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  Q  1.1 Where is the Factory Located?
  A  The IHI R&D and Manufacturing Facility is located in North Delta, Greater Vancouver. It has produced over 40 different products since 1994.
  Q  1.2 At what rate will it be produced and delivered?
  A  At full capacity, the IHI factory can produce up to 15,000 square feet of panels per 12 hour shift.
  Q  1.3 What is the cost of the system, including delivery.  How does this compare to traditional construction methods?
  A  Details are needed with relation to the mechanical, electrical and public health systems in order to be able to estimate the exact cost of production.  We also need to know the type and height of the buildings, specifications etc.
Recently we concluded a joint costing exercise with one of Toronto's largest developer. The results showed overall savings of up to 25% (structural) depending on the nature of the structure over conventional methods . This accounted for savings in materials, labor, financing (due to a significant reduction in the time capital was tied up) and other costs based on a high-rise structure and stringent compliance with Toronto codes and was in comparison to a specific building system used by the developer (steel structure with pre-cast concrete cladding and dry wall). 
  Q  1.4 How many man hours are required to erect the system?
  A  The labour hours required for say a typical each 200 sq.m. of built-up area are as follows:  1/2man-hour of labour/sq.m. of built-up area and  0.1 crane hours per sq.m. of built-up area for the erection of the panels.
  Q  1.5 What skills are required to erect the system?  Are they locally available?
  A  Every crew will consist of one crane operator and 4 steel erectors.  These skills are readily available in most countries.  Every 2 crews will need a supervisor that can be provided by IHI if needed.  These supervisors will help train the local crews.
  Q  1.6 What other trades and man hours are required to complete the works? Wet trades, decorators, flooring contractors, electricians, plumbers, joiners, etc.
  A  In addition to the mentioned trades, other trades will be required such as painters, roofing installers, mechanical installers etc.  The man hours required will depend on the specifications of the project and these can be easily estimated by the local contractors.
  Q  1.7 What other materials and quantities are required to complete the project, such as kitchens, bathrooms, floors, light fittings, wardrobes, etc?
  A  This depends on the specifications of the project.  IHI can provide panels with sleeve pipes as well as electrical conduits (empty) and boxes.   Concrete will be polished and sealed with one coat of painting applied to all panels.

Finishings are independent of the construction method and this should be viewed as a constant regardless of the approach.  That is to say, the same number and cost of such components will be incurred by the contractors independent of the construction method.     If desired, we can assist in obtaining the best prices for finishings based on our strategic alliances with suppliers.
  Q  2.1 The product/system needs approval by building regulation authorities and compliance with relevant building codes. 
  A  IHI is well aware of this and we are confident that the IHI system will exceed all local codes and regulations. Vancouver building codes are considered amongst the most stringent in North America (particularly with respect to moisture and seismic sensitivity) and IHI is approved here. We will provide our joint-venture partners and clients with all necessary support information for compliance needs.
  Q  2.2 Compliance with European standards.  These include DIN, BS, ISO, EN, Agreement Certificates for components and assemblies.
  A  As stated in 2.1, we will provide all support for compliance.
  Q  3.1 Can the IHI system be applied for the construction of domes, vaults etc.  Can alterations be made easily to an existing contruction?
  A  (eg. The home owner / handyman wants to enlarge a window opening, punch through a skylight but does not want to hire the original builder, how much does the mass production aspect limit the possibilities for variety of cost, feasibility and/or time?

Definitely yes.  The mentioned requirements can be met without any problem. In fact we believe that the inherent flexibility of the IHI system will make it easier to adapt than conventional methods.  We have produced curved walls in our Vancouver show home.  Domes and vaults can be made but are not a standard item of great demand.  IHI will prepare a full set of shop drawings for every single panel and connenctions includung the mechanical and electrical systems.  A set of these drawings will be availabel at all times for required alterations.  IHI demosntrated that the Vancouver show home that was first built at the BC stadium in Vancouver, was dismantled, altered and re-built.  It will be possible to make additional openings for windows or doors in consultation with the IHI technical design office.
  Q  3.2 Is it proposed that the IHI system is used above ground only?  Will the groundwork's be carried out in the traditional method?
  A  Basements can be made out utilizing the IHI panels for walls and floors.  However, this will depend on the nature and location of the project and the nature of the soil.   Half of the area of the basement in IHI showhouse in Vancouver was made out of IHI panels as a test to see the advantages compared to cast-in-situ concrete.  We encountered many errors made by the contractor with the cast-in-situ concrete and the walls were not perfectlysmooth.  Whereas it took less than a day to erect the other half with the IHI panels.  The time saving was considerable besides the perfect execution.
  Q  3.3 Can the IHI system be used successfully as part of the groundwork's or are there too many risks involved?
  A  Definitely yes.  This was demonstrated at IHI's show home in Vancouver where the water table is 2.5 meters above the foundations.  No problems were encountered and there is no risk whatsoever.  Moreover, there is no smell of concrete in the basement due to the fact that our concretre is innert and does not require curing.  The panels are perfectly dry before they leave the factory.
  Q  3.4 Is there any degree of flexibility in modifying the scheme once the panels are made?  How late in the process can client brief changes be made?
  A  The Hi-Tech panels will be designed to accommodate present and future requirements before the panels are produced.  As demonstrated at IHI's show home in Vancouver, any future changes are possible, but they will vary according to the level of complexity of these changes.
  Q  3.5 Is there any degree of flexibility in modifying the layout once constructed? Modifications are required after the Olympic games are completed.
  A  Please see above answers. Panels can be cut, moved (if not load bearing) as needed. It would be useful to know the nature of planned modifications in advance so that we can design the system to most easily accommodate such changes.
  Q  3.6 What type of foundations are proposed?
  A  IHI has a patent on pre-cast strip foundations,  However, the type and design of foundations will vary according to the nature and design of every project like in traditional concrete or steel construction.
  Q  3.7 How are the differences in factory and site tolerances accommodated?
  A  IHI will provide embedment plates to be installed by the local contractors under IHI's supervision.
  Q  3.8 What are the transportation needs?  What size vehicles are required and does the road system impact on this?  Is there a maximum and minimum limit of delivery vehicles?  How is cost and construction time affected by the size of delivery vehicles?
  A  Does the size of panels affect quality of product?

