The benefits of using Dincel for load bearing walls
The traditional column-slab and in-fill wall system, which is still used to build most apartment buildings, involves infill walls that are usually made of stud and plasterboard; masonry and brick; or autoclaved aerated concrete (AAC).
By law, these infill walls are made to meet acoustic and fire prevention requirements. However, they are non-load bearing. That important job is performed by load bearing columns, as well as the concrete slabs that constitute the apartment floors.
For that reason, where this traditional technique is used, apartment buildings require a lot of concrete and a lot of steel. Both the load bearing columns and the concrete slab must be thick and well reinforced.
Dincel Structural Walling
Dincel Structural Walling offers builders an alternative to this traditional method. It not only allows them to reduce the amount of materials they need in the construction process, but also dramatically cuts construction time and costs.
Made by Sydney-based manufacturer Dincel Construction System, the product makes it possible to build load bearing walls by simply pouring concrete into panels that are placed vertically in position and connected together by a simple snap-lock mechanism prior to the pour.
Dincel is available in four different profiles - 110 mm, 155mm, 200mm, 275mm – each of which is suitable for constructing load bearing walls in buildings of different heights. For example, the relatively narrow 110mm profile is suitable for constructing load bearing walls in buildings up to 7 storeys.
At the other end of the scale, the 275mm profile (the largest) can be used for buildings up to 60 storeys, while the 155mm and 200mm cater for building heights of 20 and 30 storeys respectively.
Like conventional in-fill walls, Dincel Structural Walling exceeds all BCA acoustic and fire safety requirements. However, unlike those traditional walls, they are also load bearing. Therefore, there is no need for load bearing columns and slabs thickness can be significantly reduced.
Using a column-slab and in-fill wall system, minimum slab thickness is 200mm and mesh reinforcement cannot be used. In contrast, with Dincel the minimum slab thickness is just 150mm and mesh reinforcement is permissible.
Transfer slabs (beams used to transfer the floor loads to the support post and pillars) are also important considerations in apartment buildings. Using Dincel, if party walls are placed at right angles to the building’s aisle way, there is no need for transfer slabs.
All of this translates to cost reductions of up to 25 per cent where Dincel is used instead of a column-slab and in-fill wall system.
The other major benefit of using Dincel to construct load bearing walls is the time savings it delivers. Overall, it can reduce construction time by 30 - 50 per cent.
This is possible because the system’s panels with their snap-lock technology make the construction of load bearing walls a simple, neat task. The panels themselves are light and easy for anybody on a building site to carry and handle.
The fact that mesh reinforcement can be used in the floor slabs is also significant. It eliminates the need for heavy steel reinforcement and means that slabs can be 50mm thinner than is the case when using the traditional technique. On top of that, the installation process is simpler. Dincel Walls and floor slabs can be installed simultaneously, while the traditional method requires columns to be installed first, followed by the floor slabs, and then finally the infill walls.
Plus, the detailing required for a Dincel wall is less elaborate than the detailing for, say, ACC walls. While both can be relied upon to meet acoustic and fire safety requirements, the simple process of installing Dincel panels and filling with concrete, means there are fewer structural restraints for builders to fit. These are simply not required.
The innovative system offers maximum strength where earthquakes or cyclones are concerns. Its protective outer skin is not only waterproof, but also protects against corrosion, concrete cancer and the like. By simplifying the construction process, it reduces labour hours, lightens the materials handing task, and reduces the amount of a clutter on buildings sites.
Put simply, Dincel is the way of the future for constructing load bearing walls and is quickly being adopted as the partner of choice for commercial, residential and industrial applications.