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FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

I.) Who invented Three Dee panel?  Who holds the patent?

E.V.G. of AUSTRIA holds the patent of the Three Dee Panel. E.V.G is a large multi-million dollar company known worldwide. E.V.G. are the inventors of numerous automated wire mesh systems. They have plants located around the world in which they have setup state of the art manufacturing systems, which produce the Three Dee Panel for Three Dee Concrete Insulated System. E.V.G. designs and builds too many products for us to mention here.

II.) Who manufactures the Three Dee panels in our area?

Our panel is manufactured at our plant which is located in Taiwan. We market our system directly to large users and others who are located where we don't have a Distributor nearby. Our products generally move through Distributors who will be listed elsewhere on this web page. They are trained and competent about the correct way to use panel. Whether it is to erect panel or to apply the concrete to get job done, our Distributors can show you how to get the job done properly and expeditiously. If you have special needs of any kind or are not located near a Distributor, we can help you. We will have factory trained reps available to help you no matter where you are located and no matter what your needs are*.

*Conditions will apply

III.) Who is the Distribution Company for Three Dee Panels in New Zealand & Australia?

Three Dee Construction Limited TDCL) is a distribution Company for New Zealand, Australia and South Pacific Islands. TDCL works in conjunction with Three Dimensional Panel Australia (3DPA) and has many companies involved with the marketing, promotion and sales of Three Dee Panels. TDCL will help you with cost-effective suggestions, also with engineering and architectural work. TDCL can help convert existing conventional projects to Three Dee Panel System. TDCL assists its customers with placing orders any ensures direct delivery to your job sites. TDCL also offers expertise training in-house employees and upon request can help select qualified sub-contractors. We can also help furnish qualified general contractors.

IV.) What is the Three Dee Panel? How is it made? What is it made of?

The Three Dee Panel is a prefabricated panel. This extremely strong structural product consists of a super-insulated core of rigid expanded polystyrene sandwiched between two-engineered sheets of steel welded wire fabric mesh. To complete the panel form process a 4mm galvanized steel truss wire is pierced completely through the polystyrene core at off set angles for superior strength and welded to each of the outer layer sheets of 2mm steel welded wire fabric mesh. Once these three elements are joined by EVG's state of the art manufacturing equipment, you end up with a THREE-DIMENSIONAL lightweight panel that due to their characteristics makes them one of the strongest building materials you can find. Once a special shotcrete concrete is applied to each side of the panel, the strong Three Dee insulated concrete structure is completed.

V.) How is the Three Dee Structure used?

Three Dee structure is used for numerous building applications. It may be used in place of wood framed walls, metal-framed walls, and masonry block walls or in place of pre cast panels. Three Dee structure may also be used for floor systems, ceilings and to provide a roof structure. Three Dee structure is an excellent product for building privacy walls around the home or building structure. Three Dee structure is being used by many landscape companies in place of masonry block. With handsome good looks and great flexibility, Three Dee structure can be used in conjunction with all of the building trades above.

VI.) What choices of Three Dee Panel core density and steel mesh styles are available?

Dimensions of the panels are manufactured from a starting width of 1200mm x up to 6000 mm length in 200 increments. Truss wire gauges available are 280mm, 320mm and 355mm. Polystyrene Core are normally 40, 50, 60, 80 and 100 mm thick. Outer Layer Wire Thickness Mesh to Mesh 50mm, 64mm, 76mm, 89mm, 100mm, 127mm.

VII.) How does Three Dee System compare in cost to other building systems? What are the main benefits?

The cost is dependent upon the design and finish of your project. Every structure is unique like a fingerprint; no two are alike. This makes analyzing the cost on a square metre basis difficult. However, cost comparison for various cladding plus structural walls systems are available, showing that Three Dee is very cost effective way of building various simple and very difficult Projects. Keep in mind Three Dee System is extremely versatile and can be used for almost everything. Also, Three Dee System is in the same time structural element and your finish product (ready for painting). Please visit section of our web site under construction – Cost and Building procedure. For return on investment, Three Dee structure beats stick framing as well as most other building systems readily. The dollars you spend on the Three Dee System can be made up very quickly in energy savings alone. Over the life of the structure, the savings are quite staggering.

