EXTENDED MARKET SEGMENTS for MAXIMUM POTENTIAL OF BLUE PLANET BUILDING PANELS ™ :
We currently see several Market Segments where Blue Planet Building Panels is ideally poised to exploit to the great benefit of all Parties:
1. Affordable Housing, especially as Garden Neighborhood PUD blending Affordable Housing with Organic Agriculture and Commercial / Light Industrial elements, in the USA & world-wide
2. Disaster Reconstruction – post Wildfire, Earthquake, Hurricane, and Tornado losses, in the USA & world-wide
3. Luxury Housing, especially at Winter Resorts such as Jackson, WY, Park City, UT, Sun Valley, ID, etc. in the USA, and entire resort complexes, especially in Hurricane risk regions
4. Worker Camps for Workers in Extraction Industries (Oil, Mining, etc.) in Remote Locations & Relief Housing for Refugees, etc., both USA and world-wide
5. Student Housing at growing Universities, in USA & world-wide
6. Property / Perimeter / Security Fencing & Walls, both USA and world-wide
7. In-fill for Post-and-Beam Construction & Rated Corridors / Shafts, both USA and world-wide
In any journey it is important to know the intended destination, prior to even beginning the journey. Our “destination” is to have SCIPs replace CMUs as the ubiquitous building material of the world. In the USA we look to control our manufacturing of our SCIPs with plants covering the USA to serve the mainland with plants at 500 miles radius location. From there, we move to 250-mile radii spacing. For major Production Builders, etc., wishing to make their own panels for improved Vertical Integration, we would license them to fabricate, but only for their own use. Internationally, we would prefer to JV or License to a local firm, rather than own and operate the Plants ourselves. One of the driving forces in the world-wide adoption of CMUs was the ability to fabricate them locally. SCIPs can be manufactured locally, and with varying levels of automation, depending on marketplace volume demand.
Some may say that this vision is not possible. We look at the facts that SCIPs are built far faster than CMUs, weigh much less, use approximately 50% less cement than CMUs, and SCIPs offer insulation, which CMUs do not offer. SCIPs can be used for floors and roofs, which CMUs cannot. SCIPs are also used for Interior Partitions, which ICFs are not because they are “too thick”, therefore using up too much floor space. A very important weakness of CMUs is their weight and lack of inherent strength. SCIPs are very light so they need lighter foundations. CMUs are only an “infill” material where significant loading is needed. They must be used in a Post-and-Beam Structural Frame in high seismic regions, or they must be heavily reinforced and filled with concrete. SCIPs may be used as in-fill elements in conventional Post-and-Beam Structural Systems, so they can be a “direct replacement” building element, but they can also be an important part of, or the primary element, of a Structural System of a building. In areas of the world where Foam, for the panel core, is not readily available, bio-mass, such as straw, may be readily substituted.
We are certain that with a continuous presence of both manufacturing and construction, for a minimum of 3 to 5 years, and in a variety of climates and locations, combined with education for designers and municipalities, and training and Certification for builders, that the inherent benefits of SCIPs over CMUs will win the day, once confidence is created by an ongoing presence in the marketplace. This has been proven by CMUs, then by Laminated Wood Products (Glue-lams & OSB products), ICFs (foam blocks), and cement panels (HardiBoard, etc.) All of these have been introduced and supported, as described above, and they have all captured significant shares of the Marketplace, and growing. We can certainly follow their lead and accomplish the same. Given the significant advantages of our product over any and all competing “conventional materials”, we should be able to capture even larger shares of the Marketplace, and do so even faster than these previous building materials have done.
More on the identified Market Segments, below, following a few introductory words about the Product name:
Because this product goes beyond “Green”; because when you get outside the atmosphere of the Earth and look at Earth, it is a Blue Planet, not a “Green” one. True “Sustainability” must get beyond the simple environmentalism of the “Green Build” movement. Even the USGBC (U.S. Green Build Council) recognizes this with their recent addition of RELi Standards, adding new emphasis on durability and resilience.
