Frequenty Asked Questions (FAQ)

You will find answers to most of your queries/questions here. However, if you have any question not answered in the FAQs, you may contact us.

  1. What is the Tridipanel? How is it made? What is it made of?
  2. How is the Tridipanel used?
  3. What choices of Tridipanel core density and steel mesh styles are available?
  4. How does Tridipanel compare in cost to other building systems?
  5. What code's do Tridipanel conform with?
  6. What is the insulation (R) Value factors for the Tridipanel?
  7. What about thermal value heat loss?
  8. What is the (S.T.C.) Sound Transmission Coefficient?
  9. What is the fire rating of Tridipanel?
  10. How is the Tridipanel secured into the slab?
  11. How is a bond beam made with Tridipanel?
  12. How is the electrical and plumbing installed?
  13. How are windows and doors installed?
  14. How do you build curved or radius walls with the TRIDIPANEL system?
  15. How does Tridipanel hold up under adverse conditions of Hurricanes, Tornadoes, Earthquakes and Fires?
  16. What is the wind load capacity of Tridipanel?
  17. What are the load bearing capabilities of Tridipanel?
  18. How are various shotcrete or cements applied to the Tridipanel?
  19. Is the polystyrene waterproof? Is the foam waterproof?
  20. Can I purchase TRIDIPANEL 3-D/EVG panels to use on my own do it yourself project?
  21. How are materials delivered?
  22. Is the TRIDIPANEL 3-D/EVG System competitive in price to traditional materials?
  23. Can the TRIDIPANEL system be specified for bearing and non-load bearing walls?
  24. Do I have to use EPS Polystyrene as the core?
  25. Is the TRIDIPANEL 3-D/EVG SYSTEM earthquake resistant?
  26. Is the TRIDIPANEL 3-D/EVG System fire resistant?
  27. How is the TRIDIPANEL 3-D/EVG system connected to the foundation?
  28. How is a bond beam / lintel solved using the TRIDIPANEL opening?
  29. How is the concrete mix applied to each face?
  30. What finish material is applied to the walls after the concrete?

1 What is the Tridipanel? How is it made? What is it made of?

Tridipanel is a prefabricated panel. This extremely strong structural product consists of a insulation core of rigid expanded polystyrene sandwiched between two-engineered sheets of steel welded wire fabric mesh of various gauges. To complete the panel form process a nine-gauge galvanized steel truss wire is pierced completely through the polystyrene core at off set angles for superior strength and welded to each of the outer layer sheets of eleven-gauge steel welded wire fabric mesh. Once these three elements are joined by EVG's state of the art manufacturing equipment, you end up with a THREE-DIMENSIONAL lightweight panel that due to their characteristics makes them one of the strongest building materials you can find.

2 How is the Tridipanel used?

Tridipanel is used for numerous building applications. It may be used in place of wood framed walls, metal-framed walls, and masonry block walls or in place of pre cast panels. Tridipanel may also be used for floor systems, ceilings and to provide a roof structure. Tridipanel is an excellent product for building privacy walls around the home or building structure. Tridipanel is being used by many landscape companies in place of masonry block. With handsome good looks and great flexibility, Tridipanel can be used in conjunction with all of the building trades above.

3 What choices of Tridipanel core density and steel mesh styles are available?

Dimensions of the panels are manufactured from a starting width of (4') x (8') length. The panels can be prefabricated up to (40' in length) in (8" increments). Face mesh gauges available are 11, 12.5 and 14. Polystyrene Core thickness can be 1.5", 2" 2.5" 3.0" 2.5" 3.5" 3.0" 4.0" 3.5" 4.5" 4.0" 5.0" 4.5" 5.5" 5.0." Please request a price list and information on custom made panels to meet special requirements you may have on up future projects.

4 How does Tridipanel compare in cost to other building systems?

The cost is dependent upon the design and finish of your project. Every structure is unique like a fingerprint; no two are alike. This makes analyzing the cost on a square foot basis difficult. Our product should not be compared with (2x4) stick framing. Tridipanel is more competitive against (2x6) stick framing, metal stud framing and our product is more competitive than block and other panels in the market which are not structural at all. Keep in mind Tridipanel is extremely versatile and can be used with any of the above systems. For return on investment, Tridipanel beats stick framing as well as most other building systems readily. The Tridipanels account for a fraction of your structure's cost. The dollars you spend on the Tridipanels can be made up very quickly in energy savings alone. Over the life of the structure, the savings are quite staggering.

