, and financing costs while delivering a higher quality finished product. If a stick built wall was to be built up to the performance standards of the C3 walls, then the material and labor costs for the stick wall system would be about the same as for C3 panels, and the time required on the job site would be much greater than panels.
Tell me, is it more expensive than conventional building?
Costs are entirely design-dependent. Costs for conventional buildings can be misleading as they often don’t include materials necessary to achieve the full level of performance available from the C3 Engineered Wall System™, nor do they often reflect the longer periods of time typically required to erect conventional buildings. Still, if the design for the building is one where it makes sense to use panels, then the panel solution typically results in less expenses overall than conventional construction, and huge savings in time on the job site.
Where are your panels made?
All of our panels are currently made in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada, and additional manufacturing locations are currently being established.
What is the pricing like compared to other similar products?
Like all products and projects, prices vary by design, quantity, quality, schedule, and budgets, but the most respected estimating company in the United States, RSMeans, has proven that the use of panelized construction can be up to 55% faster, and 41% less expensive to erect than stick framing — and be of higher quality too. Read the full report here.
What does your company do?
We provide what we know is the best solution to the need for speed, economy, durability, safety, sustainability, and efficiency in creating buildings. We do that by providing a robust, panelized system that is engineered to the needs of the project for optimal economy and efficiency. While our C3 Engineered Wall System™ might not be the best choice in every project, our system is highly suitable for most types of buildings and occupancies.
What new developments are you now working on?
To maintain our “trade secrets”, we don’t normally divulge the nature of the research and development projects. We can say, however, that we are developing even better ways to build, especially as it relates to speed, safety, health, sustainability, and economy.
What new R&D work have you incorporated into your products?
While most manufacturers of panelized wall systems supply only OSB-faced panels with wood interior studs, we have developed a non-combustible system that begins with the highest quality materials available. The system is then engineered to suit the requirements of each project, with panels pre-cut at the factory according to shop drawings that are specially prepared for each project. We also incorporate a specially designed quality control program to maintain uniformly positive results.
What applications do you foresee for MgO cement?
Magnesium Oxide cement is a low-carbon intensity alternative to standard Portland cement, and could potentially lower man-made CO2 generation significantly in most cement-based industries.
Is MgO cement well understood?
Perhaps, surprisingly so. Magnesium-based cements have been in use for hundreds of years — including the construction of the Great Wall of China — and various formulations have been discovered and developed throughout that time. In the last few decades, renewed interest because of its “greener” nature have resulted in a significant generation of research and literature.
How much time can be saved in a normal project?
Even though time and money savings vary with the project, MGO’s projects and those of our clients’ are designed and engineered to be as efficient as practical, and so savings of construction time are often half of that traditionally experienced. Savings in money are typically also significant, but they are highly dependent upon the simplicity or complexity of the design.
Do you guys install as well?
We install in those areas where we are licensed to do so, or we can train others to do the installation. Licensure’s change from time to time, so please give us a call.
How is the product time saving?
Pre-cut panels are simply faster to erect than most other kinds of construction. RS Means has verified that our kind of panels can be up to 55% faster and 41% less expensive to erect than stick framing, and our products are of higher quality, safer, and more sustainable. Read the full report here.
How efficient are the panels vs stick build and ICF?
A home or building efficiently designed using our C3 Engineered Wall System™ will be the most efficient use of materials and resources — saving time and money, as well as being the most efficient saver of energy by reducing consumption and climate impact. The C3 Engineered Wall System is the answer to efficiency demands: light, strong, noncombustible, adaptable, and fast, while being more comfortable, healthier, and safer.
What is the cost comparison to stick-built?
Costs are dependent upon the design of the project, and panels do cost more than stick framing, however the huge time-savings provided by panels typically make the C3 Engineered Wall System the best choice, financially and in the long run. Panel walls are straighter, the energy savings are greater, and the impact on the environment is lower. Combine that superior energy efficiency with a renewable energy solution and a building has the potential to produce more energy than it consumes, saving more dollars than possible with stick built construction.
How do you handle the seams?
Panel seams are typically glued-solid when the panels are assembled. A good quality construction adhesive, such as Liquid Nails, will make a strong and smooth connection. Expansion joints can be utilized for longer wall runs, if deemed necessary by the Architect or Engineer of Record.
How long does it take for the panels to be delivered once ordered?
Shop workloads vary with the economy, but we can often ship panels within 4-6 weeks of the approval of shop drawings. Please call for a firm estimate.
What are MgO SIP panels and how do they work?
