The ARMAN Wall System ™ is a precast wall and foundation construction system that was developed to provide a truly safe and affordable building technology for residential buildings in areas of a high potential for seismic activity or where flooding, hurricane or tornado risks make the need for advanced engineering and materials necessary. Designed with the flexibility to adapt to conventional framing construction, manufactured or modular homes, or almost any tested and approved panel system, the ARMAN Wall System ™ will be the building system of choice in years to come.
Since the 90's and in the advent of the Northridge earthquake the federal government has led a consortium of agencies, academia, and industry to reevaluate the established building codes in an effort to improve the safety and durability of modern construction.
One of the most dramatic outcomes of this evaluation was the recognition that concrete buildings must be built to dissipate the energy of a seismic event, rather than simply to be built more massively, and that the ability to dissipate this energy implicitly meant that concrete buildings would have to be designed to give, or to move.
This requires a truly drastic change in the design philosophy for architects and engineers of concrete buildings, where monolithic construction has long prevailed as the construction technology of choice for most concrete building construction. For monolithic construction, this means that seismic isolation systems must be developed, in order to allow the ground to move beneath the building.
It has also meant that the leading rival to monolithic concrete construction, namely precast concrete, is poised to experience a renaissance, as it is necessarily a jointed construction, and therefore may be designed to allow movement of the various building parts, and thereby obviate the necessity of a seismic isolation system.
The design criteria for the ARMAN Wall System ™ is developed from the prescriptive specifications based upon the requirements established by PATH (Partnership for Advancing Technology in Housing) which is sponsored by HUD (the department of Housing and Urban Development) in their publication “ Prescriptive Method for Connecting Cold-Formed Steel Framing to Insulating Concrete Form Walls in Residential Construction”.
The rational for these design criteria is that the specifications described represent the minimum standards of acceptable construction with conventional materials, (ordinary concrete and steel reinforcement and light-gauge steel framing) of an alternative building technology that offers significant improvements, advantages and potential savings to builders and home owners over previous building technologies and is based on the most current model building codes.
It must be noted, however, that at the present time ICF (Insulated Concrete Forms) systems are not approved for use in high seismic risk regions, and as the testing requirements of the current building codes become more restrictive, may not become suitable without some extensive additional engineering and a seismic isolation system.
With the purpose of developing a comprehensive building technology standard that can become an effective prescriptive method of construction of safe and affordable housing anywhere, the ARMAN Wall System ™ is poised to usher in a new age of residential construction, and provide a sturdy, durable, environmentally friendly, noncombustible, mold, termite, rot, wind and rain resistant building that can survive not just one, but many seismic events, perhaps for many generations to come.
The testing standards by which the ARMAN Wall System ™ will be required to be tested for seismic performance have recently been submitted by the ACI (American Concrete Institute) ACI INNOVATION TASK GROUP 5 to the full ACI 318 committee for review and adoption.
Recently, the structural engineering professors of the U.C. Berkeley Seismic laboratory, PEER (the Pacific Earthquake Engineering Resource Center ) agreed to perform the required testing for the ARMAN Wall System ™.
Upon satisfactory completion of this testing, the ARMAN Wall System ™ may become the first precast special unbonded post-tensioned structural walls based upon validation testing.