ABP Building Products specialize in the manufacture and
marketing of expanded polystyrene building products.
• With the ever increasing concerns of power supply,
energy costs and global warming, thermal insulation of buildings
is becoming increasingly relevant. Expanded polystyrene is
used worldwide as a cost efficient means of effectively insulating
• October has seen an extensive period of ‘load
shedding’ by Eskom countrywide. This once again highlights
the problems around power demand and supply.
• Even if South Africans cannot see the contribution
they can make to the problem of global warming they should
be aware of the role each individual can play in lowering
energy demand in buildings by using available technologies
that will not only reduce cost but as importantly provide
greater building comfort and protection against temperature
extremes especially during power outages.
In our view one of the first questions that needs to be asked
when planning any new building is what design and material
selection criteria are being adopted to lower energy demand
and create more ‘temperature comfortable’ living
OCTOBER FOCUS – TUFS: THERMAL UNDER FLOOR SYSTEM
is a tongued and grooved 1, 2x1, 2 m x 40mm thick expanded
polystyrene sheet (EPS) that is glued together and placed
under ground floor concrete slabs to act as a thermal insulator.
The design of the system is such that a TUFS insulated floor
is less expensive than the traditional 85mm concrete floor
- The TUFS sheets reduce the concrete thickness by 20-25mm.
The EPS is cheaper than the concrete it replaces.
- The glued EPS sheet also acts as a water proof membrane
eliminating the need for continuous green plastic under the
- As less concrete has to be restrained the reinforcing mesh
in the floor slab can be reduced from Ref193 mesh to Ref100
mesh. Ref100 is about half the cost of Ref193 mesh.
The material cost reduction of a TUFS insulated floor slab
is about 10-15% less than a traditional concrete slab.
material cost reduction of a TUFS insulated floor slab is
about 10-15% less than a traditional concrete slab.
is seldom realized the impact that concrete floor slabs and
the earth beneath have on lowering building temperatures but
when it is realized that the sun never reaches these areas
the heat soak effect can be better understood.
Further the only reason ground floor slabs are 85mm thick
is that this is the height of a brick and when casting floor
slabs the top brick of the inner brick skin is removed, the
concrete poured and the outer brick used as a template to
level the floor slab. Therefore by reducing the concrete thickness
to 60-65mm in the TUFS system there is no compromise to the
structural integrity of the floor.
is an essential element in creating homes which are more energy
efficient at no additional cost to the building owner. Added
to this will be a reduction in ongoing costs of heating and
TUFS is particularly relevant when installing under floor
heating as there is a manifold increase in the efficiency
of these systems as the heat generated goes where it is intended
– into the building as opposed to into the floor slab
and ground beneath. Instead of using under floor heating continuously
it can be operated for a couple of hours with the same net
can also be used vertically in walls to create a thermal insulating
and moisture resistant cavity divider.
is supplied either packed in corrugated containers containing
20 TUFS sheets (28,8m²) or loose packed.
glue used to glue the sheets together is an expanded polystyrene
contact adhesive – Polyglue. 1lt is sufficient to glue
20 TUFS sheets.
– every new building should have it
TUFS PROJECT – HOUSE BOTHA, NOTTINGHAM ROAD, KZN
was used both under floor and in wall in a new house in Nottingham
Road, KZN to thermally insulate this 400m2 single storey home
against the notoriously cold winters in this region.
Not factoring in the savings as outlined above the cost of
expanded polystyrene in these applications was less than 2%of
the total building cost.
The installation was done quickly and easily with no special
training required for the operators
TUFS data sheet is available on the ABP website – www.ABPbuildingproducts.co.za
ABP BUILDING PRODUCTS TO EXHIBIT AT THE GREEN BUILDING
AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT CONFERENCE AT THE CSIR 8 -10 NOVEMBER
Issues to be addressed at the conference include:
• the introduction of sustainable practices to the construction
• plans to evaluate green products by way of a scorecard
• reduction of the carbon footprint of buildings
• creation of more energy efficient buildings
• reduction of environmental pollution
• exhibition of products that promote ‘greener’
living and positively contribute to the above issues.
ABPPOLYBLOCK AGRÉMENT CERTIFICATE
ABP applied for an updated Agrément certificate
earlier in 2007 and this was ratified by the Agrément
Board in October.
The ABP Polyblock Agrément number is 2007/366.
Agrément certification ratifies construction processes
to protect the consumer and facilitate municipal and bank
approval of buildings using innovative construction methods.
The ABPPolyblock system falls within a family of products
described internationally as ICFs (insulated concrete forms)
or LCFs (lightweight concrete forms) and have been used worldwide
for the last 35years and in South Africa since the 1980s.
Key attributes of the Polyblock system are thermal insulation
far superior to traditional building systems used in S.A.,
speed of building with relatively unskilled labour and structural
integrity of the reinforced concrete wall structure.
5) TASS PROJECT – WOOLSTON
DRIVE, WESTCLIFF, JOHANNESBURG.
House with a view!!!
TheTASS lightweight, insulated slab system is being used on
this spectacular house for the suspended ground floor, first
floor and patio slabs. To cope with range of spans both the
TASS 280mm and 195mm deep blocks are being used.
In total 820m² of TASS slab have been installed in this
Building comfort by design
6) ABPPOLYBLOCK/TASS PROJECT
– LIMPOPO PROVINCE
The 5 educational centres being built in remote locations
in the Limpopo province using the Polyblock walling system
and TASS for the first floor slab are moving towards completion
by year end.
TASS FLOOR SLAB THERMAL INSULATION RATING
An evaluation was recently carried out to measure the thermal
insulation value of a 255mm TASS slab vs. an equivalent thickness
in situ concrete slab. The TASS insulation rating was just
over 35 times better than the concrete slab.
PROJECT OF INTEREST – ATTRACTION STUDIOS BRAAMFONTEIN
Film Studios (previously Egoli Studios)
This project was highlighted last month but remains a significant
technical achievement and reappears this month with some new
The TASS slab positioned 10 metres in the air and placed without
any supporting props was successfully completed and the concrete
poured in October without incident. The total slab area was
885m2 and the studios below are devoid of columns and supporting
TASS was specified due to: the thermal insulation properties
of the roof slab which allows better temperature moderation
in the studios below, the robustness of the system in allowing
workmen to work on the slab during installation safely and
due to its lightweight, placing less dead load on the existing
To see the relevance of global warming to all of us see:
• The new feature on Carte Blanche (MNet) – “Coolearth”
every Sunday night.
• New movie “The 11th Hour” with Leonardo
• Al Gore gets the Nobel peace prize for his efforts
to highlight global warming – See the DVD “An
• Article in the Business Times, 14 October, page 4
“Climate change a global emergency, experts warn”.
This article states; climate change is “our very own,
first ever, global emergency”. “South Africa emits
more carbon dioxide than Brazil, which has 4 times SA’s
population, as about 90% of SA’s electricity is generated
Some of the recommendations of the spokesman, Peter Willis:
- become knowledgeable about climate change - explore the
implications of climate change for your organization and its
stakeholders - lead by example – work on your own carbon
alarming incease in the melting of the glacier mass in Greenland
since 2004. Up until this time, the glacier mass lost 50 to
100 cubic kilometres a year. This accelerated to 300 cubic
kilometres a year. The researchers measured ice melt with
ultra-sensitive Global Positioning System (GPS) stations located
in the mountains and along the ice cap.
Curtailment of energy consumption and awareness of what contribution
can be made to reduce global warming is every individual’s
further information on the above please contact us