The required transportation vehicles are flat-bed trucks either 20 or 40 foot long.  Prior to designing the Hi-Tech panels, IHI will require information pertaining to transportation limitations as far as weight, height and length restrictions in a particular Country as well as road constraints between the port and the site of the project.  Logically, the number of trips will be determined by the size of the delivery vehicles, however, the transportation cost should only be somehow higher proportionally with smaller vehicles. There should be no increase in time with smaller panels and there is no difference in quality.
  Q  3.9 What are the cranage needs? Size and number of cranes required and their efficiency/effectiveness.
  A  An optimal size mobile crane will be between 50 and 80 tons.  As mentioned earlier, the optimal crew will consist of one crane with operator and 4 steel erectors since panels will be fit in place and bolted together.
  Q  4.1 What is the life expectancy of the system under different climatic and environmental conditions?
  A  In hot climates it will be higher than in Canada since the concrete is by far better in quality than conventional and less permeable.  Moreover,  since the steel used in the Hi-Tech panels is well treated and not exposed and has no thermal bridging and most importantly since the Hi-Tech system altogether including the connectors is virtually seismic-proof, the life expectancy is by far greater than conventional construction (comparing apples to apples) and should exceed the useful life of the structures.
  Q  4.2 Can the local thermal and acoustic requirements be met?
  A  Yes, although we believe that these are already met with current design.
  Q  4.3 Performance in a seismic zone?
  A  Superior (see also 5.3).
  Q  5.1 Thermal movement: expansion, contraction and temperature gradient.  What is the effect on the structure, components and individual materials?
  A  There will be no effect on the structure and the only effect will be limited to the type of paint used on the flexible joints.  However, IHI will specify the type of paint to be used in order to virtually eliminate any potential aesthetic problem.  IHI recommends a durable elastic paint similar to the one used in IHI's show homes both in Luxembourg and Vancouver.  We are working with a laboratory in Vancouver on a superior nylon paint water based and also a ceramic paint that we may use in the near future, the results are very attractive.
  Q  5.2 Thermal insulation, cold bridging, vapour barriers and interstitial condensation, drainage/weep holes: these issues appear to be unresolved.  What do you propose to do?
  A  IHI has developed special details for  a Hotel project in Whistler B.C. for an outside temperature of -40 degrees Celsius.  This illustrates the fact that the thermal insulation in the Hi-Tech system is flexible and can meet almost any design requirement and conditions.   Cold  bridging:  IHI has studied and resolved this issue in great depth (details available upon request).    The expandable polystyrene EPS used in the Hi-Tech panels is minimum type 2.  IHI has a certification that type 2 EPS acts on its own as a vapour barrier and hence will not allow any condensation.  Such a vapour barrier is by far more durable and reliable than the conventional membrane that is used in the industry that is subject to unpredictable tempering during the construction period and after that during remodelling and maintenance of conventional construction.

Drainage/weep holes:   IHI has also studied and resolved this issue in great depth as can be clearly seen in the above mentioned set of details.  The weep holes have been designed to accommodate any serious man-made damage in the structural envelope integrity of the external Hi-Tech panels anytime in the future, even after 50 or 100 years.   For example, if someone drills a hole through the external layer of concrete without sealing it, it is evident that this opening will allow water to penetrate through the external layer of concrete and this exposed drainage/weep hole will then be very effective to prevent any moisture to pass through the internal Hi-Tech panel concrete layer. 
  Q  5.3 Joints, seals, structural movement, movement of joints, seismic movement:  how do these work on the structure and what is the impact?
  A  The joints in the Hi-Tech structural system are designed to have ZERO relative movement with respect to the adjacent ones.  The whole structure is one ductile unit allowing serious stress reductions.  The gaps between vertical and horizontal panels approx. 12 m/m wide are designed to allow thermal expansion/contraction and a standard panel has a mechanical seal (backrod) on each side covered with heavy duty elastic seal.  Such a combination will make the joints virtually permanently sealed as explained earlier.

