Composite Precast concrete wall panels

R-Value of sandwich wall panelsOffering design flexibility with rapid installation, precast concrete sandwich wall panels deliver a complete energy-efficient building envelope, including exterior membrane, moisture barrier, insulation and interior finish.

By Chris Von Handorf, P.E.

Precast concrete insulated wall panels offer a quick, environmentally friendly alternative to building envelope construction, and with minimal site disturbance.

Standard building construction requires materials to be delivered to a job site, stored and then placed by skilled laborers from multiple trades. Tilt-up wall panels require significant on-site space as well as time for setup and casting, and then need to be rotated onto the building and finished properly to achieve an architecturally desirable exterior.

Conversely, precast concrete insulated wall panels are delivered ‘just-in-time’ and installed, typically by a crew of four to six skilled laborers, directly from the truck onto the building with final finishes already complete.

Insulated precast concrete wall panels have been successfully specified in a plethora of building construction applications.Concrete's thermal mass graph These applications include residential, educational, retail, commercial, governmental (including blast-loaded structures), industrial/warehouse, correctional facilities and more.

So, what is an insulated precast concrete wall panel?
An insulated precast concrete wall panel, or “sandwich” wall panel as it is sometimes called, is a precast concrete wall panel with two layers of concrete separated by a layer of rigid insulation (see Figure 1). The two layers of concrete, often referred to as concrete wythes, are connected by one of many wythe-connecting systems. The concrete wythes can vary in thickness depending on the structural and architectural requirements of a project. Typical concrete wythe thicknesses range from 2.5 in. to 6 in.

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How do you mount precast concrete panels to existing interior walls?

I poured a concrete hearth for my fireplace and would like to mount three precast panels (I would make them myself) to the existing drywall to create a surround for the fireplace. After I'm finished I plan on finishing it all with a skim coat to clean it up. How would I go about attaching the panels to the drywall? Thanks in advance!

for typical stone overlay of tiles and fake stones etc. they take chicken wire and washers to secure it with screws to the studs. then you skim coat that with a bit of cement. let that dry then you can glue or put cement on wall and tiles to stick them on. did my fireplace in a day and it has held up great for 12 years so far.