Alternative Building Systems

Stronger Smarter Faster

Using technology to build better buildings, in a better way, for a better quality of life and for more than a decade thereafter Imison™ was a boutique alternative construction company focused almost exclusively on building luxury homes in and around Cape Town. During this time enormous strides were made in the continual improvement of all facets of the technology cementing its suitability to all aspects of structural design.

 

July 2008 marked the culmination of all these improvements and energised by a change of ownership, Imison™ made its bold foray into all segments of the housing, commercial and industrial construction sectors. This unparalleled system has proven irresistible to clients across the board winning social acceptance in every area without exception ensuring Imison™ is at the forefront of consideration for virtually every type of structural development.

 

The unique Imison™ combination of quality, speed, eco-friendliness and strength has propelled the company into a large scale construction company active in five of South Africa’s nine provinces. Namibia, Angola and Mozambique with further international expansion at advanced stages.

 

Imison™ staff are an even greater asset than our exceptional technology. We are able to rely on a large, committed, high-performance team of diverse skills and talents. The evolution of our staff is evident not only in the manner in which it maintains the superiority of our technology but also Imison’s method of operation. Our operations are characterized by speed and accuracy, superior quality, minimal waste, environmental friendliness and community upliftment and development.

 

Imison™ is in the privileged position of providing one of the necessities of human existence. Providing homes and workplaces that exceed established expectations in terms of quality, speed, strength and eco-friendliness has a profound effect on the communities in which we work. The rapid eradication of backlogs and delivering housing and places of work and leisure in a fraction of the time taken by traditional building methods allows community development to take place in keeping with the urgency of human need.

 

Imison™ however is mindful that there is more to community development than the rapid delivery of quality infrastructure. In recognizing that communities are primarily made up of people, Imison™ focuses as much on the development of people as we do on the delivery of higher quality homes using our technology.

The use of local labour

Imison™ not only delivers homes and workplaces that far exceed expectations, it is able to do so using up to 95% local labour as is evidenced by its operations in Zola, a section of Soweto in Gauteng South Africa. In building more than a thousand homes for the Gauteng Provincial Government’s 20 PTP project, Imison™ employed local unskilled labourers from Zola and established 32 local SMME (Small Micro and Medium Enterprises) to undertake the building work. This not only improved the area of Zola but also created much needed jobs, skills transfer and enterprise development.

Focus on previously marginalized groups

Of the 95% local unskilled labourers used, 60% are youth (in South Africa less than 35 years of age) and 29% were women – an unprecedented number for a construction company.

Corporate social investment

Amongst its recent Corporate Social Investment initiatives, Imison™ was able to donate a new 78m² home that was gutted by fire in a tragic incident that led to the deaths of 3 people. The house is located next door to the Nelson Mandela Museum in Vilakazi Street in Soweto. The 55m² 61 year old house that was gutted by fire was demolished and the new home rebuilt in just 9 days.

Technology

Consisting primarily of Expanded Polystyrene (“EPS”), light gauge steel columns, and a high-density, structural plaster technology called Fibrecote™. Imison™ is used across the full spectrum of structural development: from multimillion Rand homes, to affordable housing and informal settlement eradication projects and commercial buildings ranging from warehouses, factories and offices to schools and hotels.

In contrast to many other alternative construction technologies, Imison™ has been recognized as a system that harnesses the evolution of construction and a global solution for infrastructure backlogs. Imison™ is well positioned in terms of credibility and flexibility to fulfil this mandate, through:

  • Various construction certifications suited to overcome the challenges of different locations around the globe
  • Financing and insurance by leading institutions
  • Operating in an environmentally friendly manner
  • Delivering these solutions at great speed able to eradicate any backlog

Light gauge steel columns

Inserted into the Imison™ wall panels are engineer approved steel columns to bear the requisite loads for the building to be built. The columns range from light gauge, mill and mild steel, with differing profiles depending on specific loading requirements. Steel columns are fixed to the foundation using an automatic powder-actuated tool, commonly known as a Hilti gun, to fix the hoop iron to the foundation. The same method is used to fix the steel column to the ring beam that distributes the roof load, ensures the home is square and connects with the roof. The steel columns are also fixed the polymer concrete window and door sub-frames to bare their respective loads. The steel columns not only provide strength to our wall but due to the fact that they are measured for accuracy ensure, along with the other processes that the walls are 100% plumb and square.

Expanded polystyrene (EPS)

Expanded polystyrene (EPS) is made up of organic materials, primarily carbon and hydrogen, contains no CFC’s and is therefore one of the most environmentally friendly products to be used in any construction process. It’s compositions is 98% air a major reason for its light weight. EPS is fully recyclable and we ensure that EPS waste is recycled or disposed of in a manner that it is not harmful to the environment. EPS has exceptional thermal insulation properties and its use in construction plays a key role in the conservation of energy. It is this quality that allows Imison™ structures to be substantially warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer and up to 67% more energy efficient that a comparable brick and mortar house. EPS is durable rot proof and provide no nutritional value for any living organisms. When installed as recommended, EPS will remain effective as an insolent for the life of the buildings. EPS also does not settle dramatically reducing the probability of structural cracking in Imison™ walls consistently, in practice shrinkage cracks may not exceed 700 microstain Fibrecote™ is superior to conventional plaster for the following reasons:

Stronger

Fibrecote™ has a compressive strength of at least 22MPa and high density (2200+ kg/m³) that is consistently achieved. Conventional plaster has a cubed strength of 7 MPa and its usual density of 1800 kg/m³, which is not consistently achieved. Fibrecote™ can sustain a 40kg point load on a screw allowing even heavy household appliances like geysers to be hung on the walls.

More Durable

Fibrecote™ is extremely durable because of its superior and consistent compressive strength, low shrinkage, favourable chloride conductivity and low oxygen permeability.

Less Shrinkage

The polypropylene fibres in Fibrecote™ absorb water and slowly release it over a period of time to assist in the curing process. The drying shrinkage results achieved by Fibrecote™ (160 – 495 microstrain) is substantially lower than specified limits, and radically reduced cracking is achieved. Conventional plaster requires moist curing over a period of three days after application. As this is not done consistently, in practice shrinkage crack is excess of the specified limits inevitable appear. Generally, drying shrinkage cracks may not exceed 700 microstrain.

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Justin HydeAlternative Building Systems