ICC-ES says carbon fiber grid-reinforced wall panels meet code

The report from ICC Evaluation Service shows that carbon grid-reinforced insulated precast building panels meet acceptance criteria and makes it easier for building contractors and architects to specify the product.

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CarbonCast high performance insulated wall panels, manufactured by the Bethlehem, Pa.-based Altus Group — 16 North American and three international concrete precasters — have been certified “code compliant” by ICC Evaluation Service (ICC-ES, Whittier, Calif.). CarbonCast panels feature innovative carbon fiber composite C-GRID shear truss connectors and rigid foam insulation. C-GRID is the enabling technology in CarbonCast that connects the panel’s inner and outer wythes (vertical sections of concrete; see illustration). The high-strength carbon fiber grid’s relatively low thermal conductivity results in negligible thermal transfer through the panel. As a result, the panels meet ASHRAE 90.1 standards and can significantly reduce energy consumed to heat or cool a structure.
Panels were tested in accordance with ICC-ES Acceptance Criteria AC-422, published by the International Code Council (ICC, Washington D.C.). The ICC-ES report, ESR#2953, was published in February 2014.

Building officials, architects, contractors, specifiers and designers reportedly use ICC-ES Evaluation Reports as a basis for using or approving products in construction projects under various ICC building codes. Further, many municipalities and building jurisdictions require ICC-ESR certification before allowing use of a structural building product in their area.
“Altus Group precast manufacturers can now reference the evaluation report to assure building officials and the building industry that the product meets I-Code requirements,” comments ICC-ES president Shahin Moinian. “Building departments have a long history of using evaluation reports, and ICC-ES operates as a technical resource with the highest quality of product review for the building department,” he explains, but points out that “final approval of building products is always in the hands of the local regulatory agency.”

ICC-ES reportedly examined Altus Group’s product information, test reports, calculations, and quality control methods thoroughly. Testing for much of the ICC-ES criteria was completed in the accredited Constructed Facilities Laboratory of North Carolina State University (Raleigh, N.C.) and the test results were examined alongside data from prior research and testing done at other independent laboratories and agencies.

John Carson, executive director of Altus Group, says the report capped two years of testing and close cooperation with the ICC.  “We are confident that this report represents the most significant body of test work for shear flow and insulated sandwich panels and insulation systems to date,” he says.

Jason Lien, the VP of design for EnCon United (Denver, Colo.), who coordinated the submission effort for Altus Group’s Technical Committee, adds, “The report should put to rest any and all performance questions concerning the CarbonCast technology using expanded polystyrene (EPS) insulation and carbon fiber grid shear trusses.”

Altus Group precasters have installed more than 28 million ft2 (2.6 million m2) of CarbonCast wall and deck area on more than 700 structures since the technology’s introduction in 2004.

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