Based upon all of the above, and under heavy severe dynamic loading, the worse scenario that can happen, is a micro-crack in the paint itself that can be easily repaired by applying an elastic based paint on top of it.
  Q  5.4 Effect of differential movement between steel, concrete, inside, outside, sunny and shady sides?
  A  We believe that this point has been covered earlier above.
  Q  5.5 Porosity, water absorption, effect of frost, staining, rusting of metal frame and reinforcement, degradation over time:  what is the effect on life expectancy?
  A  Please kindly refer to the points covered above.
  Q  5.6 Effects of calcium chloride to speed up drying time results in concrete being less alkaline and allows steel to rot/rust.  What are the effects on this specific system?
  A  The IHI mix after setting becomes totally inert and the steel is treated and painted, thus this scenario in not applicable to our Hi-Tech system.
  Q  5.7 Effects of alkali/silica reaction?
  A  5.7 As in 5.6
  Q  5.8 Effects of shrinkage of concrete, particularly in relation to steel structure.
  A  With the additives used in our concrete mix, the shrinkage is reduced to a minimum and as mentioned earlier, the paint covers any potential micro-cracks that may occur  in certain localized areas and, of course, if that happens it has no effect on the steel that is well bonded to the concrete from all sides.
  Q  5.9 Does season and weather affect construction tolerances and is dimensional compensation required?  Is there a temperature and humidity range over which construction should take place?
  A  5.9  The only effect on construction/erection of the Hi-Tech panels is the wind. In Canada according to the Workers Compensation Board, one is not allow to use a crane when the wind blows at a speed superior to 40km/hr.  All other effects are negligible other than very heavy rain.
  Q  5.10 What are the ranges for fire resistance, thermal insulation, sound transmission?
  A  The tests performed on the Hi-Tech panels show a fire resistance of 2 hours. However, the panels can be designed to suit any code requirement.  The steel tubes can be filled with mineral fibre or concrete and the EPS can be replaced with rigid mineral fibre to satisfy any higher requirements.  Thermal insulation can vary between R10 and R100 by increasing the width of the insulation.  Our standard in our factory was R24 for the walls and R30 for the roof.

In IHI's Vancouver show house, we met all the STC rating for Vancouver with our standard Hi-Tech panels, however, the rating can be significantly increased for specific applications. For instance, we have designed some panels to house a generator room for AT&T in a location downtown Vancouver.  We will be adding a thin sheet of lead that will be placed in between the insulation and then the insulation will be covered on both sides by our high strength concrete.  This will allow us to increase the STC rating  to any level we need.
  Q  5.11 Do issues arise from toxic materials, dust or other particles?
  A  IHI does not use any toxic materials.  Its factory is properly designed to maintain a clean environment.  Above the robotic welding area IHI has purchased the most sophisticated exhaust system to convert the welding fumes into solid non-toxic particles.
  Q  5.12 Are the elements individually and as an assembly chemically stable?
  A  As explained above our material is totally inert and as a result, chemically stable.
  Q  5.13 Is the assembly suitable for use in areas with high salinity?  Can and should the panels be transported by sea?
  A  The Hi-Tech panels passed all the tests after applying heavy salinity and for long duration.  We do not anticipate any problems at all in shipping the Hi-Tech panels by sea based on our previous experience for panels shipped for the Luxembourg Show Home. Soon IHI will export the panels needed for the first of two joint venture factories in accordance with IHI's expansion program worldwide as well as a show home for France.
  Q  5.14 Is it desirable, necessary or essential for the panel to be factory decorated and sealed prior to transportation and installation?
  A  Our standard is to seal the concrete in the factory prior to shipment.
  Q  5.15 Can the finishes, fittings and services be applied/integrated at the factory?
  A  They can be applied as an option.
  Q  6.1 Factory by manufacturer
  A  IHI has in house quality control in addition to independent agencies and private consulting firms.
  Q  6.2 Transport by manufacturer and haulier
  A  Transportation can be assured by any transportation company. Vancouver is a major international seaport and all major lines are represented here. We can also work with local and international shippers if there are already established relationships.
  Q  6.3 Site operations by manufacturer, haulier and constructor.
  A  All operations on site including erection can be undertaken by any general contractor using steel erection sub-contractors under IHI's top supervision.
  Q  7.1 Design and manufacture coordination: architectural design, dimensional coordination, structural design, building services, fittings and finishes; buildability; transportation to site; cranage, etc.
  A  IHI will prepare the required shop drawings for manufacturing to be pre-approved by all concerned consultants prior to commencement of any manufacturing or fabrication.  Moreover, IHI will provide erection drawings in order to simplify the operations on site and increase efficiency.  IHI will work closely with the general contractors to synchronize the transportation schedule of panels to site in addition to recommend type and size of cranes to be used on site. 
  Q  7.2 Manufacture, rate of production, quality control, etc.
  A  1,500 m2 of panel area per day. Quality control is undertaken by IHI in the factory as well as provision of site supervision.
  Q  7.3 Delivery: method of transport, protection during transport, accessibility of site, etc.
  A  Please see above.
  Q  7.4 Site conditions: to be accessed by vehicles and cranes.  Method of substructure and site infrastructure, etc.
  A  Please see above
  Q  7.5 Cranage: availability and accessibility, etc.
  A  This is normally supplied by local consultants and general contractors to IHI prior to commencement of any panel design. Local cranage to be assessed by contractors based on the requirements stated.
  Q  7.6 Construction process: methodology, sequencing and resources.
  A  Please see above
  Q  7.7 Untested product/durability/life expectancy: test results for all aspects of system.
  A  Please see above (we have already, or will provide test results for these aspects).
  Q  7.8 Labour: availability, skills and quality.
  A  As mentioned above, the main crew needed to erect the system of panels are steel erectors.  Such labour is readily available in most Countries.  If need be, steel  erectors can be brought in from surrounding regions.  IHI will be very pleased to provide Top Supervision in order to ensure the highest professional quality control.
  Q  7.9 Warranty: by whom and for what period of time.
  A  The warranty for the product will be 10 years.  IHI will warrantee the structural part backed by IHI's raw material suppliers warranties.
  Q  8.1 What is the method statement to achieve the desired outcome in the required period?
  A  Issues include: Full product development, testing, compliance with relevant standards, ensure manufacturing methods, controls and quality systems are in place, delivery system and protection during transportation, cranage, training of management and site operatives, management of dimensional coordination, etc.

