Lattey have been manufacturing insulated concrete panels for the past 20 years. While major strides in technological advancements have taken place over the years, the initial concept remains the same and is quite simple: 30 to 50mm insulation material is literally 'sandwiched' between two layers of concrete, with the option to add electrics and plumbing to the mix, without compromising on its strength or life-span.
Insulated panels are usually part of high-end, bespoke architectural projects, because they tend to come at a higher production cost. However the difference is quickly offset by a few factors:
* Construction time is greatly reduced: with the ability to install 10 panels a day, a whole house can be put together in just 2 days, without the need to have several more contractors involved – electricity and plumbing goes in at the same time as the panels themselves.
* Long term maintenance cost is also greatly reduced: a timber house will need to be seen to every 10 years, whereas with insulated panels, you won't have to think about such matters for the first 50 years.
* Running costs for sandwich panel houses is also significantly lower, as this type of insulation is much more efficient.
Colour and aspect can be played with at will. For example, the double layer of concrete could be used to render a textured 3D panelling and darker shades on the outside whilst keeping a lighter, smoother aspect on the inside – or the other way around.
Lattey is currently manufacturing insulated panels with float face finish on both side and insulation sandwiched in, which requires a particular approach to casting.
These were especially designed for a new high-profile private house in the Napier area. This project presents an additional logistical challenge as the building sits on a cliff top, but nothing that the Lattey team can't handle.
Lattey is also one of very few precast concrete manufacturers in New Zealand who are able to produce curved insulated panels, to consistently beautiful results.