LafargeHolcim eyes production homebuilders via wall system developer alliance

Sources: Lafarge North America, Chicago; CP staff

An agreement between LafargeHolcim and Phoenix-based HercuTech Inc. positions Lafarge North America, Holcim (US) and Aggregate Industries to market and support production of HercuTech, a plant-fabricated, high performance insulated concrete wall system suited to residential and light commercial applications.

“LafargeHolcim’s expertise in cementitious materials brings us important advantages in terms of concrete mix design and technical support for improving placement and optimizing the total system,” says HercuTech Chairman Michael Niemann. “Their extensive infrastructure to service the market, customer relationships, reputation for quality and consistency, and record of commercializing breakthrough technologies—combined with HercuTech’s proven HercuWall system—allow [our] strategic alliance to showcase and expand the reach of advanced insulated concrete wall systems in North America.”

“This agreement perfectly aligns with our mission to provide production homebuilders with demonstrated, forward-looking technology,” adds LafargeHolcim’s Maik Strecker, head of Growth and Innovation, North America. “HercuTech developed this game-changing system and 7th ranked U.S. homebuilder Meritage Homes provided valuable industry insight and support. HercuWall meets the needs of residential builders, as well as the growing demands of consumers, for more sustainable, energy-efficient homes. We are excited by the opportunity of working with HercuTech to help make this innovative system readily available throughout North America and setting the industry standard for affordable, high-quality insulated concrete wall[s].”

HercuWall is competitive with installed wood frame and concrete block construction, notes HercuTech, which characterizes the system as “a single product that combines many operations: composite concrete and steel structure, superior insulation, water and vapor barrier, window and door casings and sills, and attachment points for drywall and exterior finishes. Panels [are] manufactured on computer-controlled equipment to exactly match the architectural plans for each individual project. [It] is delivered to the job site as a kit that includes corner, straight wall, and window and door panels, and can be installed on a production homebuilder scale using general labor.”

The 4- x 9-ft. HercuWall panels, 7- or 9-in. thick, encompass EPS foam sections with concrete studs on 12-in. centers; integral, continuous concrete base and top beam members; and, patent-pending, galvanized steel ShearStrip. The latter replaces vertical rebar and bonds with the concrete studs for a composite up to two times stronger than conventional reinforced concrete of equal mass. —

Related articles
LafargeHolcim sustainability plan embraces EPD, EMS, life cycle data, recycling metrics
North American operations top 2015 performers in LafargeHolcim portfolio