EcoliteÂ Concrete (Ecolite)Â is a San Diego company that provides sustainable construction materials usingÂ proprietary modeling software and a patent-pending system for making pre-fabricatedÂ concreteÂ (read the Sustainable Industries article here)
The manufacturing process starts with project plans developed by the company’s EcoCAD modeling and engineering software, which produces a shop drawing of each wall panel.Â Ecolite hasÂ filed an applicationÂ to registerÂ the ECOCAD service mark for “computer-aided engineering services for others” (77194288_app.pdf).
The wall panel info is sent to roll-forming machines, where the shop drawing is translated into appropriately sized and marked steel framing members.Â The steel members are snapped into place and fastened together into assembled frames forming the composite panels.
TheseÂ panelsÂ are covered by U.S. Patent Application Pub. No. 2007/0062151, entitled “Composite building panel and method of making composite building panel.”Â
Concrete (12) is then poured into the composite panel (10), whichÂ includesÂ the frame (14) and has a front face (16) and a rear face (18).Â The panel also has a high performance steel lath (not shown) attached to the assembled frames to provide additional strength.Â The concrete is then smoothed and cured, and the panels are kept in a storage facility or shipped to the construction site.
The Sustainable Industries piece says that Ecolite’s automated steel system is the first of its kind in the U.S.
It also provides benefits for green builders.Â According to the company’s website, Ecolite’s concrete mix is made of about 25% recycled content and Ecolite walls can assist builders in achieving LEED green building ratings for their projects by providing credits in several LEED categories.Â