Munich, Germany -- The Foamed Plastics and Polyurethane Industry Association (FSK) chose KraussMaffei Technologies GmbH and LB Engineering GmbH to receive an Innovation Award 2010 in the category Company / Design.
The award was given for a new concept to produce components and build prefabricated homes using PU sandwich panels, often called SIPs -- structural insulated panels.
"Polyurethane has been used for years to insulate homes and industrial premises, now for the first time we're successfully using it, in combination with lightweight wood panels, as a structural element in prefabricated homes," said Jens Kompe, sales manager for construction business at KraussMaffei, in a recent statement from the Munich, Germany-headquartered machinery maker.
With the new concept, homes being constructed off-site use floor, wall and roofing elements produced continuously on an industrial scale. This sharply reduces the number of building elements to a few, large system elements with standardised connectors, minimising the many steps necessary to erect the house on-site.
This keeps the cost of on-site construction as low as possible. "This is a frameless construction based on lightweight, but very stable, PU system elements with 150 mm insulation to ensure outstanding insulating properties. These prefab houses look very much like traditional prefabricated houses," said Kompe. Manufacturing cost, production time and on-site construction time are all sharply reduced.
"The concept has already been put into practice; in Eastern Europe where a line with two double-belt presses is producing sandwich panels 3200 mm wide.
The first prefabricated houses are due to be delivered towards the end of the year," says Kompe, who sees growing demand for this approach all over the world.
KraussMaffei said that current figures for world population growth and increasing urbanisation will result in escalating demand for adequate living accommodation in emerging economies and third world countries.
This system can be used to build low-cost housing in urban slums, or in Eastern Europe, for example, it can be used to house an expanding middle class interested in solid and affordable homes in standard designs.
PIC: Kompe (right) with Dr Alexander Streitholt, chairman of the polyurethane group of the FSK, who awarded the certificate at the FSK meeting in Stade, Germany, 8 Oct. "