In the construction industry it is important to comply with quality standards such as SANS 204, which is a National Standard for Energy Efficiency in Buildings. SANS 204 contains performance levels that are higher than SANS 10400-XA, for example, and that define the minimum requirements that must be adhered to in order to achieve a three Green Star rating from the Green Building Council of South Africa.
In order to assist in promoting sustainability in the construction industry, and thereby ensure that buildings are both healthier and safer for their occupants, an ultra-lightweight, thermally-insulating and fireproof aggregate for plaster and screed is available from Pratley. Known as Pratliperl®, the product is touted as the modern solution for energy-efficient building.
Energy efficiency has become ever more critical as electricity utility Eskom has introduced long-term load shedding for planned maintenance and upgrades of its fleet. This has resulted in major metropolitan areas such as the City of Johannesburg issuing design guidelines aimed at architects, planners, and developers to design buildings that minimise their energy requirement, which also assists with the larger issue of global warming.
Specified for lightweight plaster and screeds, Pratliperl® has been pretreated to enable it to mix with ordinary cement. The thermal insulation properties of a two-leaf (220 mm) external brick wall can be doubled simply by adding 16 mm of Pratliperl® plaster on either side of the wall, Pratley Marketing Director Eldon Kruger reveals. Going into winter, this means that the heat is kept inside which also has a positive result on your municipal bill.
“Not only is Pratliperl® a ‘green’ building material that can assist in meeting sustainability criteria, the fact that it is ultra-lightweight slashes the cost of high-rise structures in particular,” Kruger adds. In addition, the product is highly durable, and features good acoustic properties. It can even be gunited when applied to large surfaces, adding to its cost-effectiveness.
Applications range from underfloor insulation and insulated roof decks to lightweight screeds on corrugated iron or concrete roofs, fireproofing structural steel columns, insulating cryogenic tanks, loose-fill thermal insulation in wall cavities, and lightweight tile adhesive filler.
Apart from its excellent thermal insulation properties, Pratliperl® is also resistant to spalling under fire conditions, which improves the integrity of structures and enhances health and safety. The product has been extensively fire tested and can withstand temperatures of up to 1 250°C without comprising its structural integrity.
Once cured, Pratliperl® has superior strength compared to conventional lightweight foam concrete. Compatible with cement and other binders, it can be used to produce ultra-lightweight panels, boards, bricks, and blocks that can be cut, nailed, and drilled.