Construction Today - January 2017 - 56
Commercial | FABCON PRECAST
designed to delay the transfer
of heat in and out of buildings.
be up to 13.6 feet wide, enabling customers
to determine the R-values that best fit local
building codes and client specifications.
There are three primary methods to
measuring R-value: testing, calculation or
computer modeling. In the past, Fabcon used
the calculation method to determine the
R-value of a panel. However, the company
recently completed a finite element analysis,
enabling it to switch to more accurate computer modeling, according to Miks.
Using the modeling method, Fabcon builds
the cross-sectional element of the material
it wants the program to study. The program
then does a steady state analysis on that
element to identify the insulation properties
of the material and its resistance to heat
transfers. From there, Fabcon can convert
the information into an R-value. "That has
given us a truer representation of the thermal
performance of the panels," Miks explains.
Fabcon began using the computer modeling method this past summer in response to
modified code standards from the American
Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). "That was
something we thought was prudent knowing
how some of the building codes are identifying ASHRAE [standards]," Miks says.
CONSTRUCTION-TODAY.COM JANUARY 2017
Having a more accurate R-value gives
developers and contractors a better picture
of the entire thermal envelope of their
structure. This in turn translates into
understanding the building's potential
A panel's R-value is only one component
in a project's total thermal performance.
Miks says it's important not to get caught
up in the insulation rating of individual
parts. A typical window might have an
R-value of between 2 and 2.5 but the small
size has an insignificant impact on the
building's total thermal envelope. The key
is looking at how all those elements interact to create overall building performance.
Most of the insulating properties of
a building come from the roof. Even a
half-inch of additional thickness can
make a significant impact on the thermal
envelope. But by having a more accurate
understanding of R-value of Fabcon's
panel, contractors and architects might
be able to shave down the roof to save on
construction costs while still meeting the
same energy efficiency goals.
A mass wall or Fabcon panel for in-
'That has given us a truer
of the thermal
of the panels.'
stance, could be used on the sunny side
of the building to delay the transfer of
energy from the hot exterior. The mass
wall performs such that by the time the
heat penetrates the panel it will no longer
be peak hours of energy consumption.
It takes less energy for the building's air
conditioning to maintain temperature or
uses energy at a cheaper rate.
The company can also help builders meet
LEED goals on the product side of the
sustainability equation. VersaCore+Green
panels are made from up to 58 percent
recycled materials, which include coarse