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Frequently Asked Questions

 

Why is building with concrete panels more advantageous than using regular masonry techniques?

Concrete is flexible and can be cast in many different shapes. Our casting techniques allow us to integrate a variety of trims and other architectural elements at no added cost. In traditional masonry, every additional element comes with a price tag. Depending on the complexity of the design, the addition of window and door trims, porticoes or French-style quoins significantly increase the overall cost.

Panels can quickly be installed on site and form both the structure and the architectural style of the building. Whatever the season, the product’s quality and its installation process never vary. Masonry work can be lengthy. Bad weather or cold temperatures interrupt the work, unless the construction site is under shelter. Moreover, brick or stone mortar used for the joints has a much greater tendency to create efflorescence (white streaks) in winter.

Why do you not design an air space in the wall cavity?

In traditional construction, wall insulation is provided by mineral wool boards that are in fact 95% air. The cold and warm air mix together in the wall cavity, reaching what is called « dew point temperature ». This phenomenon generates condensation. The mineral wool boards need to be drained of that moisture, otherwise fungus can appear quickly. However, even with the best insulation materials and good air circulation, sooner or later the mineral wool shrinks and the cold leaks in. This in turn creates more condensation, increasing contamination risks and the odds of fungus or mildew developing in the wall cavities.

The Avac Beton’s system, on the other hand, relies only on solid, core-filled, rigid materials. There is no risk of contamination, since there is no air-filled cavity. The same principle applies to thermal windows and steel doors; they are designed without air space. In summary, no air contamination means no condensation or fungus growth.

Why do you not use air barrier or vapor barrier membrane in your system?

Ambient air, temperature, wind and atmospheric pressure all create a certain pressure on a building. A pressure difference as slight as 5 kPa between the indoor and outdoor exerts a stress of 100 pounds per square feet. It causes materials to expand and contract. This phenomenon creates cavities in the building envelope and tears in the air barrier or vapor barrier membranes. Air pockets then appear between the wood or steel frame studs or between the siding and wall sheathing. These cavities create a heat bridge with the exterior. The condensing air and humidity weaken the structure. That’s how cracks appear, heat escapes and heating bills skyrocket! Even worse, more serious damage (corrosion, wood decay, brick crumbling) can occur in the hidden cavities located in the roof or walls. Source : Air pressure and building envelope.

To counteract this process, the Avac Beton’s Limestone system uses only « solid » (core-filled) materials that hardly react to atmospheric pressure. The building envelope is sealed and preserves its integrity. As there are no heat bridge or air pocket in the walls, there is no condensation either.

Is the brick finish applied on the panels shock-resistant?

As with all our finishes, the brick facing is not only shock-resistant but also resistant to water infiltration, erosion and chipping. Watch this demonstration comparing standard wall building materials with precast concrete panels. It’s quite impressive!

VideoHow precast concrete panels protect your house