As far as IHI is concerned, the IHI product is fully developed and tested.  IHI will be in full production by the end of December 2002. This includes all the required quality control testing and code equivalents.  
  Q  8.2 Can the IHI system be considered for projects such as hotels, hospitals, schools, offices housing developments, etc.
  A  The Hi-Tech panellized system is applicable to any sort of building since it does not use moulds and thus any sort of building can be realized utilising this system.
  Q  Specific product or service to be featured:
  A  Unique revolutionary construction technology consisting of the production of pre-engineered customized buildings using steel/concrete insulated and pre-serviced panels produced in a factory using state-of-the-art computers and machinery including robotics and a sophisticated software created by the inventors and founders of the company.
  Q  3) What are the key elements that contribute to the superior or unique status of your technology?
  A  We can summarize the key elements that contribute to the unique status of our Technology as follows:
  • Unique technology needed World-Wide;
  • Computerized the construction industry to manufacture an accurate product quickly;
  • Complete liberty and flexibility of design;
  • No height limitations -- from 1 to 40 stories;
  • High degree of thermal insulation to meet any climatic condition even Siberia!;
  • High acoustic insulation;
  • Environmentally friendly panels -- made of inert building materials;
  • Resistant to hurricane forces -- 300 miles/hr wind;
  • Fire resistant -- tested to resist 2hrs;
  • Speed of production -- 15000 sq.ft. of panel area/12 hr. production shift;
  • Speed of Assembly -- 100 man/hours to assemble 3000 sq.ft on site;
  • Low cost -- 90% reduction in labor cost;
  • Higher efficiency/productivity of labor on site for execution of finishing's thus further reduction in labor cost;
  • Panels are equipped with electrical conduits, pipe sleeves, and the concrete is sealed with one coat of paint at the factory;
  • The panels are light because 65% of the redundant volume of concrete is replaced by rigid insulation whose shape is determined by an in-house computer software;
  • No waste or theft on the job-site;
  • The speed of assembly on site reduces noise and is environmentally friendly;
  Q  7) In layman's terms please provide a description of your product/service.
  A  IHI designs and manufactures buildings for residential, commercial, industrial and institutional markets. The buildings are durable, strong and accurate, custom designed and finished and are built in a fast manner whether high-rise or low-rise.
  Q  9) What are the controversial subjects or issues in your industry (related to the story to be featured)? Where does your company stand on those issues?
  1. Selling gold cheaper than copper
    If there are people that for whatever reason prefer to buy copper rather than gold even if they have to pay more to purchase copper, then definitely our company will not target the market of such minority. IHI believes that it has the most superior product system in the construction industry due to all the above mentioned key elements.
  2. Building with concrete
    Building with concrete and steel in traditional methods is very expensive, particularly for homes because of the high labor involvement. At IHI, automation and intelligent construction systems allow us to bring down the above costs to levels below the cost of wood construction whilst increasing the strength, durability, quality, speed of construction significantly.

    At IHI, we believe that wood should be employed only for the execution of interior furnishings where applicable, not only to increase the profit margin of the wood industry but to minimize cutting down our forests. IHI also believes that wood is not a durable structural building material that can withstand severe natural elements like fire, hurricanes, floods, termites, etc.

    Because IHI has a unique and new product, many customers will require the time and the experience to witness the superior advantages of the IHI system and because of that, IHI's initial plan was enforced by setting up several show homes and building its own manufacturing facilities including the production and office areas. IHI is currently designing a high-rise residential building to be built towards the end of 2003 in order to demonstrate all the above mentioned advantages. This policy will continue to be enforced and spread world-wide.

  Q  10) What future trends do you see having an impact on your Industry?
  A  We believe that the Construction Industry will become more and more automated and integrated in the coming years following the example set out by IHI for reasons explained herein.

Because of the numerous advantages of the IHI system, developers will use the IHI system as a tool to develop new cities, massive housing programs to reduce pressure and demand on governments and provide the needed shelters and jobs.
  Q  11) How are you planning to address these trends?
  A  With all the advantages mentioned herein, IHI is confident that it will not only be a leader with its construction system but also that it will set the school that will attract and direct the mainstream international construction groups to follow.
  Q  What do you feel is the most credible organization in your business community?
  A  International testing, certifying and quality control agencies such as INTERTEK, UL (Underwriters Laboratories) and ULC (Underwriters Laboratories of Canada).