Here is a list of attractive benefits of the Tridipanel System:

  • Fast High Quality Construction Time saved - 50% faster than standard construction Speedy occupancy - Saves money on construction loan dollars - Enhanced resale and marketability value reduces the need for heavy equipment on job Fewer trades on job site.
  • Strength Durability Greater Structural Integrity Virtually maintenance-free wall system Saves on long term replacement cost of structure Polystyrene panel or concrete will not decay Monolithic design for superior strength.
  • Safety Security Excellent performance in seismic zones (Earthquake Resistance) Non-combustible structure Savings of 18% to 30% on fire insurance Excellent high wind protection-up to 225mph Insect Termite Rodent Resistant Mold, mildew, and fungi resistant.
  • Pro Environment Energy Efficient Maximum Conservation of forestry products Structure durability offers value for generations and saves many Earth resources Dramatically reduces consumption of fossil fuels Reduces the size and cost of HVAC systems Save 50 to 80% of utility costs on heating and cooling the structure.
  • Quality Comfort Design Flexibility Virtually eliminate outdoor noises Reduce drafts and wide temperature fluctuations Enjoy air quality virtually free of dust, pollen and allergens with use of an air exchanger Create an acoustical environment for full advantage of sophisticated sound systems and home theaters.

5 What codes do Tridipanel conform with?

Tridipanel has many recognitions, however the most important one is the International Code Council or ICC. Our is ESR2435 and it can be downloaded from www.icc-es.org.

6 What is the insulation (R) Value factors for the Tridipanel?

R-Value is a rating of the material resistance to thermal penetration. The higher the number the better the protection value. Many circumstances change the R-Value rating. R-Values change with the different thickness and density of the polystyrene panel core, various thickness of shotcrete applied to the interior and exterior as well as fluctuation of ambient temperatures Chart shown below shows the minimum R-Value Ratings you can expect using Tridipanel. 2lb. Polystyrene Core will provide an additional 10-12% R-Rating Polyisocyanurate Core is optional when panels are ordered.

2.5" 1.0 LB Polystyrene Core-R-Value 11.00

2.5" 1.0 LB Polyisocyanurate Core-R-Value 21.00

4.0" 1.0 LB Polystyrene Core-R-Value 18.00

4.0" 1.0 LB Polyisocyanurate Core-R-Value 33.00

5.0" 1.0 LB Polystyrene Core-R-Value 23.00

5.0" 1.0 LB Polyisocyanurate Core-R-Value 41.00

Polyisocyanurate is a special order foam core used primarily for refrigeration purposes or specialty items. R-Values stated is within FTC guidelines.

7 What about thermal value heat loss?

The Tridipanel System has been designed with maximum environmental comfort in mind. A wood structure simply cannot compare to the comfort level available with the outstanding energy savings created by using the Tridipanel System. Tridipanel will keep you cooler in summer and warmer in winter. The modified expanded polystyrene core meets all VA, FHA and HUD thermal requirements.

Tridipanel offers valuable savings: (See Figures 1 & 2)

  1. No wood studs to transfer or conduct heat or cold through the exterior walls
  2. The incorporation of minimum (3") density of shotcrete and variable thickness of polystyrene ranging from 2" through 5" offers an excellent thermal barrier.
  3. Electrical and plumbing is through the interior side of the Tridipanel, so there are fewer wall penetrations, which keeps thermal loss at a minimum.
  4. Save 50% to 80% of heating and cooling costs.
  5. Reduces size and cost of HVAC System.

Figure 1

Figure 2

8 What is the (S.T.C.) Sound Transmission Coefficient?

The S.T.C. (Sound Transfer Coefficient) attenuation is excellent. The double shell configuration of the concrete plus polystyrene plus concrete sandwich minimizes sound transmissions. Typical S.T.C. expected is as follows:

3" Concrete (1.5" each side) = [0.1304 x 38] + 43.48 [4.9552] + 43.48 = S.T.C of 48.4352

4" Concrete (2.0" each side) = [0.1304 x 50] + 43.48 [6.52] + 50.00 = S.T.C. of 50.0000

Calculated from the PCI Pre-cast Manual Note: We are currently working on a new polystyrene panel, which will have an integrated air pocket that will greatly improve this rating.

