Pins provide “sharp savings” with Nirvana

Reid’s Nirvana insulated panel system has been used in precast plants and on-site tilt projects for over 15 years. Specified for residential concrete homes and commercial projects such as education, correction facilities, warehouse / office parks, Nirvana creates a healthy and energy efficient environment that maximises thermal mass efficiencies and combines durability and performance that only concrete can deliver.

Nirvana was specified for the WesTrac new premises, a purpose built facility to house its Truck Parts and Service Centre in Tomago, Newcastle. The building, some 45,200m2 was designed using insulated precast panels and secured to a steel framed building.

CIA Precast in Newcastle won the project and production manager, Tony Robinson decided to use the Nirvana system because Reid was able to provide a design that required pins to be set at 600mm centres, instead of 450mm. “We decided to use the Nirvana system because we could use 40% less pins in the insulated panels, reducing congestion between the pins and reinforcing. This made the process much faster and provided us with cost savings of up to 30%”.

Nirvana connector pins lock the insulation layer between the internal concrete structure layer and the external concrete wythe. Made from pultruded epoxy backboned resin for maximised corrosion resistance and inter-laminar shear strength, the pins have undergone pullout and shear testing certification for use in local and international markets.

Tony was impressed with the ease of the whole process at his precast plant. The panels, ranging from 12 to 16.5 tonnes, were manufactured with a 150mm structural layer, 50mm of insulation and a 60mm outer wythe. The 150mm structural layer was poured face down first before Tony’s team placed the preprepared insulation board and mesh to pour the second layer. In total, the turnaround time for the second pour was 90 minutes.

Pouring the structural panel face down has some clear advantages. While panels cast this way are not the most common method, this does provide a clean, smooth finish for the interior walls in situations where they might be left exposed or are coloured.

There are some considerations that must be taken into account casting this way, such as height of the panels for transportation and edge lifting versus face lifting, for lifting and placing the panels on site. Working with the precast manufacturer and Reid from the beginning of the project, will save design time and ongoing site issues.

The completed project is ultra-modern in design and using the Nirvana insulated panel system, has given the owners a sustainable building that will provide ongoing efficiencies and energy savings.

For more information on Nirvana, contact our technical sales and engineering teams on