Sto Corp. is empowering architects and designers with creative freedom through recent advancements in its Sto Panel Technology business. Sto Panel Technology produces fully engineered and tested prefabricated finished exterior megapanel systems, and is now introducing the versatility of 3D printing to its megapanels with StoPanel® 3DP powered by Branch Technology.
Sto is also bringing megapanel walls and windows together in a more efficient and integrated way through a collaboration with Kawneer North America.
“At Sto, our overarching goal is to provide architects, designers, and building professionals with the widest range of aesthetics through the most complete collection of building enclosure systems via our offsite construction technologies,” said Tyson Kindstrom, VP of industrialized construction with Sto. “Megapanels continue to present a host of value propositions to construction professionals – from design freedom, greater efficiencies, and collapsed project timelines to potential cost savings.
“Thanks to our collaboration with Branch Technology and Kawneer North America, Sto Panel Technology remains at the forefront of this endeavor, one that has the propensity to gain even more traction in the years to come,” Kindstrom added.
StoPanel 3DP delivers three-dimensional design freedom for exterior walls. The megapanel system includes all the building envelope control layers integrated with a unique, fully customizable 3D-printed composite facade.
The 3D component, called the Composite Core, is lightweight, structurally robust, and easy to install. Branch’s unique Cellular Fabrication (C-Fab®) 3D printing process gives designers and architects the ability to stretch the limits of their creativity. The technology enables StoPanel 3DP to create virtually any 3D shape or form at a large scale.
“StoPanel 3DP bridges the gap between design freedom and precision manufacturing to achieve phenomenal results for the building envelope,” said Karine Galla, senior project manager for Sto. “To arrive at this solution, Branch Technology robotically prints a lightweight polymer matrix and then fills that matrix with an insulating foam, providing continuous insulation for the wall panel. Digital files are used versus shop drawings in this manufacturing process, ensuring extreme accuracy that is true to the original design. The result is three-dimensional exterior facade that turns heads and sets a building’s design apart.”
Sto Panel Technology’s collaboration with Kawneer North America has integrated windows and walls together in the manufacturing process, achieving greater efficiencies and improved safety on the job site. Kawneer window receptors are installed during the offsite production of the StoPanel megapanels.
“This has a measurable impact on window installation once StoPanels have been shipped to a location,” said Richard Martens, director of business development for Sto. “By fully integrating the prefabricated wall and window system, crews can install the windows from the inside of the building versus shipping the windows with the wall panels or performing installations from the exterior of the building. It allows for a seamless installation option that drives down material and labor costs while reducing site safety risks.”
In addition, Sto Panel Technology and Kawneer North America have conducted independent, third-party testing of the StoPanel with Kawneer windows and customized receptors.
Sto and Kawneer North America are designing a system with a new high thermal window and receptor to meet more stringent codes. It will also be tested to AAMA 1010 and is expected to be available later this year.
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