9 What is the fire rating of Tridipanel?

Tridipanel has the following fire-resistance ratings, (Ratings are valid for fire exposure from either side) Fire-rating is derived from the wire mesh gauge in combination with concrete thickness. See chart below. The insulation core Type I polystyrene foam demonstrated a flame-spread index of 25 or less and a smoke developed rating of 450 or less when tested in accordance with ASTM -E84.The modified polystyrene core does not contain ozone-damaging chlorofluorocarbons (CFC's) in the manufacturing process or products.

2.5" EXP-Core with 1.50" Shotcrete each side = 1.5 Hours

2.5" EXP-Core with 2.00" Shotcrete each side = 2.0 Hours

2.5" EXP-Core with 3.1/8" Shotcrete each side = 4.0 Hours

The fire rating increases with greater quantities of cement applied to each side. Polystyrene core will not burn.

10 How is the Tridipanel secured into the slab?

The rebar is embedded within the concrete slab. The panel is placed over the rebar, through the open space between the polystyrene core and the wire mesh. Once set, the rebar is fastened directly to the wire mesh by hand with tie wire. It is critical the rebar be installed in a straight line so the rebar fits easily into the cavity between the polystyrene and the wire mesh. It is important to make sure the rebar is completely exposed so it becomes monolithically enclosed with the shotcrete or cement application. Should the building department or engineer require additional tie downs, the polystyrene core can be removed from the base of the panel. The panel is then set in place over the required tie-down and cemented in place. Another option for placing the rebar in the concrete slab is to drill the concrete slab and pour epoxy in the cavity placing the rebar within its confines. Typically, the spacing of the rebar is (24") on center.

11 How is a bond beam made with Tridipanel?

A bond beam is used to create large openings, or to strengthen large areas of ceiling or to help support roof structures. All bond beams created should be pre approved by a certified engineering firm. Removing the polystyrene core and installing rebar creates the bond beam. The best method for removing the polystyrene core is a high-pressure water blaster, it takes only a matter of minutes. For further information please see instruction manual.

12 How are the electrical and plumbing components installed?

The electrical conduits and plumbing pipes are installed by removing a part of Polystyrene core with a torch or heat gun, to create a cavity for the electrical conduit or plumbing piping. Approximately 1" of the Polystyrene off the wire mesh is removed. If a greater opening is required, we recommend using plumber torch. The Polystyrene will not burn; it will shrink or melt leaving a cavity. The electrical or plumbing is then installed into the cavity. The type of tubing or electrical cable is defined by your local building code. If copper is used be sure to protect with plastic so it does not come in contact with the steel structure. Additionally, no matter what material you are using for your water lines be sure to pressure test at for at least 48hrs before the application of concrete. Always consult your local building codes.

13 How are windows and doors installed?

The window and door openings may be cut out before or after wall installation with a pre-frame the size of the window to be installed, by the use of a reciprocating saw or a grinder / cutter. Once placed the U-Mesh ( or Cap mesh ) around the opening you might need to remove a couple of inches of the EPS and be filled with concrete and windows or door can be mounted directly into the concrete opening. Some locations ( hurricane prone ) will require that the anchoring of window frames to the wall be specially treated, the Engineer of record should recommend additional anchoring as per the Window Manufacturer. The fact that these are embedded into the concrete makes it a lot safer than traditional materials.

14 How do you build curved or radius walls with the TRIDIPANEL system ?

Curved and radius walls can be installed by cutting the wire mesh on one side of the panel. This will allow the panel to bend to the desired shape or radius. The cut mesh is then reinforced with additional mesh flat pieces.

15 How does Tridipanel hold up under adverse conditions of Hurricanes, Tornadoes, Earthquakes and Fires?

Tridipanel excelled in rigorous test given by Mother Nature. For the last ten years, numerous homes have been constructed with the Tridipanel System on the East Coast, Caribbean and Gulf areas of Mexico and the United States.

The homes were built to withstand hurricane force winds. In Laboratory testing, the Tridipanels have been tested and will withstand wind loads of 226 miles per hour.

