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    • CommentTimeApr 6th 2007 edited
    Following discussion on http://www.greenbuildingforum.co.uk/newforum/comments.php?DiscussionID=142&page=2#Item_19, Steve Leigh kindly arranged for me to visit the ASMET prototype/demo house and I spent a happy afternoon being shown around by John Manniex its inventor. Here's my report:

    ASMET certainly is extraordinary. It seems ‘too good to be true’ because it flouts hard-learned fail-safe rules-of-thumb about what’s safe, or suicidal in detailing buildings.
    Like – don’t rely on hopefully imperforate barriers but assume water’s going to get in, so limit the damage and make sure it can get out again.
    Like – assume large thermal and/or hygroscopic movements and creep, compaction and settlement, and provide structural hinges and expansion joints.
    Like – resilience and flexibility is fail-safe; rigidity is asking for unplanned fracturing.
    Like – the beating of a lifetime of weather necessitates outer materials capable of weathering, perhaps sacrificially – or else easy maintenance.

    Anyone who’s dabbled with boats (glassfibre or before that, plywood) or car bodies has considered seamless or edge-jointed thin-skin monocoque construction of building assemblies, even of whole buildings. But prudent wisdom and experience concludes that it’s naïve to up-scale the principle to buildings’ size and operating conditiuons.
    Size: because loads and deflections increase with the square, maybe cube of size; and monocoques, being inherently intolerant of distortion have to rigidly resist all stresses, or fail catastrophically.
    Operating conditions: because buildings’ freeze-fry cycles and UV exposure are far more extreme, over a far longer lifetime, than other-sized monocoques. Except perhaps aeroplanes – but what engineering is there required, and how limited their fatigue-life!

    So what is ASMET and what’s it made of? I’ll come to that – its inventor John Manniex showed me (almost) everything and is keen to involve us eco-independents in its launch and development. A salt-of-the-earth frugal northern engineer-type, his lab is in his garage in a charming Dartmoor village, and the prototype/demo ASMET house is built inside his unit on a nearby industrial estate, the HQ of Roofkrete. Because Roofkrete is essentially ASMET-lite, an earner let out to accredited installers, while John moves his real interest steadily to market. He has acquired justified cynicism at the motives for the interest of , and obstruction by, UK big-business; has kept his independence, and the patented project, alive; and is now pursuing its potential in the developing- and third-world, especially China.

    John’s lifelong conviction about ‘Sustainability’ seems to come from the ‘waste not want not’ direction. He owned a couple of Manchester sawmills in the 60s, pioneering reclaimed timber (that makes him a bit older than me – a lively 60+, probably). Despite his longtime AECB membership, John happily admits (and rather displays) his inexpertise in environmental building technology (thermal, moisture etc), hence his wish to involve us eco-independents. ASMET is in essence just a structural shell (but maybe that’s all that’s required in a third-world situation) albeit with some useful environmental properties. It’s not a full-fledged building system. Should it become one? John thinks not – that’s for other, licensed producers to work out.
    • CommentTimeApr 6th 2007
    ASMET is not “ceramic” as mentioned on the forum; it’s reinforced concrete (so is Roofkrete) – but not as we know it. John knows about ‘ferroconcrete’ yachts from the 60s/70s, but we’re not allowed to use that ‘bad’ word – nearly all have rusted their reinforcement and crumbled, except for a few still-healthy survivors which used a special expensive kind of cement. ‘Ferroconcrete’ hulls were typically 20mm thick. The standard ASMET panel is 14mm, and Roofkrete 6mm – not bad for reinforced concrete!

    For both, the reinforcement is 12 x 12mm square weldmesh, 0.5mm wire, usually dip- or electro-galvanised because that’s available, but ungalvanised is actually preferable when available (e.g. China). It’s multi-layered 4-deep in Roofkrete, 10-deep in ASMET. In 6mm and 14mm panel thickness respectively, the mesh fills the volume and grins through the surface here and there. And rusts – but that’s OK apparently because the alkaline cementitious matrix permanently prevents deeper rusting, beyond what’s visible. Various tools and routines are developed for neatly lapping, folding and edging the mesh layers.

    I’ll talk about Roofkrete first, as it illustrates some of the technical features. Unlike moulded ASMET, Roofkrete is laid-up in situ. Mesh layers are lapped together and lightly stapled through a light polythene slip-layer to the support boarding and/or clipped together with wire pull-twists (any wire high-spots are taken off with a disc after all is set). Cementitious mix is trowelled on , sets in minutes, and that’s it! Entire factory roofs are done, jointless, 100m sq; it’s a walk-on balcony surface, you can drop barrels on it, it’s completely water tight, vapour tight, you name it! It can be laid in convenient sections without need for daywork joints – apparently today’s mix bonds fully to yesterday’s.

    I’m thinking – green roofs? Edward Cullinan/Buro Happold used it on part of the Weald and Downland gridshell project, where it was accused of leaking but after costly investigation it was proved to be copious underside-condensation due to pinholes in the ‘total’ vapour barrier beneath. A factory valley-gutter 70m long x 1m up both slopes, laid jointless in situ, has performed faultlessly where several previous methods had failed.