The list of attractive benefits of the Three Dee Concrete Insulated System is as follows:

  • Fast High Quality Construction Time saved - 50% faster than standard construction Speedy occupancy - Saves money on construction loan dollars - Enhanced resale and marketability value Reduces the need for heavy equipment on job Fewer trades on job site.
  • Strength Durability Greater Structural Integrity Virtually maintenance-free wall system Saves on long term replacement cost of structure Polystyrene panel or concrete will not decay Monolithic design for superior strength.
  • Safety Security Excellent performance in seismic zones (Earthquake Resistance) Non-combustible structure Savings of 18% to 30% on fire insurance Excellent high wind protection-up to 400 km/hr. Insect Termite Rodent Resistant Mold, mildew, and fungi resistant.
  • Pro Environment Energy Efficient Maximum Conservation of forestry products Structure durability offers value for generations and saves many Earth resources Dramatically reduces consumption of fossil fuels Reduces the size and cost of HVAC systems Save 50 to 80% of utility costs on heating and cooling the structure.
  • Quality Comfort Design Flexibility eliminate outdoor noises, educe drafts and wide temperature fluctuations Enjoy air quality virtually free of dust, pollen and allergens with use of an air exchanger Create an acoustical environment for full advantage of sophisticated sound systems and home theaters.

VIII.) What standard's do Three Dee structure conform with?

The Three Dee System meet all New Zealand and Australian Building Code and Standards – see BRANZ Appraisal Certificate No: 385/1999.

IX.) What is the insulation (R) Value factors for the Three Dee structure?

R-Value is a rating of the material resistance to thermal penetration. The higher the number the better the protection value. Many circumstances change the R-Value rating. R-Values change with the different thickness and density of the polystyrene panel core, various thickness of shotcrete applied to the interior and exterior as well as fluctuation of ambient temperatures. Chart shown below shows the minimum R-Value ratings you can expect using Three Dee System. Polystyrene Core will provide an additional 10-12% R-Rating Polyisocyanurate Core is optional when panels are ordered.

50mm Polystyrene Core-R-Value 0.8 m2C/W

80mm Polystyrene Core-R-Value 1.2 m2C/W

100mm Polystyrene Core-R-Value 1.5 m2C/W etc.

In addition to that the thermal mass of Three Dee structure will affect the thermal insulation of your building that you will have a comfort of living you never had before. Three Dee is one of the most energy efficient system available.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

X.) What about thermal value heat loss?

The 3D Panel System has been designed with maximum environmental comfort in mind. A lightweight structure simply cannot compare to the comfort level available with the outstanding energy savings created by using the Three Dee System. Three Dee structure will keep you cooler in summer and warmer in winter. The modified expanded polystyrene core meets all thermal requirements.

Three Dee System offers valuable savings:

1.) Continuous insulation - No wooden or metal studs to transfer or conduct heat or cold through the exterior walls

2.) The incorporation of minimum 100mm of high density of shotcrete and variable thickness of polystyrene ranging from 50mm through 140mm offers an excellent thermal barrier.

3.) Electrical and plumbing is through the interior side of the Three Dee Panel, so there are fewer wall penetrations, which keeps thermal loss at a minimum.

4.) Save 50% to 80% of heating and cooling costs.

5.) Reduces size and cost of HVAC System.

XI.) What is the (S.T.C.) Sound Transmission Coefficient?

The S.T.C. (Sound Transfer Coefficient) attenuation is excellent. The double shell configuration of the concrete plus polystyrene plus concrete sandwich minimizes sound transmissions. Typical S.T.C. is expected to be up to 61, which is the very high requirement for any construction Project. Note: Three Dee structure has been extensively tested and found that the PCI/Manual gives the most accurate results when figuring STC.