Because, as with going beyond “Green”, we want to go beyond just “wind” and “fire” protection and because we do not want this product to be seen as a “local” or “USA-only” material. Blue Planet Building Panels resist “house fires” (90-min. throughout) and “hurricanes/cyclones/typhoons” (Category 5, 156 MPH). They also resist wildfires (1800F for 90-min. & incombustible eaves), tornadoes (EF-4 @ 166+ MPH), floods (no support to Mold & Mildew), and earthquakes (8.0+ CA School & Hospital standards), and projectiles (Dade County Test+ with 15# 2X4 @ 100 mph). Blue Planet Building Panels can withstand most of what “Mother Nature” can throw at the building, anywhere on the Planet, and on top of all that, they are super-insulated and they have the inherent capacity to offer Roof-Top Garden Patios for no “extra” cost.
Because, of all the existing technologies and materials available today, nothing offers more advantages than does Panelization. Panelization builds with large, pre-assembled, pieces. A step ahead of “one on top of two” as with typical masonry systems and ICF’s, or, “stand the studs and slap on the skins”, as with “stick framing” techniques. Our deployment of Panelization is with “Stress-Skin Panels”, where the panels already have the face skins applied to the core, or applied after the panels are in place. This system allows for the Core and the Skins to function as a Composite Whole with incremental benefits in strength while reducing labor and increasing speed over “Framed Panel” systems.
We have 3 Stressed-skin Panels in our portfolio:
1) SCIPs – Structural Concrete Insulating Panels. This is the “crown-jewel” of the portfolio. While there are multiple SCIPs panels in the marketplace, our SCIP System is unique (and recognized as such with the issuance of a US Patent on this product). None of our competitors can custom-design and engineer a SCIPs panel. All of their means of production are limited to producing a single type of panel, sometimes so limited that it is only in one thickness and strength. Standing in stark contrast, our SCIPs panel can be produced, in the same plant, and with the same “Panel Press”, panels of varying thicknesses from 2” to 12”. Additionally, unlike any other SCIPs System, we engineer our Truss Elements to respond to the Loading. Every other manufacturer has only a single Truss Element and the only variation is depth. We can vary almost every part of our Truss Elements- Depth, Weight of Cords and Webs, and adding “King Posts” and compounding the Truss. In other words, our Competitors each have a single framing element, kind of like having a single size of stud, and they tell the marketplace to work with that one element and manipulate it, as—needed, to resist the loads. We have a broad selection of framing elements and can mix and match them to resist the loads.
2) C-SIPs – Cement-skinned Structural Insulating Panels. SIPs are widely known and widely used panels, with the Core typically made of EPS plastic foam and the skins typically made of sheets of OSB (Oriented Strand Boards). The OSB sheets are laminated to the EPS core. C-SIPs are made with Cementitious Sheets instead of OSB. The advantage of C-SIPs over SIPs is the absence of wood and the presence of the Cementitious sheets. This results in no threat from termites, higher fire-resistance, no support for Mold or Mildew, and increased interior Thermal Mass which offers improved performance in Heating & Cooling.
3) C-HPs - Cementitious Skin Stressed-Skin Honeycomb-core Panels. These are similar to C-SIPs, except that the Core Element is Kraft-paper Honeycomb, rather than EPS Foam. The use of the Honeycomb core results in far higher strengths, which can be very important for multi-story buildings and for some floors and roofs. Both C-SIPS and C-HPs offer excellent floors and roofs for other wall systems, such as Adobe, Rammed Earth, and ICFs.
Because of these three Panelized Building Systems we can build faster than Conventional Materials, even up to twice as fast. Additionally, we offer significantly improved thermal performance because all of our systems offer isolated Cementitious interior surfaces for Floors, Walls and Ceilings, which represents Thermal Mass that Wood and Gypsum Wallboard cannot offer. Last, and perhaps most important, our Panels are highly fire resistant. With no wood nor paper (the skin on Gypsum Wallboard) present and with all of the cores of the structure being “filled” there is nothing for the fire to initially catch hold on and there are no readily available pathways for fire to move as are present in all stud-framed systems.
1. Affordable Housing, especially as Garden Neighborhood PUD’s, blending Affordable Housing with Organic Agriculture and Commercial / Light Industrial elements
Because of our speed of erection, we can truly address the huge and un-met need for Affordable Housing. When a Builder, using Conventional Materials, can only complete a home in about 5 months, on average, their Overhead Costs for smaller, more affordable homes is the same as for “Move-up”, more expensive homes. Since the mark-up is better on the Move-up housing, it is very difficult for Builders to financially justify building Affordable Homes. Because we can complete a Home in ½ the time, our Overhead Costs per unit are reduced and the comparative Mark-up improves and allows Builders to build Affordable Housing and still make the needed Profit Margins necessary to meet Risk and Investor demands.