We will be happy to provide copies of our available videos the majority of which are in BETACAM.
  Q  1.1.1 Which national or international by-laws or regulations are the base ones to design the structure?
  A  All the raw materials utilized by IHI in its manufacturing process are UL/ULC (United Laboratories and United Laboratories of Canada ) approved or any local approved material, hence, with an independent local certified engineer, the panels will automatically be locally certified in any Country in the world covering any local or international standards.
  Q  1.1.2 Is there any certificate or technical verification issued by authentic national or International references.
  A  Please see above, however, structural tests results were prepared by NU -- WESTECH Engineering on IHI panels showing how the tests exceeded the specified load values significantly whether static or dynamic. In addition to that Fire Tests were carried out on 3 IHI Structural Panels with different thicknesses by the World renowned INTERTEK Laboratories at their facilities in British Columbia, Canada.

Intertek is a leading provider of quality and safety solutions serving a wide range of industries around the world. From auditing and inspection, to testing, quality assurance and certification,

Intertek operates a global network of more than 1,000 laboratories and offices and over 23,000 people in 110 countries around the world.

Customers of Intertek include some of the world's leading brands, major global and local companies and government. The Intertek story starts at the inception of the modern testing industry. The history of Intertek spans 122 years and evolves from the combined growth of 15 innovative companies.
  Q  1.1.4 What functioning experiences has this system had in previous earthquakes?
  A  Vancouver, Canada ranges amongst the most dangerous seismic areas in the World and experiences sporadic earthquakes and so far the IHI buildings built since 1999 have not experienced any problems resulting from these earth movements. IHI manufactured other mobile structures including a mobile school, mobile offices, mobile presentation center and mobile technical rooms. In addition, many modules in these buildings were manufactured and assembled at the IHI factory and moved to site and none of them have experienced any negative effects as a result of earth movements. IHI buildings are resistant to heavy earthquakes and this can be verified in structural tests conducted for every building designed with the IHI system and verified by the Client's structural engineers before entering the manufacturing process.

As for the difference in the size or type of seismic movement from one area to another, please note that the IHI panels have been designed to meet any international standards through Structural Equivalences. Of course, in certain cases some laboratory or field tests may be required by local authorities. It is worth noting that the Canadian tests are acceptable in most countries world-wide. IHI panels are designed to withstand not only compression but also various skin stresses and tensions whether horizontal or vertical or a combination of both. The panels -which are biased inwards towards the interior portion of the panel, absorb and distribute seismic forces to the entire three-dimensional structure and the biased frame members act to absorb residual seismic forces reaching the individual panels. Thus it is not just the configuration of each individual panel but also the behavior of all the panels together in the totality of the structure which render the building earthquake resistant.

When a building is designed, the structural engineer designs the structure to resist earthquakes. IHI provides independent Structural Engineers with the necessary structural data and calculations for them to check the resistance of every IHI building to the forces of nature including seismic movements. IHI does not have a standard product, thus, every project is studied individually. IHI has obtained building permits for their factory, office building and Vancouver show home in British Columbia that has the strictest seismic code in the world. These buildings have been exposed to continuous earth movements since 1999 and have not experienced any differential settlement or cracks.

The IHI buildings are manufactured only after obtaining the required building permits which means that the government authorities have approved the structural characteristics of the building and its resistance to seismic forces.
  Q  1.1.5 How much is the value of response modification coefficient (R) based on standard 2800 or other regulations applied in this structure?
  A  Not only is the Richter scale 8 IHI's minimum standard but also all connections are ductile to filter out any built-up stresses due to earthquakes, tornados, fire, etc.

IHI structure is a ductile moment resistance space frame. Based on this definition and according to CAN/CSA-S16.1.M the R value is 4.0
  Q  1.1.6 What kind is the common lateral load bearing system used in this structure? What other methods are applicable to be used to bear the lateral loads?
  A  Each panel is designed to work on its own to resist axial (tension and compression), torsion, bending and shear mainly because the perimeter that acts as a built-in formwork and that is welded together with multi-layers of reinforcement on each side, all confined together with 2 high strength (12,000 psi) concrete layers, each acting as a diaphragm to increase the stiffness of each surface and in order to eliminate any torsion both transversal and longitudinal, reinforced high-strength cylinders are specially designed not only to connect the high strength structural plate together but also to confine them structural boundary of each panel that also act as a built-in formwork, the only way to understand it is to create a 3-dimensional finite analysis using different structural materials and study the behavior of various loadings from all directions.
  Q  1.1.7 What elements stand the gravity loads?
  A  We have conducted gravity loads tests based on a self-weight of a 3 meter by 12 meter panel spanning on its weak axis connected to a 90 degree panel acting as a shear column, the combination of the assembly had a 55 lb. / square foot (that covers its dead weight); that was equivalent to a 150 mile/hr. wind and the deflection was absolutely minimum. Moreover, we applied uniform load on 10 ft. x 10 ft. panel (which we submitted the results) and the loading equipment failed at 562 lb./sq.ft., the panel deflection was at a minimal. Currently if you want to apply the same test based on the advanced panel version we expect the result to be by far higher.
  Q  1.1.8 How are the connections design and execution in presented system?
  A  All connections (steel connections and using high strength galvanized bolts) are ductile to filter out any built-up stresses due to earthquakes, tornados, fire, etc. After the building is bolted together properly, all (recessed) connections are welded.
  Q  1.1.9 Describe the type of ceiling, material and the thickness that is used to make the ceiling.
  A  (if there are a variety of methods, describe all of them). All building documents including calculation booklet, architectural, structural, mechanical and electrical plans (HVAC, utilities, sewage and ...) of the following sample with all constructional details should be presented. (If there is any).

