alu-zinc plates

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alu-zinc plates

Postby maestro » Fri Jun 10, 2011 10:27 am

Hi guys,
I am working on a project (50 homes) and would like to construct a main building according to the sketch which will be included. The whole idea was to construct a lightweight building with an extra-ordinary shape (futuristic?), easy maintenance and offering a lot of open space without too much pillars or other obstructions. And cheap of course!! After all we are falang and especially the Dutch want to be a master in this field. :D
No heavy brick or concrete walls, but easily removable sliding or foldable walls to close the entire building, when needed.
Sometimes you see beautiful pictures from resorts or holiday-homes in tropic countries with roofs made of local available stuff, like palm leaves, grass and so on. It looks marvelous. Although cheap it does not say this kind of roofs have to be replaced every 2-3 years. So, despite my wish to support local craftsmen and try to create a “green” environment, stuff like these offer no real solutions for a permanent building of this size. Artificial replacements for these materials are horribly expensive and not really eco-friendly.
The central building will be an octagon (8 angles) with a diameter of 17.0 meters and the four connecting buildings will be hexagon (6 angles) with a diameter of 12.0 meters each. I planned a total of 24 pillars on a floor area of 742 m2. One at each crossing.

Image

The whole circumference will be supplied with a rain gutter which will also be the connection between the 5 separate buildings. The pillars are supposed to be hollow and will not only support the roof constructions but at the same time drain the water from the gutters. So no extra drains will be needed.
Concerning the shape I was inspired by a pagoda tent. Investigation so far shows that the material, normally used for the roof of such a tent (double coated canvas) may be OK for temporary use. But definitely not for permanent use. Lifespan of this stuff is about 2-4 years, depending on the weather conditions. So this is no option for me.
Second idea was use of double-sided poly-carbonate plates. Lifespan of this stuff is a bit longer, but still too short for this purpose. The risks of small cracks after a couple of years (and thus leaks) on a total roof surface of 828 m2 are not acceptable of course. So no option either.
Now I am considering the use of alu-zinc plates. Available on rolls. Flat material. Thickness from 0,1 to about 1 mm. Not the stuff with a profile because this material will cause a lot of problems to get a leak free roof when it comes to the finishing of the edges. Lifespan is over 30 years is what they told me. On the inside will be a thin layer of insulation. The top of each building will remain open to create circulation of air whereby the hot air is supposed to escape, leaving at the top. Eventually with use of an exhaust fan.
Has anyone of you any experience with this kind of material, where it is available, prices etc
Any ideas, suggestions, other options etc will be welcomed.
I am looking as well for a nice plot of land, for an affordable price, about 10 Rai, Chiang Mai or within a range of about 20 minutes drive from town.
Thanks folks.

Khun BKKBill: maybe my offer to come and see me was a bit premature, or it should at least have been explained better. I have to leave TH on July 9 and will be back by the end of October. But a visit before or after these dates is no problem of course. See you.
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Re: alu-zinc plates

Postby sezze » Sun Jun 12, 2011 8:05 pm

Cheap you say ... :oops: . It looks a mighty expensive thing to me with very special techniques used .
For something like this you absolutely need to speak to the big boys , i mean colorbond itself . They have the expertise and the material you want . I very well doubt that any local shop/craftsman can do it .
I recommend not to use polycarbonate or any other plastic things in solar conditions . It is fairly stable for UV radiation bit it is still affected and hailstorms will ruin it in a couple of years .
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Re: alu-zinc plates

Postby geordie » Sun Jun 12, 2011 8:34 pm

Maestro you may want to take another look or even a first look at what you are contemplating
zinc sheet is steel with a coating on it scratch it and its finished hence powder coat or at least a decent coat of paint to protect it also the profiling of these sheets is the strength so you will need a lot of support for flat sheets which will warp and bend all over the place the size of this roof you will need to allow for a lot of expansion the profiled sheets would be suitible for it at the hips leave a gap for expansion and put a ridge over it underneath you could put a tray to act as a gutter to catch blown in water
Is it your intention to build the walls the same stuff ??
my comments may be wrong but never deliberately
If it aint broke, dont fix it
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Re: alu-zinc plates

Postby maestro » Sun Jun 12, 2011 11:32 pm

Hi guys, thanks for your cooperative thinking.
I am aware that it will be a challenge to complete anything futuristic like this and it may be a hard way to figure out the right solution. And maybe even I will have to conclude in the end that a return to a more traditional building and roof will be inevitable. But so be it. On the other hand, much bigger buildings with even much more futuristic appearance have been created elsewhere, so why not give it a chance? I am (not yet) in a rush so I still have some time left to consider several possibilities.
I just started to investigate which solutions might be possible, affordable etc. Like all other builders will know, it is impossible to foresee all problems and consequences before you make a start with actual building. Even with a detailed planning and precise construction-drawings. Experiences and visions from others are helpful to avoid mistakes which others made before.
Like Sezze mentioned: harsh conditions and maybe even hailstorms will ruin polycarbonate within a few years. For that reason I already concluded that this would not be the right material either.
I can agree with Geordie that the steel plates owe their strength because of the profiling of the stuff. I believe he was thinking of big sized plates in one piece when he mentioned the bending of the stuff.
The material I had in mind would be steel plates, not just covered with a zinc layer or any paint but covered with aluminum-zinc (55% alum., 43% zinc, 1,6 % silicium) which would give it a more rigid protection. The manufacturers call it Aluzinc and are offering 25 years of guarantee against rust. ( I hope this will not be considered being an add!!!).
In order to avoid bending and change of shape because of increasing and decreasing temperature one could consider to use a smaller size of plates, laid in layers, just like normal tiles. Each plate being mounted to the roof frame with bolts or screws in an oversized hole to give way for expansion. The upper layer could cover the bolts or screws of the layer underneath.
In Belgium the traditional way of using slate on roofs seems to be replaced more and more by use of Aluzinc plates with the same size and shape as the original, natural material. For that reason I was considering whether this material and way of use might be a solution for my building too. I could still use flat material without any profiling and this would also save a lot of trouble when it comes to finishing the hips. And following the bent shape of the roof would not be a problem either.
In case this might be it, I guess any handyman could fix a roof this way. So local craftsmen need not be out of sight yet.
So far, I have no idea what might be the costs of a solution like this. It will also depend on the thickness of the plates needed. I will keep you informed. And I would like to read your points of view once more. Thanks.
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Re: alu-zinc plates

Postby geordie » Mon Jun 13, 2011 12:44 am

Maestro my apologies you are thinking of tiling the roof with zinc so small squares with overlaps i understand a bit better now you will still need a hell of a frame under it because of the weight but why zinc why not a more traditional material what do you have planned to make the walls windows out of do you have any drawings
You could take a look at the modern trend of supending with tensioned cable to minimize the pillars a look at big top design ??? also you could look at the american football stadiums where they use zink / ruberoid or similar on top of sheets of insulation the insulation forms a deck to lay on so bigger tiles less supports less weight on supports
my comments may be wrong but never deliberately
If it aint broke, dont fix it
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Re: alu-zinc plates

Postby Roger Ramjet » Mon Jun 13, 2011 6:31 am

Maestro,
If this is to be the feature for a 50 home complex, I would suggest, as has already been advised, to contact Colorbond themselves and discuss what they are able to do at their factory in Rayong.
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