FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Is the RSG 3-D Panel System fire resistant?
Yes. Every surface (walls, roofs, floors, foundations) of projects constructed with RSG 3-D is a non-combustible surface with a minimum 2-hour fire rating. Even higher ratings, can be achieved. The Panel’s fire resistance increases with thicker layers of concrete applied on each face of the Panel. Thus, structures built with RSG 3-D are virtually fire resistant. 3-D Panel buildings have frequently been the only buildings to survive fire. In Northern California, a home built with 3-D Panel survived in a community decimated by recent wildfires. Please refer to RSG 3-D’s ICC Evaluation (ESR-2435) for further information.
Is the RSG 3-D Panel System earthquake resistant?
Yes. Extensive 3-D Panel testing was performed at University of California. Much of the testing was incorporated into the ICC Evaluation and Certification (ESR-2435). Testing provided the necessary data to demonstrate that any building constructed with RSG 3-D Panel can survive continuous shake of a very strong earthquake. The exact result depends on the specific engineering the building. There have been multiple instances of 3-D Panel buildings surviving earthquakes. Several times the 3-D Panel building was the only structure unharmed in a seismic event. 3-D Panel is frequently “spec’d into municipal building plans, including schools, due to its demonstrated seismic resistance.
Is the RSG 3-D Panel System energy efficient?
RSG 3-D Panel creates walls (and roofs) of continuous, high-value EPS insolation. There are no thermal bridges such as wood studs in a conventional wall to transfer energy in or out. With the continuous concrete overlay, the 3-D Panel System is locked into place – delivering the benefits of a “monolithic building envelope” for decades or centuries. HVAC systems are downsized as their loads are sharply reduced. Hence, the owner will enjoy energy cost savings for the life of the building. Lower energy costs means a more valuable building.
What makes the RSG 3-D Panel System so unique?
A lot. The Panel and the System was designed from the beginning with to address SUSTAINABILITY AND RESILIENCE.
Solving these two BIG ISSUES is the basis for the Panel’s value and why we have been recognized as a leader in advanced building materials.;
Sustainability is primarily about energy efficiency and efficient use of resources. A RSG 3-D Panel building is probably the greatest investment one can make in their personal sustainable environment. RSG 3-D also creates one of the “healthiest” environments in which to live or work.
- “Monolithic” construction is created by continuous and stable EPS insulation, a steel truss system for strength and concrete exterior for durability
- RSG 3-D Panel construction allows you to keep your indoor environment healthful, managed and clean. Pollen, dirt, and allergens stay outside. Water, mold, Insects and vermin cannot penetrate the building
- Cold, heat, humidity, allergens and wind cannot penetrate the building’s envelope. The indoor spaces remain environmentally controlled. Your energy does not leak out. By cutting air-exchanges to a minimum you can easily manage the temperature, humidity and indoor air quality.
Resilience is the ability of a building (family, or community) to survive natural disaster. As one expert said, “There is no sustainability without resilience.
- Safe and disaster-resistant
- Fire proof (Class A rated)
- Earthquake resistant (tested to 9.0+ Richter)
- Hurricane resistant (tested to winds of 300+ mph)
- 100’s of RSG 3-D Panel buildings have survived hurricane, wildfire and earthquake around the globe
- Extended useful life through steel truss and concrete construction
What about Zero Net Energy (ZNE) and the future of building codes?
RSG 3-D Panel buildings exceed all current codes for energy, strength and resilience. In fact, we are so far ahead, that we are the “standard” that all other building systems have to try to match. (Hint- they cannot; not without massive upgrades and wildly expensive system retrofits)
The key to conserving energy and reducing the mechanical/HVAC loads on any building is the integrity of its exterior envelope – and RSG 3-D Panel creates the tightest, strongest envelope, at an affordable price.
RSG 3-D Panel buildings are the perfect host for solar or alternative energy. The monolithic envelope reduces the building’s energy-generating needs, so solar systems are smaller or produce a greater proportion of the building’s needs.
RSG 3-D looks forward to greater adoption of ZNE codes as well as code enhancements to make all buildings safer and more resilient.