Without this Speed, Builders typically only build Affordable Housing when either mandated to do so as a fraction of their total volume on a Project and the Move-Up Units carrying the difference in costs, or with Government Subsidies. This is the fundamental reason that Affordable Housing is such an un-met market segment.
Once Affordable Housing becomes possible, building with Cementitious Panelized Systems then offers the Homeowner a greatly improved Investment in Housing because the unit will now last much longer, hold its value longer, will cost less to Heat and Cool, and is highly resistant to risk of loss from Fire, Flood, and all other natural disasters. The greatest “scam” in Affordable Housing is selling Manufactured Housing (mobile homes) to buyers where these units are so poorly built that they are considered “Personal Property” rather than “Real Estate” and are a “depreciating asset” like an automobile, and they will begin “falling apart” just about the same time they are paid off. Furthermore, they are so poorly built they have their own “Building Code” and cost so much to Heat and Cool that “Affordable” is an oxymoronic term.
There is one other Market Segment, Garden Village Neighborhoods, which does not yet truly exist. However, we are in the process of creating examples of this type of development because we believe that this could offer a new solution for saving the Family Farm while offering Affordable Housing and creating jobs in Rural and Suburban areas. We have separate White Papers on this Market Segment and Investment Opportunities in existing development projects.
2. Disaster Reconstruction – post Wildfire, Earthquake, Hurricane, & Tornado, losses
As briefly noted, above, our Blue Planet Panelized Building Systems are resistant to all of the most common losses, due to Natural Disasters. Consequently, when Mother Nature strikes, and destroys homes and business structures not built of our Panels, we can assist in the rebuilding and support the restoration of normal life and business, getting the impacted community back to full function and renewed stability. We can accomplish this far faster than Conventional Materials. Best of all, we can add to the restored community a greater sense of stability because it can truly be said, “Never Again!”
Because of the unmatched Design-Flexibility of our Blue Planet Panelized Building Systems, we can “match” the floor plan and “Curb Image” of the previous structure. Alternatively, we can affordably and quickly accomplish an “upgraded” or “improved” design to capture all those ideas that have been only on the “wish list” and can now be a reality. Such a capacity has immeasurable positive influence in returning the impacted community to full function and with a renewed enthusiasm for the members of the community to stay and rebuild and even breathe “fresh life” into the site that might have been seen only as a place of trauma, sorrow, and loss.
Because we are far more “vertically integrated” than Conventional Construction, Blue Planet Building Panels offer maximization of what will certainly be overwhelming demand for very limited skilled Construction Trades. We have proven, in places like Kashmir, Pakistan, that we can work in the most remote, most difficult, and most heavily impacted locations in the world, and produce better buildings and do so far faster and with far higher quality than any conventional material can offer. We can even involve impacted populations, quickly involving them, where desired, in the reconstruction effort, and mitigating one of the significant problems in Disaster Recovery – idleness. We can involve willing persons at many levels, and without needing any former Construction Trade experience. This has proven especially valuable in some locations where our “alternative building systems” have allowed women and children to truly be a “part of the work” and make a significant shift in attitudes about a sense of “ownership” in the reconstructed community; a far cry, indeed, from the sense of “disenfranchisement” engendered by “tent cities”.
Another aspect, rarely, if ever spoken of, because it is simply not available with conventional methods and materials, is that we have proven that we can generate “shelter-in-place” structures, totally eliminating the need for Tent Cities, Community Shelters, etc. This gets people quickly back on their own property, and reduces the expense and trauma of “temporary shelter”. A single example was the construction of a “plumbed garage”. The “garage” can be built in typically less than 30 days, with a plumbed cooking and bath area, and allow people back on their own property, next to their known neighbors and friends, and letting them be able to almost immediately begin the work of cleanup and rebuilding on the rest of the yard and property. The ability to avoid tent-cities and community shelter housing is especially important to women and girls because of the ever-present risk of sexual abuse that arises in every tent-city, or similar environment, where women and girls are suddenly placed in environments filled with unknown males and also with mixes of cultures and behaviors which create risks which simply do not exist when impacted people can be “back home” and back in their “own neighborhoods” and enjoying many of their “normal” cultural, familial, and neighborhood “normal” relationships and behaviors.