XII.) What is the fire rating of Three Dee structure?

Three Dee structure has the following fire-resistance ratings, (Ratings are valid for fire exposure from either side) Fire-rating is derived from the wire mesh gauge in combination with concrete thickness. See chart below. The insulation core Type I polystyrene foam demonstrated a flame-spread index of 25 or less and a smoke developed rating of 450 or less when tested in accordance with ASTM -E84.The modified polystyrene core does not contain ozone-damaging chlorofluorocarbons (CFC's) in the manufacturing process or

50mm EXP-Core with 40mm Shotcrete each side = 1.5 Hours

80mm EXP-Core with 50mm Shotcrete each side = 2.0 Hours

80mm EXP-Core with 80mm Shotcrete each side = 4.0 Hours

Fire rating increases with greater quantities of concrete applied to each side. Polystyrene core will not burn.

XIII.) How is the Three Dee structure secured into the slab?

The rebar is embedded within the concrete slab. The panel is placed over the rebar, through the open space between the polystyrene core and the wire mesh. Once set, the rebar is fastened directly to the wire mesh by hand with tie wire. It is critical the rebar be installed in a straight line so the rebar fits easily into the cavity between the polystyrene and the wire mesh. It is important to make sure the rebar is completely exposed so it becomes monolithically enclosed with the shotcrete or cement application. Should the building department or engineer require additional tie downs, the polystyrene core can be removed from the base of the panel. The panel is then set in place over the required tie-down and cemented in place. Another option for placing the rebar in the concrete slab is to drill the concrete slab and pour epoxy in the cavity placing the rebar within its confines. Typically, the spacing of the rebar is 600mm.

XIV.) How is a bond beam – lintel made with Three Dee structure?

Simple. This is one of the biggest advantage of the Three Dee System compariong to the other building systems. A bond beam-lintel is used to create large openings, or to strengthen large areas of ceiling or to help support roof structures. By simply adding a couple of re-bars at the bottom of the lintels most of the bigger openings can be accommodated. In some cases

removing the polystyrene core, or part of it and installing rebar creates the bond beam. The best method for removing the polystyrene core is a toch-burning, it takes only a matter of minutes. The polystyrene will not burn it will shrink or melt leaving a cavity for re-bars and concrete.

XV.) How is the electrical and plumbing installed?

The installation of electrical or plumbing is achieved by removing a part of polystyrene core to create a cavity that electrical conduit or plumbing piping may be installed into. The polystyrene is approximately 20mm off the wire mesh so that you have a space to install these products. If this opening needs to greater the polystyrene core can be removed with a small keyhole saw or butane torch. The polystyrene will not burn it will shrink or melt leaving a cavity. The electrical or plumbing is then installed into the cavity. For further information please see instruction manual. The use of paint frequently shrinks the polystyrene to allow the placement of plumbing, electrical pipes and other services also.

XVI.) How are windows and doors installed?

The window and door openings may be cut out with before or after wall installation, by the use of three primary tools, a reciprocating saw, a set of bolt cutters or pneumatic cutter, and a small hand saw to remove the polystyrene. For some construction, wood jambs of treated material are then fitted into the openings. The windows and/or doors are then fastened to the treated jambs. A better way is to use, pre-finished concrete openings which will create whether-step for windows and doors installation and for waterproofing purpose. The windows and doors installed into the openings, as they would be into a typical masonry block structure. For further information please refer to instruction manual.

XVII.) How do you build curved or radius walls with Three Dee Structure?

You can build curved or radius walls by cutting the 2mm wires on one side of the panel. This will allow the panel to bend to the desired shape or radius. It is very important not to cut through the heavier 4mm truss wire so that wall strength and integrity remain intact.

XVIII.) How does Three Dee structure hold up under adverse conditions of Hurricanes, Tornadoes, Earthquakes and Fires?