The IHI panels are designed to be used as Foundations, External and Internal Walls as well as Slabs (ceilings) and Roofs. When these panels are interconnected, they form a 3 dimensional steel structure resulting in a building that can theoretically be carried as one piece and shaken without experiencing any structural effect or deformation. Although the plant produces panels only, the system allows for pre-servicing panels with electrical, plumbing and mechanical systems, which are connected during the assembly process. IHI integrates the necessary openings for HVAC systems provided by the Client's engineers during the preparation of coordinated shop drawings as well as conduits for the electrical network throughout the building.

Our panels have no redundancy, and each of them is designed to have by far a much higher strength to weight ratio. In normal reinforced concrete (for example) we agree with you that each slab deflects based on its own dead weight mainly because 35% of on average of the effective reinforced concrete is carrying the 100% portion that includes the 65% redundancy. The whole gests and principles of IHI system is to eliminate redundancy, save of the cost of that huge redundant volume and at the same time make the panel by far stronger, so the 35% in other words, is 35% effective concrete that be mainly acting under compression will simply not defect under its own weight (again because the strength to weight ratio is extremely high). Naturally at heavy loading, we designed the panel to have no deflection greater than 1/500 of its span in a very elastic manner.

We have done cyclical loading and every time the deflection re-bounces back to zero under very heavy loading conditions and without leaving any residual deformation, and the reason it is elastic is because each panel is continuous from every aspect and covers the whole perimeter that is fully welded to the interior steel structure of the reinforced steel imbedded into each structural plate (confined within the structural steel perimeter separated by elastic rigid insulation and connected as per above with high strength reinforced cylinders).
  Q  1.2 Supplementary Questions
  A  1.2.1 Technical specifications of system

Panel System

The key to the IHI process is a unique panel system, which is both structurally superior and less costly than traditional site-based or pre-manufactured system. The panel system is based on a composite steel reinforced high strength concrete and rigid foam insulation structure. Steel tubes provide frame strength, built-in formwork, and mechanical connections and can serve as well as electrical and utility conduits. Steel cables within the panels are connected to the steel frame and tensioned to provide diagonal stiffness. A combination of special flanges and steel pins connect the panels at corner points in a very ductile manner.

The overall structure is analyzed as a three dimensional space frame and has excellent characteristics of flexibility and lateral stability (i.e. wide earthquake loads make it essentially earthquake proof). Even without the pins, the structure is statically stable and the pins are only present for dynamic stability.

Each IHI panel is sealed by an advanced IHI chemical mix to boost a previously sealing process within the production process to create a very crystallized thin layer of hard surface that will allow fast painting application without having any vapor to seep through the surface and ruin the paint.

This process will minimize micro-cracking and at the same time will allow each panel to continue sub-curing in specially designed automated shelving system under full humidity and temperature control. This process of sub-curing should take approx. 3 hrs for the concrete to achieve 30% of its high strength designed criteria (28 days), i.e. 30% of 12,000 p.s.i.(84 mpa approx.). This is equivalent to 3600 p.s.i. (approx. 25.2 mpa

The steel used by IHI is equivalent to ASTM A500 GRADE C
  Q  1.2.2 How much is the approximate dead load of this structure in commonly used buildings per square meter? (Separately present the amount of the dead load for structure, rendering and paving with all presumed details)
  A  Approx. it should be in the area of 500 kg/m2 of buildable area. Approx 200kg/m2 for the panels and with a ratio of 2.5 approx. (panel area to buildable area) for economically designed buildings, the total buildable weight per m2 is 500 kg./m2.
  Q  1.2.3 Please specify the connection regulations and limitations of non-structural members (like in-filled frames) of the main structure. If these elements have effect on seismic force resistance, how will be the manner of connections will?
  A  and how, If they have no contribution in stiffness of structure?

The IHI structural panels are interconnected with the slabs, thus at the end the building becomes one piece and there are certain walls including all exterior walls that are needed for the structural integrity of the building and can not be replaced by hybrid systems. There is a minimum of 20% of IHI internal walls needed for structural integrity. The type of connections will be decided during the overall structural analysis.

The connection regulations for non structural members varies with each code, in our case, any non-structural member or element can be easily welded or bolted or screwed into our panels without any problem as long as 20% of the interior structure is made out of IHI panels connected to the slabs that in turn are connected to the exterior walls.
  Q  1.2.4 Specify the opening limitations on exterior walls or floors.
  A  There are no limitations in the opening sizes for external walls used as windows or cutouts, in fact, the cut-outs used for windows and doors are surrounded by structural steel tubes to which the windows and doors are connected together making them resistant to hurricane wind forces/earthquakes, etc. Again IHI panels work under positive or negative pressure. The floors can have any opening necessary for stairs or shafts as specified in a particular design since all panels are custom-made.

There are no structural limitations for the openings -- the structure is designed to accommodate the architectural design of the buildings. Hollow structural steel tubes provide a sub-frame for windows and doors -- in case of a very large opening, the panel above the window becomes a beam plate. In our show homes as you can see in our website we have openings more than 6 m x 3m high. At the same time we have double height living area which can be considered like a 100% opening between walls. We believe above is clear enough.
  Q  1.2.5 If there is any structural test (cyclic or dynamic loading) within the country or abroad, provide all the results.
  A  IHI is in the continuous process of commissioning tests for local and international certification standards. These include testing with respect to normal usage (loading, thermal, sound characteristics) as well as safety and environmental testing (fire, wind, earthquake, etc.). Intertek Testing, an international certified and accredited testing agency, has now completed required building code testing on behalf of IHI with respect to the building components derived from the technology.

