Building technology fit for price-conscious buyers
Inquirer News Service By Charles E. Buban- 2002-12-05

Canadian technology

WITH THIS CANADIAN technology, houses can now be built in a much shorter time and at a price tag comparably lower than when one uses the conventional method of using hollow blocks.

When Royal Technologies Group of Toronto introduced its Royal Building System in the Philippines, the firm not only brought in an advanced building technique but also a cost-effective method that developers may employ yet still produce structures able to withstand strong earthquakes and typhoons.

"What we have here is a technology that has been tested in the most extreme conditions-houses that used the RBS were among the few to remain standing after earthquakes in Japan and Russia, typhoons in Guam and Caribbean hurricanes in Antigua," claimed Joe Abadesco, president of Royal Ventures Group of Companies, the sole distributor of the technology here.

The RBS is made up of rigid extruded polymer components (also known as polyvinyl chloride or PVC) that serve as the finished formwork for a variety of concrete walls including bearing, nonbearing, retaining and foundation wall applications.

Simply put, the system employs interlocking PVC panels that once in place, concrete is poured on into the hollows.

Finished interior and exterior walls are ready for immediate use since the formwork already has allocations for integrated electrical conduits, adjustable door and window jambs, casings, baseboards, crown moldings and other complementary accessories.

"The finished wall system offers remarkable advantages in both short-term efficiencies and long-term savings across a wide range of building solutions," explained Abadesco.

The RBS is ideally suited for residential projects, from a basement foundation for a conventionally built home, to a bungalow, a large-scale custom home, single or multifamily units, or a multistory building.

"This patented wall system is available in a variety of sizes, shapes and colors to meet every home buyer's requirement-from the simplest enclosure to complex architectural designs," said Abadesco.

The surface of a completed RBS needs no additional finishing (no need to paint, create sidings, or place wallpaper) and provides a stain- and fade-resistant high-quality wall finish.

RBS properties

Abadesco also enumerated several properties the RBS possesses, greatly enhancing its appeal to home builders:

Earthquake resistant. The RBS is specifically engineered to resist building damage caused by fault line tremors or major earthquakes. While concrete blocks reach only a maximum 1,800 to 2,000 pounds per square inch in strength and weight tolerance, an RBS structure is able to reach 3,000 psi, thanks to its 90 percent concrete composition.

Hurricane, typhoon and tornado resistant. The finished systems are engineered to withstand the impact of both wind and torrential rainfall resulting from hurricane and typhoon conditions. In fact, the RBS has also been used as "safe rooms" in tornado prone regions.

Energy efficient. The RBS concrete finished wall systems create valuable energy efficiencies through the use of pre-insulated forms, or externally applied rigid insulation, and through the use of thermal mass of concrete.

Termite resistant. The PVC extruded polymer components are resistant to a variety of potential intrusions, including pest, wildlife, rodents and termites.

Approved by the government. The RBS has received the accreditation of innovative technologies for housing from the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council.

Since the RBS employs concrete as the basis for its durability, the system only needs well-trained crew to install the lightweight PVC panels at the construction sites.

Since 1991, the Royal Technologies Group of Toronto, Canada, has transferred its technical know-how to its local distributor here and is planning to set up a Philippine plant within the next three years.

Through RVGC's development arm, the company has successfully introduced the system to its various low-cost and high-end projects.

"The concrete is still the most widely used construction material in the world. Its strength, durability, versatility and economy, not to mention its ability to be molded into virtually any shape and reproduce any surface texture make it the most practical building structure," explained Abadesco.

Although concrete, as a building material, has been around for a very long time, it was only recently that its full potential was fully understood.