A small case with broad perspectives

Two innovators within the construction industry are entering into a solid partnership concerning development of new ultrathin wall structures with one of the best insulation values on the market.

Hi-Con’s new administration building will help set the agenda for innovation of materials in the construction industry. It’s unique qualities make it possible to unite design and durability while saving space. “The benefits are unmistakable”, says Tommy Bæk Hansen, development manager for the construction project, which, incidentally, is referred to as “the impossible construction”:

The idea behind this particular project is to show what we can do with our solutions, thanks to some rather interesting materials and techniques. Something that previously posed a challenge is now actually possible and it gives architects and contractors unique a freedom with regards to design.

One of the strong features of the new administration building is the ultrathin wall structures, where concrete is cast with a special type of insulation material containing unique properties that make it possible to retain the desired dimensions of the building, while getting the maximum potential out of the space. Development of the new wall structures is being done in collaboration with insulation experts from Bramming Plast-Industri A/S, a company with more than 40 years’ experience in customised insulation solutions -both simple and more complex.

Concrete that breaks all boundaries

Wall constructions with the InotanPIR® material mounted on the inside

The new alternative wall structures in the project are comprised of two different materials, which in combination with each other result in unmatched properties. Hi-Con is renowned for creating premium architecture without sacrificing either strength or durability. Their innovative concrete casting technique uses the unique material called CRC i2® (Compact Reinforced Composite). CRC i2® is a special type of steel fibre-reinforced high-strength concrete originally developed and patented by Aalborg Portland, which has proven to be an incredibly strong and malleable material. It provides outstanding freedom of design that allows for development of interesting solutions interesting solutions for areas including facade and wall elements, balconies and staircases.

InotanPIR® does away with traditional insulation methods

To maintain the very narrow wall dimensions, we needed to use an insulating material that was fully able to match Hi-Cons uncompromised profile and quality. The result was a new insulation solution, better known as InotanPIR®, developed and produced by Bramming Plast-Industri A/S. As opposed to other insulating materials, such as mineral wool, the material is characterized by its superb insulating properties, hydrophobic properties and strength. InotanPIR® documented as having one of the best insulation values on the market, ​​with a lambda value of approximately 0.023 W/mK.

The material also has an incomparable, detectable strength, which, unlike other insulating materials, allows it to be integrated into very narrow structures. InotanPIR® has a closed cell structure, which means it is water resistant and also has additional fire retardant properties. The unique features result in extra residential space that cannot be achieved through conventional insulation methods:

Briefly speaking, InotanPIR® insulates twice as well as products typically used in construction today. This means that you can actually achieve the same insulation value in e.g. a wall structure by only using half the material. It offers some major industrial advantages in construction projects. Plus, it also provides added freedom of design when it comes to handling the material”, explains Bramming Plast-Industri’s CEO, Jesper Brix.

A cost-effective solution for the construction industry

Wall constructions with the InotanPIR® material mounted on the inside

But are there any downsides to the material? Well, if you ask Hi-Con, the solution has actually resulted in an optimised process. This year alone, Bramming Plast-Industri A/S invested DKK 5 million. in a fully automated line that can handle everything from 3-D with 5-axis machining for production lines that format blocks in special dimensions to avoid waste. It has provided a higher degree of flexibility, as it can handle the entire process from production to delivery, and even in special sizes for customized solutions. There is also the advantage of saving on expensive labour costs, as several stages are cut out of the value chain. The set-up is fully automatic and fits accurately in concrete castings – an easy and cost effective production process for Hi-Con throughout the entire project. Last, but not least, the solution allows for optimal use of space while maintaining an optimal insulation value in relation to standards in modern buildings. The collaboration is a win-win solution for both parties and, in particular, for the construction industry.

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