To date Intertek Testing have completed a number of tests related to loading and fire resistance.
  • Fire: With respect to fire, the results show that the panels will provide a two hour fire resistance.
  • Uniform Load: Panels of various sizes were tested for transverse uniform load capability. Panels withstood 562-lbs / square foot.
  • Wind Load: Panels withstood 225-lbs / square foot, which is equivalent to a wind velocity of 300 miles per hour.
Product Technology
Conclusions from third party research on IHI technology
After an extensive search and continuous testing, Nu-Westech, an independent reputable technology research firm, concluded that there are no comparable methods of building technology available at this time. They also concluded that to engineer and design for every condition to the finer allowable tolerances within the safety limits of the building code requires a significant amount of calculation. A specialized computer program would circumvent the tedious algorithms that would be required.
  Q  1.2.6 How applicable and prevalent is the usage of passive systems in ventilation, cooling, heating and energy conservation in this building?
  A  The IHI panels provide high thermal insulation throughout the building; however, it is for the engineers and architects to specify any sort of passive systems of HVAC for energy conservation. These can be executed by a general contractor since IHI will only provide the pre-conduit/sleeve pipes panels to construct the entire building.

The IHI panels provide high thermal insulation throughout the building; however, it is for the engineers and architects to specify any sort of passive systems of HVAC for energy conservation.

To be clearer, eliminate the last 2 lines. To be more specific, each panel is not only well insulated but is well sealed & the rigid insulation acts as a full vapor barrier and each joint is sealed on both sides of the panel (inside and outside). All above make heat losses extremely limited allowing for high efficient passive systems.
  Q  2- Fire Resistance
  A  2-1 Main Questions

2-1-1 Describe the material specification comprising system regarding fire protection. (Inflammability or combustibility, smoke production, generated heat and toxic gases and fire protection demands)

Please refer to the attached fire test results prepared by INTERTEK. The only component exposed to fire will be the high-strength concrete that protects both the steel and insulation.
  Q  2.1.2 How is the system endurance (for structural and non-structural elements) against fire and how is it obtained?
  A  Endurance is outstanding. In case of fire propagation inside a certain space of the building, the fire will not spread throughout since all of the walls and slabs have a minimum of 1 hour fire rating. This gives a feeling of safety and security to the occupants of the IHI buildings. All steel frames, sub-frames and the reinforcement are imbedded in the concrete and tested accordingly, for any exposed steel again this specific element will be properly coated with fire resistance coating available all over the world and each region is governed by different specifications.
  Q  3- Acoustics
  A  3.1 Main Questions

3-1-1 How much is the (Rw) value or (STC) for exterior wall and partition?

So far, all on site sound testing exceeded all local requirements in Canada. Noise is transmitted through both air and structure. Sound is normally trapped and residual bouncing of sound will occur (between the higher density exterior skin layers) and that creates micro echoes.

With the IHI system, for example, this problem does not exist, since the concrete varies in thickness, and the ratio of thicknesses of various materials is by far less than in most other building systems. Most importantly, IHI panels have internal high strength small columns to eliminate the above effect.

To be clearer, we have rephrased the previously answer question to read as follows:

So far, all on site sound testing exceeded all local requirements in Canada. Noise is transmitted through both air and structure. Sound is normally trapped and residual bouncing of sound will occur (between the higher density exterior skin layers) and that creates micro echoes.

With the IHI system, the above problem does not exist, since the concrete varies in thickness, and the ratio of thicknesses of various materials is by far less than in most other building systems. Most importantly, IHI panels have internal high strength small columns/cylinders to eliminate the above effect.
  Q  4- Miscellaneous
  A  4.1 Main Questions
4.1.1 Describe briefly general qualification of this system regarding applied modern technology in one paragraph.

The IHI building system is a unique patented advanced construction system available in the market today that can provide mass customization of pre-engineered high-rise, low rise, commercial, industrial, institutional type of buildings pre-manufactured in large quantities utilizing high-strength insulated structural steel special moment resistance 3 dimensional modules. All features are integrated to help providing shelter to a world needed population in all aspect. The demand is constantly experiencing exponential growth. Due to all above, IHI has optimized state-of-the-art technology that has been developing in-house over the last quarter Century to computerize the construction Industry.

IHI designs and manufactures buildings for residential, commercial, industrial and institutional markets. The buildings are durable, strong and accurate, custom designed and finished and are built in a fast manner whether high-rise or low-rise and IHI has a unique revolutionary construction technology consisting of the production of pre-engineered customized buildings using steel/concrete insulated and pre-serviced panels produced in a factory using state-of-the-art computers and machinery and a sophisticated software created by the inventors and founders of the company. Patents were issued in many Countries worldwide.