Our panels are a “sandwich” of 2 sheets of magnesium oxide (“MgO”) boards, like cement boards — but better — factory-glued to both faces of a core of expanded polystyrene (“EPS”). The panels are typically 6 ½” thick for exterior walls, 4 ½” for interior, and 4’ wide by 8’, 9’, or 10’ tall. We join the panels to each other at the job site with splines that are selected for the project, using glue and screws. They stack and connect in any direction and across spans as necessary.
What’s the true energy savings?
How a building is managed makes a world of difference in energy usage, but if all things were equal and a stick-built home’s energy usage were compared to a home built using our C3 Engineered Wall System™, one would find that the C3 home is 5-times more airtight and that the walls have an effective R-Value that is up to twice that of a fiberglass insulated wood stud wall, especially if the wall is in a very cold climate. Energy savings and cost savings will vary, but as a rule of thumb, one can often design mechanical systems for our homes that are 40% smaller (or more) than that for a stick-built home.
Are your panels certified as LEED qualified?
The LEED rating system does not certify any particular products or systems. What it does is allow a LEED Accredited Professional to calculate the number of credits or points that can be scored by the use of various energy saving and other beneficial strategies in a building’s design, construction, and operation. A building may be LEED Certified if it scores 40 or more points, and we have determined that it is possible to score +/- 35 points just by using our C3 panels in the proper manner, making the goal of LEED certification much more achievable.
Can you explain what a C3 Engineered Wall System is?
The C3 Engineered Wall System™ is a proprietary method of construction, using precisely-manufactured panels that are rapidly joined together in the field. Each structural panel is comprised of ½” thick Cast Cement Composite (C3) sheets, adhered under pressure to cores of expanded polystyrene (EPS), and strengthened with internal supports. These panels are typically 6 ½” thick for exterior walls and 4’ wide by 8’, 9’, or 10’ tall as single units. They also may be “ganged” together in the factory and shipped to the job site in sizes as large as can be trucked, which is typically 8’ wide x 40’ long. With the proper design and engineering, a building made of C3 panels will be the most efficient building available today.
Will they burn?
MGO’s C3 Panels are classified as “Noncombustible”, and the face sheets produce Zero Smoke and Zero Flame in the ASTM E-84 Fire Tunnel test. Since nothing is truly fire-proof, given enough time and high enough temperatures, the foam cores will eventually evaporate and the panel will fail, but only after lasting longer than the time for which they are listed.
What are C3 Panels made of?
The C3 Panels are a “sandwich” construction of a proprietary Cast Cement Composite (C3) board glued under pressure to a core of expanded polystyrene (EPS) insulation, and with studs, plates, spines, and cleats selected for optimum price-to-performance characteristics. All C3 Panels are engineered to be as cost-efficient as is reasonable for the project.
Are C3 Panels suitable for flooding conditions?
No, the panels should not be used where flooding would cause them to be saturated with water. While the C3 and EPS components are unaffected by water, it’s always best to protect the panels from inclement weather during construction and to seal them well so that they do not take on moisture and have to be dried out.
What is the difference between an MgO board and an ordinary cement board?
MgO boards have much improved characteristics compared to cement boards, such as fire-resistance, weatherability, strength, resistance to mold, and flexibility. Ordinary cement boards, such as HardieBacker™ are not intended for exterior use, come in smaller sizes, are seldom made into structural insulated panels, and are a more brittle materials that is harder to work with. Cement boards produce 50% more carbon dioxide in their manufacturing compared to MgO boards. Additionally, cement boards consume more energy and money in their manufacturing since the raw Portland cement material (limestone) must be fired at 2,000-2,800 deg. F (1100-1,500 deg. C) while the magnesite ore is fired at 1,200- 1,300 deg. F (650-700 deg. C).
Why is the world not using MgO-based cement more universally if it’s so amazing?
The Terracotta Army at Xi’an, the Great Wall of China (MgO-based mortar & soil-brick stabilizer), the Pantheon in Rome (“pozzolana” in the cement contained MgO & other metal oxides mined at Magnesia, Rome), ancient Hindu stupas in India, the Brooklyn Bridge, and other older buildings are examples of how this “new green” technology has in fact been around for thousands of years. Much of the Western World moved away from using MgO-based cements since there are not many sites in the West where the magnesite can be mined and since there is an abundance of limestone to quarry in the West with which to make Portland cement. Nowadays, people are rediscovering the superior benefits of MgO-based materials and the mines where the magnesite ore is available are becoming more active. In Asia, MgO-based materials continue to be the main type of cement used, while imports of MgO-based materials from China are growing as the suppliers establish better quality control procedures. For further examples of MgO’s superiority compared to Portland cement, please see here.
What is the R-Value rating?
For a typical, exterior, 6½” thick panel, the calculated R-Value is 25, however the effective R-Value can be up to 29, depending upon temperatures encountered.
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