Is the RSG 3-D System competitive in price to traditional materials?
Yes. We find that direct materials comparisons are favorable to RSG 3-D. Builders are also finding that significant labor, time and overhead savings are being achieved for projects using the RSG 3-D System. This is changing their business for the better. Not to be overlooked is the fact that a RSG 3-D Panel building is a much “better” building – with greater energy efficiency, reduced maintenance, lower risks and longer lifespan. It was these reasons that led Poplar Networks to cite RSG 3-D as “the new frontier of green, sustainable building materials.” Delivering a demonstrably better/more valuable building at a competitive price is our mission and that of all RSG Certified 3-D Panel builders, architects and sales offices.
How do I order?
Your order will be produced to precisely match the needs of your project – eliminating materials waste and increasing project efficiency. A typical process:
1. Send your building plans to RSG 3-D. Our in-house architects will review and create a Panel modulation and BOM. The Panel Modulation will turn your plans into a “Panel-plan.” This identifies all the individual Panels, their sizes and configurations for your complete project. The Bill of Materials (BOM) is then created giving us both the exact Panel order for your project. This precision eliminates costly materials mistakes and risks from any project.
2. Upon acceptance of the Panel Modulation and BOM, a 50% deposit will secure your order and move it to our advanced computer-controlled manufacturing line. Your Panel is produced, marked and stacked for delivery. (We’ll even send you a video of your Panel being produced)
3. RSG 3-D will schedule trucking for your Panel delivery from our roster of national and regional carriers. Check out the photos and videos of our advanced manufacturing facility here on the website.
How are electrical and plumbing components installed?
This is a simple process and saves time and money. Electrical conduits and plumbing pipes are run between the EPS and the Welded Wire Fabric. They will later be encased in the concrete finish. For larger diameter pipes, some EPS may be removed with a torch or heat gun, to create a sufficient channel. Again, a very quick, easy process. For a very large pipe, such as a water main or drain we recommend shrinking the EPS with a plumber’s torch. The EPS will not burn; it will shrink or melt leaving a channel. Plumbing and electrical materials are defined by your local building codes. RSG construction manuals, tear-sheets and instructional videos are available.
How are windows and doors installed?
No special handling of openings is required by the 3-D Panel system. Window and door openings are typically cut in the field following framing using a a common bolt cutter, reciprocating saw or grinder. A basic window or door frame is then installed. Next, U-mesh is placed around the opening. The window or door in screwed to its frame as in traditional wood-frame construction. Note: some 3-D builders prefer to eliminate the frames altogether and mount windows and doors directly into the concrete. RSG has Construction Manuals and Tear-Sheets for all aspects of the System. RSG trainers can easily teach your crews on-site or at our factory.
How do you build curved or radius walls with the RSG 3-D system?
Curved and radius walls can be created by simply cutting a portion of the Welded Wire Fabric (mesh) on one side of the Panel, allowing the Panel to be bent to the desired shape or radius. The cuts to the mesh are then reinforced with splice mesh flat pieces. The strength and “monolithic” nature of the Panel wall is not degraded by the bending process.
What finish materials can be applied to the walls?
Any and all typical building finishes are appropriate. Because the Panel has a high-psi concrete exterior, it does not require the expensive rain-screens of traditional wood construction. Many builders use a stucco finishes for appearance and durability. Frequently only paint or elastomeric paint is applied. Veneers of stone or brick have been used for appearance. Any material that can be mechanically or chemically attached to concrete will work – it’s your choice. You will see several commercial buildings on our website where the unfinished concrete was chosen for the building’s exterior for aesthetic reasons. These building have proven the durability of the RSG 3-D Panel / Concrete system.
How is the concrete mix applied to each Panel surface?
The concrete mix is very basic and requires no special ingredients. A concrete and sand mortar mix can be applied via several methods, including a plaster pump, shotcrete pump or hand troweled. Typically we recommend a concrete mix achieving 3,000 – 5,000 psi. No matter how the concrete mortar mix is applied, the 3-D Panel walls meet all required strength measures. Enhancements to the mix can include waterproofing or other concrete additives. Concrete application is normally done in two coats. The first, a “scratch coat” begins at the EPS and covers the welded wire fabric/mesh (approximately 0.75”). The second coat called “brown coat” is applied to a minimum of 1.25” from the EPS core. At this point any finish may be applied
How is a bond beam / lintel created using the RSG 3-D System?
