Build your own SCIP Home

Hi, to introduce myself, my name is Robert Mechielsen. I founded Studio RMA a design-build firm for SCIP structures. We have been designing and building with SCIP panels for 15 years. I worked with Rod Hadrian on TridiPanel projects and worked with a variety of SCIP panel systems in Hawaii, Florida, California, Oregon, Europe and the Caribbean.  

Building with SCIP is relatively easy, and I have helped many homeowners with building their own home. On this page I like to share some tricks of the trade and links to more information.

Any other questions? Contact me either via email, or via my cell at 310 310 4042.  Greetings, Robert

Building with SCIP

It is relatively easy to build with SCIP panels. Both walls and roof can be made with the same panels. The panels are interconnected with metal meshes and fastened with tie-wire or with a pneumatic hog-ring tool. A cement coat, similar to a thick brown coat is applied, on both the interior and the exterior of the panels.  The exterior can be finished with a stucco top coat, the interior with a plaster coating, and the roof with an acrylic membrane like Hydrostop. For more information on SCIP building see http://studiorma.com/2016/11/07/what-is-a-scip-building/

Making sure the walls are Straight

I always recommend using wood to hold the panels square before connecting them. One of the common mistakes people make to fix one corner, then firmly attach the next panel to it. Building a SCIP wall this way gets it crooked fast, and you cannot hammer it straight. It is better to connect the panels of an entire wall first loosely at the top to a 2x4, make sure the entire wall is level and then tie the panels together.

Keep Windows and Doors Square and Level

Use a wood frame to keep the windows and doors square and level. The advantage of this method is that if you keep the thickness of these wood frames at the same at the required cement thickness 0f the wall, it will be easy to strike-off the final coat and have a level finish of the brown coat.  An alternative method is to connect all walls, make sure they are level, then cut the window openings, this can work well for smaller windows. 

Electrical and Plumbing

The electrical boxes can be attached to wire mesh, the conduit has to be placed behind the mesh, you can burn some of the foam behind the mesh to easily feed the conduit through. Check with the building department what type of electrical conduit you can use, as it will be buried in the cement coat. Normally use similar electrical installation as for concrete block.

Plumbing is best achieved with PEX flexible plumbing pipe which can be fished through behind the meshes, same as for the electrical conduit.

Applying the Structural Concrete Coat

Pending of your level of experience, you can apply the coat yourself or have it done by a professional. My friend Nolan Scheid has a You Tube Channel with  with all kind of sprayers and techniques to apply the cement coating to a SCIP home. Have a look at  https://www.youtube.com/user/Mortarsprayer

Using Metal Stud Interior Walls

Pending on which roof span you have chosen, making the interior walls out of metal studs is a good cost saving option for bedroom walls, closets, etc.

Design and Engineering

The ICC report with Engineering and installation details for TridiPanel is available.  Download the ICC report here

There are a variety of panels on the market. Typically I would recommend TridiPanel www. tridipanel.com.mx and www.tridipanel.com on the West Coast and www.tridipanelhawaii.com for  Hawaii. On the East Coast and Caribbean both TridiPanel and Gulf Concrete Technology http://www.gctm2.com/

Want more information?

Leave me a message of topics you like to know more about so I can add more information to this page.   

Useful Links

You tube Channel with SCIP videos at
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNKHP6M-LBKQwkgkSXCa_9w

G+ page you can follow news on TridiPanel and SCIP buildings at https://plus.google.com/u/2/102307794901264769539