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COVINTEC construction experience

The Covintec system sounds great and makes sense on paper but here in Costa Rica all the input I have received from contractors who have used the system over the last 10 years has been negative. I am looking for some positive input as this product makes a lot of sense with the advent of "Green Home Building".
This construction system from Mexico has been used for years and is a totally different method than typical concrete block and column construction. Because of the Covintec extruded polystyrene (EPS) panels energy efficiency there is now new interest as related to "Green Home Building". EPS foam products whether used for insulation or packaging are lightweight, versatile, sanitary, energy efficient, and most of all cost effective. The manufacture of EPS foam uses less energy than that used in the manufacture of paper based alternatives. According to The Midwest Research Institute study on special packaging applications, the total energy requirements to make plastic containers (including both processing and materials energy) were lower than or equal to the energy consumed to make competing materials. Covintec is a building system that replaces traditional block, column, and beam construction.

Covintec comes in 4-foot-by-8-foot panels of steel wire mesh that surrounds expanded polystyrene, which is then covered with traditional plaster. Benefits include structural resistance to hurricane-force winds and earthquake activity; quick installation; great versatility (the panels can be used in a wide array of architectural styles); transportation cost savings because it weighs less than block; improved insulation that reduces noise from outside and between rooms; and protection from humidity damage. Plus, Covintec is relatively seismic-proof, and with eight times the thermal insulation of traditional block systems, tests have shown that it provides electric energy savings for homeowners of 23 percent to 27 percent. And because there's no wood and the panels are embedded with steel, bugs and critters can't eat it or chew through it to live inside.

If you wish to see quite a bit of construction using this material, take a small trip to Boquete, Panama, it seems to be the material of choice by many contractors there.

For more info, logon to boquete.org and do a search or inquire about M2 Covintec.

Cheers,
Gene

Too bad you had encountered only negative opinios of the Covintec System
I built my house (500 plus meters) using the covintec panels and I am very happy with it. It is extremely fresh (in managua 35-40 degrees in summer) and definitedly will stand any earthquake better than blocks.

The only "negative"  I can think of is that you should have good supervision so the building crew wet the walls constantly during the aplication of the cement  (a step also required in block walls and often not done right)

Happy Holidays

Hi all,

I've used this in Nicaragua and t is a great system.

It would be nice to know what the problems are with it here.   I really do not like at all when people just bash something and do not explain why it makes you wonder if it is true.

I am thinking of using that product on our next developement site. I need more info before i use it but so far it sounds like a good choice.

We use covintec almost exclusivley in our developments.  We are in an area that is both seismicly active and gets a lot of rain.  Covintec is very stable, super insulated, weather resistant and easy to use.  We use pneumatic cement with a cement sprayer after hand troweling our base coat.  You can see actual photos on our website at [no free ads in your very first message] and navigate to the "pictures of homes" page.

Hi, So can anyone comment on using Covintec over concrete bloc for building their house?  I've read the info on Covintec but I am looking for specific examples.  Thanks

Hi, I am looking into Covintec and Quadlock systems as compared to block. I am just beginning. Did you investigate further? Have you used the product? Tnx!

Like to check out your website

Keep in mind the previous posts are over a year old.  If you were to Google the words "Costa Rica pacific lots" you may find what you are looking for.

TerrynViv :

Keep in mind the previous posts are over a year old.  If you were to Google the words "Costa Rica pacific lots" you may find what you are looking for.

Hi, is your home built with these panels? Are you happy with them?

I am looking into SIP panels which I know there is one company now selling them in Costa Rica (at least one that I know of, that is).

I'm interested in building a hexagonal home with SIP panels, maybe something like this:
http://www.greywater.com.au/yurts/yurtmenu.htm (This is not an ad, I have no connection with this web site. We're talking about building materials here so hopefully some links will be allowed so we can see what we're talking about!)

As for the Covintec materials I would try to talk to people in  Costa Rica who have used them and DID NOT like them and see if the problems were inherent in the system or if the builders did something wrong. I always like to read the negative reviews (like at amazon) to see the reasons why a product might not be good even if most people like it. I think it's good to weigh both the good and bad sides of things before buying them.

After a lot of research and talking with people who have used covintec we decided (in conjunction with our builder) not to use it.  We also toured the facility that uses covintec in most of their houses.

Me too.

What your'e website address?

Not sure who you are asking about the website address.  If it is me, I don't have a website.

Sorry wrong person

TerrynViv :

After a lot of research and talking with people who have used covintec we decided (in conjunction with our builder) not to use it.  We also toured the facility that uses covintec in most of their houses.

Would love to hear your reasons. Myself and a friend are looking at it, so we'd love to get your opinion on it. If you want you could post that here or pm me.

In any case, thanks for the feedback!

jdouey :

Sorry wrong person

If you use the QUOTE button at the bottom of each message then it gives the quote of the message you are replying to, thus everyone knows what or whom you are referring to! ;-D

how are you still liking your covintec?  I am buying land near the beach and looking into the process.  My friend just built his 2 floor casita with it.. not an experienced builder but is getting it done.  I am sure there are mistakes in his process, but I believe it is a good product.  One thing i noticed on one of the houses built from covintec, was cracks a year later.  any thoughts?
thanks

Did you ever decide on using it or not and if so or not, could you give me some feedback? it looks like a terrific option?
thanks
matt

What are peoples objections to this system?  I saw one complaint that rats ate into the foam.  This must have been a failure to properly coat the foam with concrete.  Are there any condensation problems in inside the wall at the foam?
Thank you,
Patrick

As to Covintec, I don't know. But we used Panacor SIP panels and we have not had any issues with them as of yet (now almost 2 years). They have a hard coating on the outside of the "styrofoam" inner cores.
I would build with Panacor again, though I do recommend doing what we did which was to put steel posts at the corners and stress points, which is not part of the Panacor kit or design. This may not be necessary but it made us feel much more confident that the house is strong and less likely to blow away in a hurricane or tornado or fall down in an earthquake.

Last year CR had it's first hurricane touch down in recorded history, and so who knows - what with global climate change - that tornadoes could not also be possible. Earthquakes are a given though we have not felt one since we have been here.

You can see how the Panacor  panels can be reinforced with steel posts here:
http://movingtocostarica.info/video-gal … osta-rica/

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