MassWall is a construction system using specially designed concrete blocks in the style of a ‘Lego’ set to build structural walls. The concept purchased from Germany by Boral is planned to be used Australia wide.
Working with this concept, Solar E has produced an experimental MassWall as a dividing wall in Solar E’s factory in Bayswater to integrate research in solar air-conditioning. The thermal MassWall is slotted together by the concrete blocks and then concrete is poured/pumped into it and reinforcing rods are pushed through it to create a very stable, solid concrete wall. The wall starts with mortar free concrete blocks that slot together allowing a wall to be built very fast with minimal labour.
The trials are very encouraging and the concept is being considered for building housing projects such as the Swanbourne Village Trust. When Solar E examined the concept, it seemed to fit in very nicely with its own solar air-conditioning concepts where you can integrate the wall into the air conditioning and the air conditioning into the wall. While the wall is being built, it allows the flexibility of locating the spots where the air-conditioning can be located.
Together with another innovation that Boral are developing of thin brick, it will create a cavity wall and partition that form the dividing walls of a room. The two together will form a ‘MassWall’. This configuration will become Solar E’s intellectual property and used in passive solar energy efficient buildings. It will provide a flexible wall system inside a building where a hole can easily be put into it and make structural changes down the track without the structure being compromised or falling down. MassWall provides construction flexibility of the thermal mass for the heating/cooling boosting system.
Most work is still done by passive solar but instead of having a temperature of around 18 degrees in Winter; it can go to 24 degrees and an average of 28 degrees in Summer can go to a comfortable 24 degrees; all operated on photo voltaic PV cells.
MassWall is a registered name by Solar E and fits in well with its own MassLink for its air conditioning products.
Photo Credits: Nick Melidonis, www.nickmelidonis.com