IRVING, TEXAS–BASED HANSON Pipe & Precast says it has developed a lightweight precast concrete wall system that could revolutionize the home building industry, particularly in coastal regions that are susceptible to strong winds and flooding.
“This is a solution to the Gulf Coast rebuilding,” says Chris Davis, a sales manager at the company. “The system is hurricane-resistant, water-resistant, and termite-resistant.”
Dubbed AeroDwell, the custom wall panel system is made from cellular concrete that contains micro-air bubbles, resulting in a panel that is light, strong, and fire-resistant, the company says.
The panels eliminate the need for framing, insulation, exterior sheathing, and interior gypsum panels. Jeff Mason, regional marketing director for Hanson, says builders will simply apply stucco, brick, siding, or stone to the exterior and screw into the walls as they would in a conventional wall. “It is a much quicker method of construction,” he says. “You could erect a house in as little as two or three days.” Additionally, all of the electrical conduits, openings for doors, windows, and telephones are cast into the panels.
So what's the catch? Though the panels will cost about 5 percent to 10 percent more than conventional framing, the system rewards users with immediate savings, Davis says. The homeowner would save money on insurance premiums, builders could reduce the size of the HVAC system, and the house will be more energy efficient.
AeroDwell is being used in the New Orleans rebuilding effort, and the company is in talks with major insurance companies about lowering homeowners' premiums when the system is used to construct a home. The system is also undergoing the Dade County, Fla., approval process. For more information, visit www.aerodwell.com.
Learn more about markets featured in this article: Dallas, TX.