PATH - A Public Private Partnership for Advancing Housing Technology

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Whole House Design Through the Application of Multi-functional Precast Panels

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

* Michael W. Ellis, Principal Investigator
* Yvan J. Beliveau, Co-Principal Investigator

Start: October 1, 2002
Expires: September 30, 2005


Multi-functional Precast Panel (MPP) systems for residential construction promise to advance the goals of whole house design by providing homes that are more durable, more resistant to natural disasters, more energy efficient, and more affordable than homes constructed with current practices. With MPP systems, high performance precast concrete materials comprise the structure of the house as well as the interior and exterior finishes. Insulation is embedded within the concrete assembly where it forms a continuous barrier to heat and moisture transfer. Utility distribution systems including radiant heating and cooling and electrical raceways are incorporated directly in the precast concrete panels. Energy collection is achieved from sunlit roof surfaces.

The entire system is formed in panels at a precast manufacturing plant and shipped to the job site where the exterior of the home can be erected on a concrete slab in a matter of days. Properly designed manufacturing processes, reduced site labor, and the benefits of system integration can help to keep the first cost of the home at or below the cost of current construction while the durability and energy saving advantages can dramatically reduce the long-term costs of ownership.

The objectives of the proposed research include the development of: (1) conceptual plans for manufacturing systems for MPP systems; (2) methods for on-site assembly; (3) designs for embedded energy collection and distribution systems; (4) detailed estimates of the effect of MPP construction on the cost of ownership; and (5) implementation plans for MPP technology. These objectives will be pursued in collaboration with housing industry participants and will support the development and deployment of an entirely new technology for the housing industry.

To view additional details on this NSF award, click here.

Content updated on 9/21/2005

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