Laboratory testing results available upon request In the southwestern area of the United States, a two-story Tridipanel research complex jointly funded by the National Science Foundation, Southern California Edison, Inc., and the University of California withstood California's worst earthquake in forty years was struck twice a (6.5) and (6.9) Richter Scale.

According to Dr. Philippe Cohen who resides at the site in the Mojave Desert, the area at one point was subjected to a continuous shake lasting over a full minute. The structure went through the quakes with zero structural effects. Complete (Earthquake) structural testing report from certified engineering firm available on above upon request.

Tridipanel is an ideal building product for structures in dry adverse climates where fire is always a constant threat. Areas which are heavily forested, high grass and brush, and other areas in Southern California during Santa Ana Wind Conditions, and other similar areas where structures may be prone to fires.

We have had numerous fires in Southern California during Santa Ana Wind Conditions. A structure built with Tridipanel is non- combustible and has a minimum 1.5-hour fire rating and a higher rating can easily be attained. Structures built with Tridipanel are virtually fire resistant. Full test report from certified engineering firm available upon request along with photos.

16 What is the wind load capacity of Tridipanel?

The brief synopsis which follows, is from the test results report dated 1994 from Dade County, Miami Florida pertaining to the wind load capacity of Tridipanel.

Three typical Tridipanels 4' wide and 10' high with 1-1/2" of shotcrete on each face were installed vertically, side-by-side, on a concrete slab, several inches in front of a rigid backup wall with space between the panels and the backup wall.

The panels were tested per static-wind load test (PA202-94 manner of testing).

Summary: The specimens tested herein were fully tested in accordance with the Dade County Building Code Compliance Office Protocols PA 201-94,PA 202-94 and PA 203-94. No failures occurred to the specimens nor their fastenings nor anchorage. The products described in this report comply with SFBC Sections 2309 and 2315. The panels tested at 126 lbs per Sq. Ft. pressure, which represents over 225mph-wind factor. Please see wind load chart Exhibit 1.

17 What are the load bearing capabilities of Tridipanel?

The load bearing weights that a typical Tridipanel wall will support is amazing. The typical wood frame and metal frame wall cannot compare to Tridipanel strength. A typical tridipanel with 2.5" polystyrene core using eleven-gauge wire, 8' in height has been tested at a structural load of over 78,000 lbs. Full load bearing chart available upon request.

18 How are various shotcrete or cements applied to the Tridipanel?

The shotcrete is applied either by hand or machine application on both sides of the panel our ESR report permits any method as long as the mortar mix is never below 2500 PSI.

For architects with a special finish in mind we would like to mention that the architectural molds or metal trim could be incorporated into your design to achieve the desired finish. A few of the above-mentioned might be fry reglets, point to point reveals, parting screed etc. The versatility of numerous types of plaster finishes or stucco finishes will work on interior and/or exterior walls all of the newly created EIFS systems will also work. Additional products you may apply are brick, mini-brick, stone, stone facing, tile almost any type of finish your imagination can conceive will work.

19 Is the polystyrene waterproof? Is the foam waterproof?

The polystyrene and the foam are one in the same. The polystyrene core is water-resistant.

The ASTM test proved maximum water absorption of (2.5%) for (1lb density). E.P.S. is an inert, organic material. Polystyrene provides no nutritive value to plants, animals, or microorganisms.

The polystyrene will not rot and is highly resistant to mildew. Aging has no effect upon the performance of the polystyrene E.P.S. is able to withstand the abuse of temperature cycling 180-degrees assuring long term performance. Please refer to fire rating for flame spread information.

20 Can I purchase TRIDIPANEL 3-D/EVG panels to use on my own do it yourself project?

Yes, you can. However we do have a list of distributors and maybe one is located in your area and we would encourage you to contact them. They will provide all the technical support you would require from the costing and permitting stage to construction . Some even provide their professional services as contractors.

If you do not live near a distributor, send us your plans and we will provide a modulation and list of materials for free.

21 How are materials delivered?

If in North America, we normally deliver using open flatbeds, these can be unloaded via forklift or by hand as the panels can be handled by two people. If required to be strapped in bundles that is not a problem. The joint mesh is delivered on wood pallets.

