The Swift Therm system uses interlocking panels moulded from high strength EPS and/or XPS insulation. The panels are secured in position using a combination of plastic and metal fixings, reinforcing steel bars if required are clicked into these same fixings.
The lightweight nature of the system allows for fast assembly with the height and width of the wall panels easily adjusted to suit each application.
Swift Therm is constructed in two stages. Firstly, the sub-structure walls are constructed and then secondly the ground floor slab is laid.
(a) The sub-structure walls are assembled using a combination of “U” and “I” panels, once assembled these panels create a continuous formwork which outlines the buildings external and internal loadbearing walls. Ready-mix concrete is placed into this formwork with the Swift Therm panels remaining in place permanently creating an effective insulation barrier at the crucial external wall / ground floor junction. The floor area is then suitably backfilled, and a DPM / gas membrane fitted.
(b) The ground floor panels are designed to provide excellent perimeter and ground floor insulation, the unique design of the floor perimeter panel creates a thermal break between the ground floor slab and perimeter wall reducing heat loss at this junction. Once assembled the ST floor panels create an insulated perimeter formwork into which the ground floor slab is easily poured requiring no labour-intensive temporary shuttering.
Swift-Therm is unique in its design, flexibility and thermal performance and for these reasons is suitable in a wide range of foundation configurations that may be found in both residential and commercial projects. The system is compatible with multiple wall types such as masonry, timber-frame and light gauge steel.
Benefits - Developer
- Critical path scheduling maintained during inclement weather. Unlike blockwork where heavy rain, near zero temperatures or high winds can bring substructure work to a standstill. The Swift Therm wall panels provide ideal curing conditions for concrete with work continuing once concrete can be sourced.
- Fast installation process in particular on large housing schemes where repeat foundation layouts can be efficiently installed reducing programme times.
- 10% increased productivity from block layers. Typically, 10% of blockwork is tied up in substructure works, by converting this element of the build to Swift Therm existing block laying crews can concentrate on super-structure works thereby increasing block laying output from the same crew by 10%.
- Substructure walls four times stronger than standard 7 newton dense block walls, Swift Therm concrete walls reduce the risk of substructure failure where blocks are sometime prone to cracking leading to costly repairs.
- Cost effective labour. Swift Therm is user friendly and does not require specialised tradesman such as block layers. Onsite training and supervision is available on request.
- Improved psi value at the external wall/floor junction will enhance the overall BER rating of a building making houses more attractive to buyers.
- Price competitive when compared to traditional substructures built to a similar standard.
- Lightweight and easy to handle panels that require no specialised lifting equipment reduces Health and Safety issues when compared to moving blocks, mortar/cement and sand around a site with telehandlers.
- Interlocking wall panels are designed to stack on top of one another offering variable height options. Construction sites that require stepped (gradient ground) or deep (soft ground) foundations are easily accommodated by Swift Therm interlocking panel design.
- Marketing value is created through delivery of a healthy sustainable building which is both ecofriendly and has sustainable long-term thermal performance.
- Less waste reduces disposal costs, offcuts from wall and floor panels during assembly are easily reused on future builds.
- Available on demand. Swift Therm panels has been carefully designed to ensure maximum efficiency and output during the manufacturing process. In excess of one thousand complete substructure units per annum can be produced on a single day shift.
- Wall and floor panels are efficiently packaged for compact onsite storage.
Benefits to Engineer/ Contractor/ Architect
- Solid concrete ringbeam is far stronger and more suitable for bolting Light Gauge Steel or Timber frames too than blocks which can be prone to shattering during bolt fixing.
- Level substructure wall surface is easily achieved as concrete is floated to a laser level during placement, this is critical to ensure follow on Light Gauge Steel and Timber frame installation programmes are maintained as no packing and grouting to level the superstructure frames is required.
- Rapid compressive and flexural structural strength far greater than traditional block walls, this provides greater impact resistance which eliminates the reoccurring problem of block rising walls being knocked out of alignment during backfilling and compaction of hardcore.
- Low psi values are achieved at the critical external wall / ground floor junction.
- Radon / damp proof membrane is “stepped” over centre panel to ensure harmful gases are expelled and dampness prevented from entering the ground floor. The careful design of the Swift Therm system also ensures that Light Gauge Steel and Timber frames do not puncture the membrane when bolting down frames.
- Services are easily threaded through wall panels prior to the placement of concrete using a hot wire knife or hole saw. This further reduces build time and expenditure through lengthy chiselling through blockwork.
- Clean and efficient very often sub-structure works can be a difficult area to maintain a good standard of workmanship. Swift Therm is an easy to assemble concrete solution that delivers an insulated efficient sub-structure.
- Basic installer training required.
- Lightweight and robust panels are easy to handle and strong enough to withstand the placement and vibration of concrete.
- Fast set up time, complete substructures are quickly constructed from lightweight panels and delivered concrete. Unlike blockwork where sand, blocks, cement, plastizer and water must be provided locally on site and then moved from base to base.
- Variable width walls. Swift Therm wall panels are designed to accommodate different wall types such as block, timber frame and light gauge steel. Because there is no such thing as a standard wall width, both the inner and outer concrete strips can be varied in width to accommodate any wall thickness.
- Concrete substructure walls provide greater crack resistance than blocks to the combined stresses between imposed building loads and earth/ground water pressure, unlike block walls reinforcing steel can also be inserted to further strengthen these walls.
- Adaptable to above and below ground foundations.
- Efficient use of resources, for example groundwork contractor can supply the complete substructures without waiting on wet trades, telehandlers not required to service block layers in sub-structures.
- Ideal curing conditions for concrete when placed into wall panels, protected from the elements with a constant temperature that is not to warm and not to cold.
- Embossed cut lines on panels allow for easy cutting and trimming of panels on site.
- Reinforcing steel easily incorporated to accommodate heavy substructure detailing. Interlocking webs are designed to carry multiple 12-14mm steel rebar at spaced intervals.
- Single supplier, account managers can purchase as a complete system of rising wall, perimeter floor insulation and the ground floor insulation from one instead of multiple suppliers.
- Reduced energy bills, Swift Therm delivers a warmer thermal substructure preventing cold bridging and reducing heat loss.
- More comfortable living environment, a cold bridge at the external wall and ground floor junction can lead to dampness and mould which can be harmful to health.
- Premium prices are paid for well insulated comfortable building when sold at a later date.
- No maintenance required.
- Long term thermal performance achieved at the critical ground floor / external wall junction. Substructures are the sole element of a building that are extremely difficult to retrofit without huge cost.