The CRETE House took second place at the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon. The event has been described described as a “life-changing competition for collegiate students and an intensive course in sustainability for consumers”. Participating student teams spent almost two years designing and building solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient, sustainable and attractive.
The CRETE House is an innovative, 995 square foot structure built entirely with prefabricated concrete. This included an energy-efficient cladding system comprised of six large (12 ft x 22 ft wide), thin (1 inch) precast sandwich panels made from Ductal® Ultra-High Performance Concrete (UHPC).
These insulated precast panels were cast at 1″ thick, and much lighter than conventional concrete panels. The UHPC sandwich panel walls combined the structural qualities of Ductal into a utilitarian application that resulted in an aesthetically pleasing product.
The panels are connected with bolts, which contribute to significantly reduced labor and material waste compared to traditional connection methods. Altogether, five inches of insulation was placed on top of the 1 inch Ductal® panel. (Typical sandwich panels have 3 inches of insulation because of the 3 inch concrete layer replaced by Ductal®).
- High thermal mass
- Ultra strong envelope
- resilient against fire, moisture, mold, insects, seismic activity and harsh weather.
- easy to install, dismantle, re-assemble
A tornado cannon was used on a mockup of the UHPC panels that were utilized for the CRETE house. The cannon fired a 2X4 wood stud at 100 mph (which simulated tornado conditions). The testing showcased Ductal’s ability to withstand harsh weather conditions compared to traditional wall systems.
Thanks to Ductal’s superior properties, the CRETE House is extremely resilient against fire, moisture, mold, insects, seismic activity and harsh weather conditions.