If overseas, normally the use of 40' high cube containers is preferred as it fits more materials that regular containers. We have shipped all over the world, so don't think this is a limitation.

22 Is the TRIDIPANEL 3-D/EVG System competitive in price to traditional materials?

Absolutely yes. Important to note that comparison has to done under similar conditions such as providing the same insulating factor, fire and earthquake Resistance. Other systems regularly require the use of different materials or reinforcing to be as good as TRIDIPANEL and once these additional items are included in the per square foot cost of finished wall will be the same or more than 3-D. Also, the fact that you build faster with our product means that the overall labor costs should be less and the faster occupancy of the building will allow eliminating any rent you might be paying.

23 Can the TRIDIPANEL system be specified for bearing and non-load bearing walls?

Yes it can. This panel has many configurations (refer to our ICC report for more info) Also, our 4" panel can withstand 40,000 lbs. per liner foot of axial load; this should suffice for virtually any application. For non-bearing walls, a thinner panel with less steel can be used, but maintaining the integrity of the structure and the insulation values.

24 Do I have to use EPS Polystyrene as the core?

Expanded Polystyrene is the material of choice; however we have supplied our panel system with other thermal cores like EXTRUDED EPS or PolyIsocianurate sheets for very special applications.

25 Is the TRIDIPANEL 3-D/EVG SYSTEM earthquake resistant?

All the testing performed at UCI in California provided the necessary data to suggest that any building constructed with this product can survive continuous shake of a 7 or even greater earthquake*. The exact result depends completely on the engineering study for the project and the application of all instructions provided in our manuals and by the Engineer of record.

*under controlled lab conditions. We have many structures that have survived larger than 7 earthquakes.

26 Is the TRIDIPANEL 3-D/EVG System fire resistant?

Every structure built with TRIDIPANEL 3-D/EVG are non-combustible and has a minimum 2-hour fire rating and a higher rating can easily be achieved. The fire resistance increases with thicker layer of shotcrete applied on each face of the panel. Thus, structures built with TRIDIPANEL are virtually fire resistant. We have testimonials of structures surviving raging fires, even in California. We have also supplied Fire Rebuild projects in Santa Barbara. You can see these in our web page.

Tridipanel Fire Rating

27 How is the TRIDIPANEL 3-D/EVG system connected to the foundation?

Rebar anchors are embedded within the slab on grade / strip footing, normally after the concrete is dry and using epoxies (always follow epoxy manufacturers indications). The panel is then placed by sliding anchors through the space between the insulating core and the wire mesh. Once in place, the rebar anchors are fastened directly to the wire mesh by hand or by mechanical tooling with tie wire. The rebar should be installed at a straight perpendicular angle so that it will fit easily into the cavity between the Polystyrene and the Wire Mesh. The type and spacing between these anchors is described in our manual or specified by the Engineer.

28 How is a bond beam / lintel solved using the TRIDIPANEL opening?

This is one of the major advantages our Construction System. A bond beam-lintel is used to create large openings, or to strengthen large areas of ceiling or to help support roof structure. By simply adding rebar at the bottom of the lintels most of the bigger openings can be accommodated.

In some cases, removing the Polystyrene core, or part of it and installing rebar creates the bond beam.

29 How is the concrete mix applied to each face ?

A concrete and sand mix of mortar with a minimum 2,500 psi ( Please refer to our ICC report ) is applied with a pneumatic hopper, hand or of available shotcrete equipment on either side of the panel. The quality of the simple mix design, concrete slump, can also be enriched with waterproofing or other concrete additives depending on the region. The formulas might change region to region depending on aggregate quality and FM that is available. Also in our testing at UCI California we were able to prove that as long as the PSI is controlled, no matter how the mortar mix is applied, the result will be the same strong wall you desire. The application is normally in two coats, the first one commonly called SCRATCH COAT that comes up to the mesh. Then as soon as possible the second coat called BROWN COAT is applied to a minimum of 1.25" from the EPS core and as specified in plans. ( Please refer to our ICC report ).

30 What finish material is applied to the walls after the concrete?

Basically any. Stucco finishes, just paint over concrete, veneers, siding, real or imitation wood, any material that can be mechanically or chemically attached to concrete.