Concrete-reinforced insulated panel-type systems are used to create affordable housing with personal, social and economic benefits.   


One World Living Systems (OWLS) and its sister company Polytherm are continuously enhancing their affordable, durable, energy-efficient housing and building systems. Their specialised systems – which have been refined for over a decade – maximise the benefits of utilising reinforced, expanded polystyrene (EPS) panels.

OWLS owner Tiaan Mynhardt, who has a strong background in engineering, says: “I sold my previous business and was looking for a new challenge. So I spent two years travelling through the world, looking at what can be achieved with the best alternative building systems.”

“I managed to identify these that were truly economically viable and capable of competing with brick and mortar. These systems inspired the concrete-reinforced insulated system (CRIS) wire panel that OWLS uses today.”

Concrete-reinforced insulated panel-type systems are not only durable and efficient, but are well suited for construction in the high wind and earthquake-prone regions of the world. The panels are designed to withstand hurricane force winds of more than 300km per hour.

“After perfecting the technology and refining it for South African conditions, I went on a road show across the country, visiting universities and industry associations, where it was extremely well received”. Unfortunately the South African construction industry is not very open to alternative building technologies,” comments Mynhardt.
However, the impressive thermal values and insulating properties of polystyrene became evident after the 2006 electricity crisis. Subsequent new legislations such as the SANS 10400-XA, which governs energy usage in new and renovated buildings, resulted in an increasing number of people turning to the Expanded Polystyrene Association of South Africa (EPSASA) to find viable, alternative building systems. In addition to legislation compliance, the direct (labour, maintenance) and indirect (time, creeping interest rates) financial benefits to the contractor or developer building with EPS panels may lead to a saving of approximately 30% on the total costs of a project.

Advantages of building systems using OWLS panels:

• Affordable.
• Durable.
• Energy-efficient.
• Light weight.
• Versatile.
• Environmentally-friendly.
• Easily constructed.
• Pest/termite/rodent-resistant.
• Labour-efficient.
• Mass-produced to exacting tolerances.
• Aesthetically pleasing.

The worldwide shortage of affordable, durable housing is intensifying at a rapid rate. However, the need for long-lasting homes, commercial buildings and other structures can be quickly and affordably met with the implementation of CRIS panel systems.

“These systems are highly adaptable, as any architectural design or engineering application is possible. The only limitation is the imagination of the architect. The panels allow for fast and easy construction. Using insulating concrete forms results in a faster and more efficient building cycle,” concludes Mynhardt.

Tel: (011) 805 5002