3. Luxury Housing, especially at Winter Resorts such as Jackson, WY, Park City, UT, Sun Valley, ID, etc. in the USA, and entire resort complexes, especially in Hurricane risk regions.
The Market Segment of Luxury & Resort Housing, especially in Winter Resorts and on Coastal Resorts, and the Market Segment of Luxury Homes where the Owners would like to have the “Greenest” Home possible are additional Market Segments where BP2's can be deployed. At Winter Resorts there is the need for a product offering better Thermal Insulation and there is also a need for Wildfire Protection in such locations. Being in locations of heavy winter weather, the building speed of SCIPs allows the building shell to be put up during the good weather and then the interiors and finishes to continue during the winter months. At Island Resorts, having a building system that has proven resistance to Tropical Storms and Earthquakes can be invaluable.
4. Worker Camps / Relief Housing for Workers in Extractive Industries (Oil, Mining, etc.) in Remote Locations & Housing for Refugees, etc.
Almost every advantage cited above in Disaster Recovery and Reconstruction applies to Worker Camps and Relief Housing. There is one very important point, particular to Relief Housing: In all of the history of Relief Housing there has never been a total return and restoration of the displaced population. What begins as “Relief” and “Temporary” housing always becomes, at least for some part of the population, “Permanent”. Acknowledging this reality, leads to the rational conclusion that erection of tents and other temporary structures, where alternatives can be put in place, as nothing but a waste of resources and a creation of higher risks. A single example may serve to be very illustrative of this issue of “Temporary” inevitably becoming “Permanent”.
We were able to construct in Kashmir, Pakistan, single-room “shelters”, which were 3m x 3m SCIPs buildings, with fully useable roofs, so they had a Code-conforming 42” tall parapet. Roof access was from an “operable Roof Hatch” that could be accesses with a simple traditional ladder from inside the room. The result was a small room with a roof-top and secure patio. The small room could serve as the bedroom and secure storage for the family. Because of the inherent nature of SCIPs, the room could be heated to 60F+ with a single kerosene lamp, even though the temperature outside was well below 0 F! The roof-top patio offered additional sleeping in good weather and it was a safe and secure place for small children to play, secure from the flood of strangers coming after the disaster. SCIPs are also highly resistant to projectiles, readily exceeding the “Dade County Test”. In practical terms, for an environment like Kashmir, SCIPs are resistant to bullets from common military firearms. By building these “shelter” units on the property of the family, they did not have to be removed to the Refugee Camps and could be working on rebuilding their homes. Our Units were about the same size as the Refugee Tents being deployed in the Camps, but our SCIPs Shelter Units were super-insulated; very important with Winter coming on. Our Shelter Units also meant that women and girls were at their “home” and not subject to the threat of abuse ever-present in the Camps. Last, our SCIPs Shelter Units could serve as a Bedroom, or some other part of the reconstruction of the home of the family. Our SCIPs Shelter Units are ZERO wasted time or other resources and blend right into the reconstruction effort.
In the construction of Extractive Industry Camps, more and more countries are demanding that the Camps be built of “Permanent Materials” and that they be “donated” to the local community when the Extractive Industry had finished using them. These former Camps will typically be converted into Clinics and Schools. The Host Countries are also insisting on the maximization of “Local Labor”. The outcome of these kinds of changes by Host Countries is that the previously ubiquitous “container units” are simply no longer possible. But, as proven in multiple locations in the world, SCIPS use Masonry/Plaster Trade Skills, which are readily available. One skilled and trained Supervisor can help Local Labor move up through the Learning Curve and quickly become proficient at construction with SCIPS.
Additionally, SCIPS can be built in small Plants which can be erected locally and offer additional new jobs to locals. Camps built with SCIPS are cost-competitive with Imported “container units”, with local “concrete blocks”, and more durable than either. Some people wrongly speak of the speed of erection of the “container units”, but ignore the time spent in off-shore fabrication and shipping. SCIPs can be built locally, and, as we have proven in Kashmir, and elsewhere, we can have our SCIPS plants fully functional within 30 days.
