Step by Step

Buildings and walls constructed using Polysteel forms come together by following simple step by step procedures. The slide show above outlines steps in the process which require consideration.

Building with PolySteel combines five steps used in conventional wood frame construction into one. These are:

  1. Structure
  2. Insulation
  3. Air barriers
  4. Sound Barrier
  5. Metal Fixing Strips

Our technical section contains a vast library of information to assist you in working with PolySteel.

Architect and Structural Engineers

PolySteel allows you to build your clients dreams. It has significant advantages in both residential and commercial projects. These include design flexibility, wide range of finishes, quicker build times, safety, and environmentally friendly. Listed below are some benefits in more detail:-

Design Flexibility

PolySteel buildings can have curves, zigzags, and arches. When you design a structure that uses PolySteel insulating concrete forms for the exterior walls you have equal or greater design flexibility, relative to concrete block, timber frame, tilt-up concrete or steel framing.

Variety of Finishes

You can choose a wide variety of finishes for your project, both internal and external. For instance, cladding, thin acrylic renders, plaster, brick, plasterboard to name but a few. We have a number of suppliers who have worked with and applied their products to PolySteel on many successful projects, we would be pleased to give you their contact details for you to contact them direct. The galvanised recessed steel attachment strips embedded within the form walls are 38mm wide and centred 150mm (vertically) for easier fixing of all kinds of finishes.

Quicker Installation

Each standard straight form comes ready to use and weighs only 6 kilograms and creates 0.72 sqm of wall area. That is 50% more than most insulating concrete forms (ICFs). Four courses of forms will construct a 2.4 metre high wall. The speed of build (from placing the forms to removing the bracing at the end of the pour) can be up to 7xforms per man hour. This coupled with almost immediate delivery surpasses the possible build speed (from order of material to finished PolySteel wall) of any other kind of serious build method we can think of, saving you precious time and money. The PolySteel forms are manufactured in Northampton and Livingston (Scotland) to enable faster just in time deliveries.

Environmentally Friendly

PolySteel buildings are highly insulated monolithic structures that minimise air infiltration, resulting in high energy efficiency. Your clients can make considerable savings on the cost of heating and cooling and enjoy the comfort that “Thermal Storage” homes bring you. PolySteel structures are built to last and so over their lifetime have such a small carbon footprint are an act hard to follow. The PolySteel forms are made of building grade EPS and steel. Both are 100% recyclable. PolySteel is the only insulated concrete formwork to be awarded "Cradle to Cradle" Certification in the world!

As part of our drive to reduce our carbon footprint the opening of a second factory outlet in Scotland in April 2008 means that we serve our customers in all parts of the country quicker and more efficiently.

Different Building Applications

The PolySteel ICFs provide the ideal conditions for curing concrete. The warm insulated environment for the poured concrete helps it to achieve far greater strength than possible if exposed to the elements whilst curing.

Multi-Storey Building

PolySteel haPolySteel is suitable for building multstorey buildings.  We have many UK examples which we can share with you including 4 storey student apartments and a 7 storey luxury apartment block in Eastbourne Harbour. The high mass of the concrete and the EPS of the forms provide excellent thermal and acoustic insulation.

Basement Walls

PolySteel is super-insulated, and can easily provide a moisture-resistant wall when used with an appropriate waterproofing system, so important in a basement structure. The installation procedures for a basement wall are virtually identical to those for any PolySteel Wall. However, because of the additional loads and forces placed on a basement wall, and the potential for water intrusion below grade, it is important to consider Reinforcement, Waterproofing, Drainage and Backfilling, we are happy to supply technical guidelines in these areas. The structural strength of concrete within the PolySteel forms with either reinforcing and or fibres greatly reduces the chances of cracking in foundation walls and basements, minimising the leakage of radon gas into the home.

Safe Rooms

PolySteel walls can provide an in home sanctuary from the dangers and perils of hurricanes, flying debris, tsunami, malicious and violent attack including firearms ballistics and even explosive devices (engineering by others). PolySteel has successfully provided for and answered the concerns of private clients, security forces, army and governments.

Fire compartmentation

PolySteel ICFs are used where there is a need for an area of high fire resistance - where the need to ensure that the spread of fire is contained i.e. apartment high rises, PolySteel insulating concrete forms having been tested with a flame spread of 0 to 3.048m and a smoke development index of much less than 450. In a fire, PolySteel ICFs are less toxic than most common building and insulation materials, including wood. In an interior fire, the interior EPS in our PolySteel wall can produce 5,420 Btu's per 0.0929m of heat, which is much less than the 10,000BTU's per 0.0929m produced by the wood in a 2 x 4 frame house. When burned completely, EPS emits water vapour, carbon dioxide, and some soot or ash, the same as paper. The fire retardant contained in our expanded polystyrene is brominated aliphatic hydrocarbon, which is stable below 392 degrees Fahrenheit or 199.9998 Celsius. PolySteel ICFs have a minimum 4 hour fire resistance in the USA and a minimum as shown in our BBA certificate 11/4811.

Terraced Houses

Noise pollution is one of the most complained about aspects of day-to-day living in the UK. Using PolySteel PSI 4000 wall, with a 1.27cm (½inch) drywall interior veneer and an equivalent exterior attached, creates a barrier with a minimum sound classification rating (STC) of 52, which is 8 to 10 times quieter than a typical wood-framed wall and virtually eliminates outside noise. The EPS steel and concrete in PolySteel walls provides no nutrient value to plants, animals, or micro-organisms, including mould, and the solid concrete walls eliminate the hollow cavities that offer moisture and habitat for these organisms in timber-framed walls. PolySteel achieves reduction of about 50dB in tests (minimum).

Commercial Units

PolySteel ICFS are lightweight and easy to handle on the job. One 6 kg form creates the same amount of wall area as over 136 kg of concrete. Fewer man-hours are required to erect a PolySteel wall than for conventional concrete, timber-frame or concrete block walls. PolySteel can be pre-panelised in complete wall sections to dramatically minimise on-site construction time. The Life Cycle costs are reduced as there is low maintenance; energy cost are also dramatically reduced giving savings year after year.