Sep 3 2007
An innovative wall panel system is gaining widespread attention in the construction industry from commercial building contractors and residential builders, as well as from building owners. The system, known as the accel-E wall panel system, was developed by ACCELERATED™ Building Technologies, LLC, a company formed by two leading construction product manufacturers, Dietrich Metal Framing and NOVA Chemicals.
"The accel-E wall panel system combines the strength and performance of cold-formed steel framing with the superior insulation properties of expandable polystyrene," said Andy Claypole, president of ACCELERATED Building Technologies. "The result is a superior building technology that replaces traditional framing, insulation and sheathing components with a single, easily installed system."
Using a proprietary production technology, the steel framing components and expandable polystyrene (EPS) are fused together to create energy efficient and strong structural insulating panels. The resulting accel-E wall panel system offers many benefits to building contractors and building owners alike, Claypole said.
"The accel-E wall panel system enables contractors to reduce both the size and required skill levels of their on-site construction crews," said Claypole. "The simple installation process also shortens the construction cycle."
Since the panels are designed specifically to each project's specifications, on-site waste and disposal costs are also cut dramatically, he said.
Another significant benefit is the superior quality of accel-E panel construction, Claypole said.
"In traditional wood framing techniques, the wood can warp and bend over time, causing nail pops and walls that tend to sag and bow," he explained. "Since the rigid accel-E panels maintain their alignment indefinitely, these problems are alleviated - which means builders experience fewer construction defects and callbacks."
He added that, as significant as the accel-E system's benefits to building contractors are, the long-term benefits to building owners are, in many ways, even more impressive. For example, the EPS technology employed in the accel-E wall panel system offers superior energy efficiency, which reduces both heating and cooling costs.
"The energy-saving advantages of the accel-E wall panel system are an extremely important consideration in today's energy environment," Claypole noted.
The EPS in the accel-E panels also offers improved sound dampening characteristics, a benefit that is not only appealing to residential building owners, but also to commercial building owners who are concerned about the acoustic profile of manufacturing operations and other similar facilities.
Accel-E panels provide Green Building advantages by being environmentally friendly, energy efficient, sustainable and recyclable, Claypole added.
"The use of accel-E panels is a contributor to LEED® points - another key factor in today's energy-conscious design and construction industry," he said.
Accel-E panels are fabricated in a variety of thicknesses, ranging from 5½ to 8 inches, depending on individual project requirements. Panels can be any height up to 48 feet. Window and door openings are precut for quick on-site installation. The open cavity on the panel's interior offers generous space for electrical and plumbing components. The materials used in the panels are fire resistant, and also resist mold, mildew, termites and other insects.
"With so many advantages, we are finding tremendous interest in this innovative approach in the construction industry," Claypole concluded.