Reid™ Nirvana™ insulated sandwich concrete panel system maximises thermal efficiency by combining insulation with the high thermal mass properties of concrete.
Nirvana insulated panels are commonly used for residential housing and commercial construction such as libraries, schools, prisons or office complexes. Nirvana is best suited in situations where outside temperatures reach extreme levels, because of its ability to moderate temperature fluctuation inside the building.
How the Nirvana Insulated Concrete Sandwich Panel System Works
Nirvana connector pins possess a circular cross-sectional area, providing confidence that correct orientation of the pin during installation will not become an issue. Tests have shown that using a Nirvana pin provides more than sufficient strength against pull-out failure. The pins are made from an epoxy-backboned vinylester resin system and are placed in a grid pattern during set-up of the panel.
Nirvana Insulated concrete panels combine Reid expertise in concrete anchoring technology with the science of heat transfer. Nirvana connector pins lock in a thickness of insulation between two concrete layers (wythes) to produce a wall with exceptional resistance to heat transfer, which can be lifted, erected, and installed as a single unit.
The internal concrete wall provides the structural strength and thermal mass, the insulation layer reduces the flow of heat energy into or out of this thermal mass, and the external wall provides physical protection to the insulation layer. By varying the thickness of each layer, different structural and thermal properties can be achieved.
features of the nirvana system
Nirvana connector pins are manufactured from pultruded glass fibre/resin composite, providing exceptional tensile and flexural strengths, with low heat conductivity and high heat capacity.
These heat transfer properties are particularly important, otherwise the pin will form a thermal bridge between concrete layers, greatly reducing the R-value. Specification of connection pins must first consider their length, which must be sufficient to span the insulation layer and provide appropriate embedment within each concrete layer of the panel.
The number of pins required to support the weight of the external concrete layer and resist the bending moments (“lever arm” formed over the distance between each layer of concrete) will determine the distance between individual pins. More pins will be required around edges and penetrations such as windows and doors.
All structures require correct design to ensure they will withstand the forces exerted during their service life.
This includes the weight of the structure, wind loads (especially in cyclonic regions), seismic loads and any other dynamic forces that could be experienced. The internal concrete face of a Nirvana panel forms the structural load-bearing wall, and contains lifting anchors for moving into place, connection points for fixing, and steel reinforcing bar and mesh to support the structure throughout its life.
In addition to these typical applications, this internal section has a layer of insulation and an external concrete face attached to it through the Nirvana connector pin. These high tensile pins are embedded into the internal concrete layer during manufacture and anchor the insulation and external concrete face tightly to the structure to prevent delamination and separation of the panel layers.
The effectiveness of insulation is dependent on the type of material and its thickness. The Nirvana system can be used with many varieties of insulation to suit your performance requirements and budget.
Once selected, the R-value (thermal resistance) of the Nirvana panel can be varied by altering the thickness of the insulation. By doing so, the Nirvana panel can be designed to achieve a specific R-value to meet National Construction Code (NCC) requirements. However, as NCC guidelines are a minimum requirement only, higher R-values may be used if greater financial benefit can be realised.
Thermal mass or “heat capacity” refers to the amount of heat energy required to induce a change in temperature in a material.
The structural wall of the Nirvana system provides a high thermal mass, where heat energy passing into or out of it is limited by the insulation component of the system. This mechanism allows the Nirvana system to be engineered such that the internal wall temperature will never rise excessively. This will maintain comfortable temperatures indoors, and greatly reduce heating and cooling requirements throughout the changing seasons.
Designing with Nirvana
Effective design can dramatically improve the performance of buildings during construction and service life.
The many different elements work as a closed system, interacting to either enhance their function or detract from original designs. Good design will achieve substantial savings in building construction and operational costs, while providing a comfortable indoor environment and desirable aesthetics.