5. Student Housing at growing Universities, in USA & world-wide
Student Housing is a growing need both in the USA and internationally. There are multiple issues for Student Housing and all of them are mitigated with BP2 SCIPs.
a. Students are notorious for being “hard” on housing units. They are only renting, they will be gone shortly, in a few years at most, so there is little if any “pride of ownership”. Having Units built of BP2 SCIPs offers units with the durability and resilience to handle most anything a student can dish out. There will certainly be no “fists or feet” going through the walls. With the floors being “stained” concrete and the walls painted with typical Latex paints, even the filthiest of units can readily be cleaned, even by use of a water-pressure washer, if needed, and then the walls re-painted to put the unit back in full service, “like new” again.
b. Student Housing requires high Fire Ratings for Safety Egress. With BP2 SCIPS the entire building has a minimum of a 90-minute Fire Rating, meaning resistance to fires of 1800F for at least 90 minutes without loss of Structural Integrity and without the temperature on the opposite side of the wall or floor rising more than about 450F, meaning that not even wallpaper or items hanging or resting on the opposite side of the structure will not catch fire. This means that it is virtually impossible to have a fire escape one room and enter another or an egress passage. Where Egress Halls or Stairwells, etc., are required to be rated higher than 90-minutes, simply thickening the mortar of the BP2 SCIPS (a task accomplished at the same time so no “call back” nor “return trip” is needed) will increase the Fire Rating. Ratings may be raised to even 4-hours, if needed.
c. Sound Insulation is vital in Student Housing. Students can be very “loud” and the noise can result in conflicts between residents. BP2 SCIPs have an STC50 performance, which meets the IBC requirements for Party Walls, Floors, and Ceilings.
d. Plumbing getting “plugged up”, or water and other liquids being spilled, can be a significant source of trouble and damage, and with other conventional materials, especially gypsum wallboard, mold and mildew can be a problem with any water / liquid damage. With BP2 SCIPs there is no gypsum wallboard and nothing in a BP2 SCIPs supports Mold or Mildew and the Cementitious Mortar Skin is toxic to Mold and Mildew. Consequently, there is very little risk of damage to BP2 SCIPs with water or other liquids being spilled or even flooded.
e. The ability to construct with BP2 SCIPs twice as fast, or more, than with Conventional Materials, means that the overall cost of construction can be reduced because of lower Construction Overhead Expense. This speed of construction also allows for units to be more readily made available to meet the schedule of school terms.
f. The inherent “super-insulation” of BP2 SCIPs, offering an R-40 Performance, means lower Capital Investment in HVAC costs and then, lower Operating Expense, at least 30% lower than Conventional Construction, in both cases.
6. Property / Perimeter / Security Fencing/Walls, both USA and world-wide
The need for Property and Perimeter Security and Privacy Walls and Fences is a growing need in both the USA and the world. This need is for Safety and Security as well as Privacy. We have repeatedly proven that BP2 SCIPs can create beautiful “stucco finish” Fences and Walls for less cost and far less time than CMU construction. Unlike Wood Fencing, there is no possibility of Termite or Dry Rot failure with BP2 SCIPs. In the Gallery, there is a video clip showing our BP2 SCIPs being used for Walls and Fences, offering much more detail on how they are built and the breadth of potential in finishes.
A significant advantage of BP2 SCIPs used as Fencing and Property Walls is that there is no need for a continuous footing, as there is with CUMs. They are typically installed with Posts @ 10’ o.c., like a fence, but they are still as solid as CMUs. They can also have planters set on the top of the walls, and have irrigation water and drainage installed inside the Walls. This allows for the typical 6’ tall fence to have plantings growing on top, such as bamboo or shrubs, etc., which can add to both the height, appearance and privacy of the structure.
On most construction Projects, there is a “temporary” construction Safety / Security Fence installed of Chain-link Fencing. These are not very secure, can readily become very unsightly, and offer very little in privacy, often requiring the addition of a visual barrier textile covering. With BP2 SCIPs, the “temporary” construction fencing can be put in place, without the “finish coat” being put on during construction, and then the finish coating applied after construction is substantially completed. This can be a significant cost savings, and, can offer far better Safety, Security, and Privacy than a Chain-Link Fence can offer.
As population density increases, having Privacy and Sound Barrier Walls surrounding Housing or Commercial Projects, is a growing need. These can mitigate the traffic noise from nearby roadways, and have also been used to mitigate noise, safety, and security issues surrounding Railroads near a project. Examples of these uses as “Sound Barriers” and shown in the video on Walls in the Gallery.