This technology is advanced and unique. It provides architects and engineers with a tool to design with total flexibility any kind of durable strong building structure in a very fast manner and with great savings utilizing a high inert quality building materials (steel and concrete) available world-wide with high levels of thermal and acoustic insulation.
  Q  4.1.2 What structural parts must be constructed at job site according to facilities available and what parts at factories?
  A  A general contractor or sub-contractors will prepare all the necessary site works and infrastructure including site preparation, connections to municipality sewage, water, electricity, telephone network, etc., as well as ground excavations and foundations. However, IHI can provide as an option pre-manufactured IHI foundations. The factory will manufacture all of the pre-serviced panels for the external and internal walls, slabs and roofs. At a later stage of each joint-venture factory, IHI intends to fully finish the panels at the local factories and well package for delivery to site.
  Q  4.1.3 What limitations are there in constructing this structure in different climates? For instance in hot & humid, mild and dry & cold climates. Describe each case.
  A  IHI has manufactured buildings in one of the most severe climates of the World: Northern Alberta, Canada. The very high quality of the elements that constitute an IHI panel can withstand any kind of climate: hot and humid; mild and dry and severe cold climates. However, the mechanical systems must be properly designed by the Client's engineers accordingly.

The materials used by IHI provide a healthy and comfortable environment. IHI buildings are totally sealed, if any hole is created and left unsealed on the outer surface of any panel, the water will drop down to the bottom of the building through weeping holes provided in the structural steel frames of every external panel. Therefore this eliminates the risk for condensation and water leaks inside the buildings. In addition it creates a natural rain screen. There are no limitations whatsoever, each case is studied independently to satisfy local requirements, however, it is worth noting that in addition to the above, where there are extreme variations of temperature, the hollow steel structural tubes that constitute the frame of the panels are injected with fire-proof insulating material to avoid having any thermal bridges at the joints between these panels. This applies to hot and humid and cold climates. The IHI panels are already insulated at the core; the insulation is protected by concrete on both faces of the panels. For buildings located in mild and dry climates there is no need to insulate the steel tubes.
  Q  5. Supplementary Questions
  A  5.1 What kind of exterior and interior walls are used in this system? How could these be performed? Specify usable prefabricated walls.

IHI manufactures custom-made panels -- these panels differ in size and thickness depending on the architectural design and specifications of each building. The panels used for exterior walls are usually thicker than the ones used as interior partitions. Both are equipped with electrical conduits. The Interior panels are equipped with sleeve pipes in areas such as kitchens and bathrooms. However, the configuration of all IHI panels is practically the same with some specific details that are added as needed.
  Q  5.2 What kind and method of rendering and finishing usually is used in this system? (describe different applicable layers in detail).
  A  It is obvious that ANY type of finishing can be applied to concrete, especially to high-strength concrete! - Paint is usually preferred because of economic reasons; however, it is very easy to finish the exterior walls with finishing like stone, granite, marble, metal cladding, bricks, wood paneling, etc. e.g. there are no limitations whatsoever. IHI recommends the use of elastomer paint as a durable type of finish.
  Q  5.3 How much area in square meter of the structure (if it is prefabricated) is feasible to be carried by an 18-wheel truck? If there is any special carrier or vehicle, describe it in detail.
  A  This depends on the allowed weight that can be transported by the truck. The average weight of the panels is 220 kg/m2.

The IHI panels are transported from the Factory to the site using flat bed trucks or B trains -- For instance, in Canada, it is allowed to transport 30 Tons on a tri-axial truck and 40 tons on B-train trucks, dividing above by 0.22 tons/m2 average you will obtain a total sq.m. of panels per load. The allowed weight varies from Country to Country each with their own specific set of regulations. Normally the most economical way to load inside the factory is by using an overhead crane and a mobile crane or heavy duty forklift on site to unload the trucks and install the panels.
  Q  5.4 How is the pace of constructing this structure in comparison with common steel and concrete buildings? In other words how much time does it take to build one story?
  A  Please see above, however, to be more specific: A typical automated IHI Factory at optimized capacity and full synchronization by local production management, on average 40 pallets with an average 37 m2 of panels each can be properly produced in one day. Therefore, an average of 40 x 37 m2 = 1480 m2 of panels can be produced per 12 hr. shift with a reliable and experienced crew. The Factory can produce enough panels to build 15 apartments, 100 m2 each every day. A five storey building with a total area of 1000 m2 can be erected by a crew of 10 people and one 80 Ton crane in 5 days.
  Q  5.5 All requirements of this structure whether it is made in factory or site should be specified. Explain instruments and equipments for construction and installation.
  A  The structure will be made at the local IHI Factory that will be equipped with the most advanced panel production equipment, including automatic placing and pouring concrete equipment, automated concrete batching plants, automatic jigs for welding, laser cutting and welding equipment, etc. To assemble a 5 storey building, the site crew will need an 80 ton mobile crane with a crane operator , 2 certified welders equipped with mobile welding equipment, 5 certified steel erectors a supervisor and laser guided beams for alignment.
  Q  5.6 To what extent does this construction require maintenance and rehabilitation?
  A  The IHI buildings require practically no maintenance as far as the IHI panels are concerned, for the rest of the finishes and equipment it will depend on the quality of the specified materials by the Architects. However if only IHI specified finishing are used the maintenance will be reduced to an average of one coat of paint every 10 years.

The IHI buildings require practically no maintenance as far as the overall IHI panels are concerned specially since all steel elements are coated and imbedded in a very high strength concrete layers that are fully sealed and coated and all exterior walls and interior panels with built-in piping sleeves, have integrated weeping holes to allow for proper drainage in case of any human created problems. Most importantly, all connections are fire protected with bolts under no static stresses and are fully welded to the fully special moment resistant 3-dimensional space frame structure allowing any axis stresses due to any dynamic loading to be filtered out from the system in a very natural and harmonized manner.

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