This is a major advantage of the 3-D Panel System. A bond beam/lintel is used to create large openings, to strengthen large spans of ceiling or to help support the roof structure. By simply adding rebar sticks to the Panel at the bottom of the lintels most of these large openings can be accommodated. In some cases, removing part of the EPS core and installing several sticks of rebar (encased in the concrete) will create a very strong bond beam. RSG construction manuals, tear sheets and instructional videos are available.
How is the RSG 3-D Wall Panel system connected to the foundation?
Vertical rebar anchors are embedded within the slab or foundation, normally epoxied in place after the concrete is dry. The wall Panel is then placed vertically along the foundation. The rebar anchors are located in the space between the EPS core and the welded wire fabric. Once in place, the rebar anchors are fastened directly to the welded wire fabric with tie wire. The rebar should be installed at a straight vertical angle so that it will fit easily into this cavity. The spacing between these anchors is described in our construction manual, tear-sheets, or specified by the engineer. See examples of the foundation/wall connection and construction process here on our website.
Is Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) the only insulation available in the Panels?
No. Type-1 modified EPS is our insulation material of choice, for many reasons. It is fire retardant, non-toxic, does not off-gas and is an inexpensive and stable insulator. EPS/RSG 3-D Panel has proven itself in thousands of constructions. Our EPS insulation and Panels may be ordered in varying depths (2” – 5”) and varying densities (1 – 2 lbs. / cubic foot). Increasing your insulation values by increasing EPS depth or density is a very cost-effective way to further reduce energy costs for years to come. RSG manufactures Panels with alternative thermal cores, including Extruded Polystyrene (XPS) or Polyisocyanurate sheets for special applications. Note: RSG 3-D Panel may also be ordered with recycled EPS content. This documented material will help your project meet LEED requirements.
Can the RSG 3-D system be specified for bearing and non-load bearing walls?
Yes. RSG 3-D Panel is available in many configurations. No matter what the configuration, the construction of the Panel features the proprietary truss system and welded wire fabric for strength. Our typical exterior wall Panel of 4” EPS (total wall after concrete 6.5” 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 to reduce cost, while maintaining the integrity of the structure and the overall insulating performance.
What resources does RSG 3-D provide to new builders and projects?
RSG is not just a building materials manufacturer. We are a full-service buildings solutions provider. Beyond having the best building system for sustainable and resilient construction we support and assist our customers and projects in every way.
- Architecture – In-house and through our network of architectural & design partners
- Engineering – In-house and through our network of professional structural engineers
- Construction – RSG network of certified, experienced building partners
- Training – RSG certified and experienced trainers (each a 3-D Panel builder)
- Construction Manuals, Training Videos, Tear-Sheets on all system methodologies.
Please see our website “Building Partners“, and “Architecture, Engineer & Design Partners“.
How long will it take to produce my Panel order?
Only a few days. We have a large-scale manufacturing plant and carry plenty of inventory. Most orders are “custom made” and specific to the project.
How are RSG 3-D Panel and materials delivered?
Flatbed trucks are the typical delivery method in North America. RSG 3-D Panels can be easily unloaded by two people or via forklift. Welded wire fabric / joint mesh is delivered on a wood pallet on the same truck. Overseas orders are typically delivered in High-Cube containers. We have shipped all over the world and it is surprisingly affordable. RSG has an extensive network of trucking and shipping partners.
How do I start?
Call or email us – we will connect you with the right people and resources for your project. Yes. Our in-house architects and engineers can assist with your plans, and our facility will arrange shipping directly to your job site. RSG 3-D has an extensive roster of builders and distributors and we encourage you to contact them. These experienced 3-D Panel experts can provide full project services – costing, planning and guidance. Many are licensed general contractors and will also provide turn-key construction or training for your personnel.