Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is Solarcrete?
Solarcrete is a pre-fabricated energy efficient wall panel system that utilizes expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam for its high insulation value. Our standard Solarcrete wall carries an R-36 insulation value. The wall panels are custom assembled at one of our manufacturing centers per your design specifications. Unlike precast concrete panels, our Solarcrete panels are shipped to your jobsite before the concrete is applied to keep shipping costs low.
Q: How long have you been using this system?
The Solarcrete building system, invented in 1974, was originally conceived as a thermal storage building system intended to incorporate solar heating and cooling to combat the energy crisis of the early 70’s. Almost 30 years later Solarcrete continues to build state of the art energy efficient buildings. The system has been improved throughout the years and is still one of, if not the most, energy efficient way to build to date.
Q: What building code does Solarcrete meet?
Solarcrete walls meet code approval for BOCA, ICBO, SBCCI, IBC, and Wisconsin DILHR Building Material Approval, No. 810402. Solarcrete carries a 2 hour fire rating, which can be increased as required.
Q: Concrete and Foam, is that like the blocks I've seen?
The foam block system is called ICF or Insulated Concrete Form has nothing to do with Solarcrete. Unlike ICF's, Solarcrete places the insulation where it should be, inside the wall encased in concrete where things like termites, ants, rodents and other pests can’t use it to make a home. It also protects it from fire.Our insulation also extends all the way down to the footer of your building to insure that the money you invest to heat and cool your interior stays in your interior. No other building method that we have seen includes this as a standard feature and would be a mark up on your bid were you to request complete insulation without breaks wherever framing or floors occur.
Q: Is your system cost effective for my project?
It is always cost effective to save energy. We have installed Solarcrete walls in residential, commercial and industrial applications. There is even a doctor who likes our walls so much he had a doghouse built with Solarcrete. With the money you save every month our walls will keep more money in your pocket over the lifetime of your building. The walls are actually paying for themselves forever.
Q: Is your system available in my area?
Currently we have representatives in various parts of the country who are able provide service to most areas.
Q: Do I have to use a solar heating/cooling system with your walls?
Today's Solarcrete is still an excellent thermal mass for incorporating passive solar systems for direct solar gain. Even if you have no intent to use solar heating systems the internal mass of a Solarcrete wall is still an excellent thermal mass for storing your heating and cooling dollars. Solarcrete works very well with all alternative energy systems.