The Elcon Building System
ELCON uses most modern technology in building construction. Since 1948, many hundreds of thousands of buildings have been erected world-wide using precast concrete "Flat Panel" systems.
The ELCON system was developed utilising "L" shaped load bearing walls instead of flat panels, thereby dispensing with propping during erection and vastly reducing panel joints. The benefits of this high technology system have been appreciated the world over, with the successful, trouble-free completion of thousands of dwellings, apartments, hotels, campuses and military cantonments. The immense strength and ruggedness of the system means that buildings can be constructed well in excess of thirty storeys high and in the most hostile geological environments. The ELCON system meets with the Zone 3 requirements of the Californian Code for seismic design and the Florida Hurricane Code.
Economy of the Elcon System
The world-wide usage of the ELCON system demonstrates its economic benefits in terms of speed and simplicity over comparable traditional buildings. The ELCON system requires a smallerworkforce for its manufacture and erection. The panels are completely self-supporting and therefore site installation is simply achieved with a small number of operatives and a Mobile/Tower crane keeping the erection procedure simple, speedy and economical.
The ELCON system was principally developed to deal with mass housing needs in developing countries. The system is sufficiently flexible to be used for other types of construction including hospitals, clinics, schools, municipal buildings and shops and is one of the few systems in the world capable of producing consistently up to 440 m2 of erected building in each 24 hour period with a quality control which renders internal finishing trades a thing of the past.
Since its inception in late Twentieth Century , the system has been used in 12 countries having various geological and climatic conditions ranging from the earthquake zones of Mexico (where it was granted Zone 3 status within the Californian Code of seismic design) to the deserts of Saudi Arabia and the tropical rainforests of West Africa.
The ELCON system has always achieved considerable economic savings wherever it has been used. These savings have been achieved by efficiency and the fact that a much lower number of skilled and semi-skilled personnel are required compared with traditional construction methods.
The ELCON system comprises a number of pairs of specialized vertical steel moulds, producing both L-shaped and flat concrete panels which can either be utilised for casting on site, thus reducing transportation, or alternatively emplaced within a factory complex convenient to the site so that the finished panels can be transported on conventional low load trailers.
The vertical battery moulds are of robust steel plate and sections. They are adjustable to cast units of up to 3.30 m high with arm lengths of 3.00 m for the shorter arm and 6.60 m for the longer arm. The battery of moulds can open and close hydraulically whilst an overhead or mobile crane is used to remove the precast elements from the mould after heat curing of 3.5 to 5 hours. This allows the mould to be used more than once per day.
The ELCON system is suitable for all housing contracts from medium to very large with sufficient flexibility to construct all forms of housing from low cost 35 m2 apartments, designed for the Indian economically weak sector, to 200 m2 luxury apartments in Saudi Arabia.
The first moulds were produced in the latter part of the twentieth Century and since then there has been a constant technical evolution. However, the basic engineering remains the same which is a tribute to both the practicality and ruggedness of the ELCON moulds, and to the simplicity of the ELCON system of building. These two important factors have demonstrated time and again the suitability of ELCON for low and high rise mass housing where speed, economy and durability are essential requirements.
The flexibility of the Elcon System
House designs based on the ELCON system can be considerably varied, large housing schemes or estates need not look dull or uniform. The ELCON system permits varied internal planning and because the panels are cast in machined steel moulds, the accuracy and superb finish of the panels also means that finishes can be applied directly. Equally the panels can be clad or treated externally to provide a variety of aesthetic solutions.