Three Dee Structure has and excellent ability to resist fire and any kind of horizontal or vertical load. This has been proved in number of testing done overseas and in Auckland University in New Zealand. In addition the Mother Nature has given a few testing as a real storey with Three Dee Buildings. For the last 20 years, numerous homes have been constructed with the Three Dee System around the World and New Zealand. The homes were built to withstand hurricane force winds. In Laboratory testing, the Three Dee structure have been tested and will withstand wind loads of 400 km per hour. Laboratory testing results available upon request, a two-story Three Dee Structure research complex jointly funded by the National Science Foundation, Southern California Edison, Inc., and the University of California withstood California's worst earthquake in forty years was struck twice a (6.5) and (6.9) Richter Scale. According to Dr. Philippe Cohen who resides at the site in the Mojave Desert, the area at one point was subjected to a continuous shake lasting over a full minute. The structure went through the quakes with zero structural effects. The above earthquake was later found to be 7.6 on the Richter Scale. Complete - Earthquake structural testing report from Auckland University in New Zealand is available on above upon request.

Three Dee Structure is an ideal building product for structures in dry adverse climates where fire is always a constant threat. Areas which are heavily forested, high grass and brush, and other areas in Central Australia, and other similar areas where structures may be prone to fires. A structure built with Three Dee Panel is non-combustible and has a minimum 1.5-hour fire rating and a higher rating can easily be attained. Structures built with Three Dee Panel are virtually fire resistant. Full test report from certified engineering firm available upon request along with photos.

XIX.) What is the wind load capacity of Three Dee structure?

The brief synopsis which follows, is from the test results report dated 1994 from Dade County, Miami Florida pertaining to the wind load capacity of Three Dee structure. Three typical Three Dee Panels 1200mm wide and 3040mm high with 40mm of shotcrete on each face were installed vertically, side-by-side, on a concrete slab, several cm in front of a rigid backup wall with space between the panels and the backup wall. The panels were tested per static-wind load test (PA202-94 manner of testing). Summary: The specimens tested herein were fully tested in accordance with the Dade County Building Code Compliance Office Protocols PA 201-94,PA 202-94 and PA 203-94. No failures occurred to the specimens nor their fastenings nor anchorage. The products described in this report comply with SFBC Sections 2309 and 2315. The panels tested at 615 kgf/ square meters. Ft. pressure, which represents over 400 Km/h-wind factor.

XX.) What are the load bearing capabilities of Three Dee structure?

The load bearing weights that a typical Three Dee structure wall will support is amazing. The typical wood frame, metal frame, blockwall and other systems cannot compare to Three Dee structure’s strength. According to USA testing a typical 3D Panel with 50mm polystyrene core using 2mm mesh wire, 2.50m in height has been tested at a structural load of over 78,000 lbs.

XXI.) How are various shotcrete or cements applied to the Three Dee Panels?

The shotcrete is applied either by hand or machine application on both sides of the panel. This part of the operation is very specialized. Mix design, concrete slump, retarder factor, waterproofing additives as well as type of concrete pump and adequate workmanship are important factors for shotcrete operation. Various plaster finishes can be achieved with one coat or two coats systems. For architects with a special finish in mind we would like to mention that the architectural molds or metal trim could be incorporated into your design to achieve the desired finish. A few of the above-mentioned might be try reglets, point to point reveals, parting screed etc. The versatility of numerous types of plaster finishes or stucco finishes will work on interior and/or exterior walls. Additional products you may apply are brick, mini-brick, stone, stone facing, tile almost any type of finish your imagination can conceive will

XXII.) Is the polystyrene waterproof? Is the foam waterproof?

The polystyrene and the foam are one in the same. The polystyrene core is water-resistant. The ASTM test proved maximum water absorption of less than 2.5% for polystyrene product. E.P.S. is an inert, organic material. Polystyrene provides no nutritive value to plants, animals, or microorganisms. The polystyrene will not rot and is highly resistant to mildew. Aging has no effect upon the performance of the polystyrene E.P.S. is able to withstand the abuse of temperature cycling 180° assuring long term performance. Please refer to fire rating for flame spread information