    A 40 wide x 300 long x 6 thick strip of Roofkrete feels like spring steel; resilient and springy. Such a strip can be bent, pushing its centre away 6mm, with little-finger pressure. Much more than that, it begins to crack up – but that’s amazing elasticity for reinforced concrete! So, with such tensile cohesion combined with elastic suppleness, one can see that huge jointless slabs of Roofkrete can remain intact, whatever the inevitable movements of its supporting substrate and whatever its own inevitable differential thermal stresses (one part in cool shade, the neighbouring part in baking sun). But to survive that, you’d think that carefully-provided freedom to expand and contract in all directions under extremes of temperature would be essential. Over 100m, I’d expect that max-to-min expansion to add up to inches, and if not allowed would create big compression forces in the membrane, leading to membrane buckling and/or tearing-apart of the supporting substrate. The nearest jointless equivalent, glassfibre roofing, certainly requires such provision. However, the mystery is that no such provision is made with Roofkrete and apparently no such resultant problems appear – apparently Roofkrete doesn’t display thermal expansion! Is that possible?
    • CommentTimeApr 6th 2007
    On to ASMET. Whereas Roofkrete is laid-up in situ 6mm thick with 4-layer mesh, ASMET panels are pre-moulded 14mm thick with 10-layer mesh. ASMET can be moulded either in a factory, or on-site. The moulding rig I saw was actually mounted on a trailer. On a sheet of polythene on the mould’s steel base-plate, the 10 layers of mesh are stacked, the polythene wrapped over and tucked under at the ends, the mould’s top-plate hinged down, the whole stood on edge, slurry poured into the polythene-wrapped parcel, vibrated, and sets fast. Actually it’s cleverer than that, but that’s the principle. The result is a 2.4m x 1.2m x 14mm panel, with a 40mm band of the mesh left exposed around the perimeter. The next ‘standard’ step is to bond a pair of ribs of the same material, usually 200mm deep, 600 apart, 300 in from each long edge, to form the flat panel into a double-tee beam.

    To fabricate into a house-sized monococque, the storey-height double-tee panels are stood on end with their exposed mesh edges just butting, the same bridged between with a 75mm wide strip of mesh inside and out, all held flat with wire pull-twists, and cementitious mix troweled-in to fill the gap (I believe the ribs are similarly integral-bonded to the flat panels, but didn’t see that). The result is a wall with inward-facing ribs at 600c/cs. The lowest floor, forming the bottom of the monocoque, has already been formed in the same way, ribs upward, and the wall panels’ edges bonded to the floor panels’ edges. The ribs of each are trimmed to butt together and similarly integral-bonded. Cutting is easy with a diamond blade, almost as fast as a Skilsaw going through plywood. Upper floor, upper walls, roof plate and partitions if required are similarly trimmed, butted and integral-bonded. The result is a cuboid thin-wall shell, virtually seamless, rib-stiffened – a house-sized monocoque. Doors and windows can be cut and stiffening ribs added around them.

    Following panel trimming, the 40mm wide band of band of exposed mesh has to be formed on the cut edge; this is done with a power nibbler, which quickly shatters the cementitious matrix off the mesh. This is the basis of the claim of Recyclability – any redundant ASMET structure can be sliced up, edge-nibbled and bonded to form a new structure. It’s claim of Resource Economy isn’t on grounds of Low Embodied Energy, as steel (even if 80% recycled) and cement are both energy-intensive; but on grounds of using very little of same, it lasting a long time, and its eventual Recyclability. John hasn’t yet investigated the possibility of lime instead of cement.

    That’s the basics – I have more to say but will publish this now and come back to it. So what does the team think?
    • CommentTimeApr 6th 2007 edited
    10 layers of 12 x 12mm square weldmesh, 0.5mm wire, gives 1 mile of wire per square metre of ASMET panel, weighing 2.5kg, the equivalent of 1m2 of 0.3mm thick steel sheet - less than half the thickness of a typical car body panel. The volume of its dense concrete is 0.014m3, weighing 30kg. Anyone know how ASMET compares with the usual measures of cement and steel content for conventional reinforced concrete; the quantity of each per m2 of best-practice precast concrete panel?
    Thanks fostertom, great evaluation. It does give food for thought!

    I am visualiasing chicken wire and self leveling compond

    I am thinking light weight sandwhich panel, domes and under ground earth homes. There are many directions for developement.

    I have thought that a good use of fossil fuels is to build long lasting structures (100 years plus) that are self heating and comfortable, this may be one of those products???
    First of all ASMET is certainly intriguing, but unsurprisingly it does raise a number of design issues. Whilst I’m trying to avoid making a judgment call at this stage I have listed my questions to date.

    Fixings, Penetrations And Load Bearing Characteristics
    The experience noted at the Weald and Downland project suggests that to avoid condensation, and the on set of mold within insulation material, the “wall plane” of the ASMET must be used to form the internal lining of the envelope (i.e. warm side of insulation). This negates its weatherproofing benefit, furthermore the consequence of locating the “wall plane” in this location raises concerns regarding the potential for penetrating (airtight) membrane. These concerns include:
    a) Services penetrations through the ASMET envelope, opportunities for the ingress of water. (Not a new problem but how does ASMET cope with addressing these details? I’m thinking differential movement, longevity of airtightness, damage to structural integrity etc.)
    b) Distribution of services within ASMET envelope, presumably to minimize penetrations though the air/vapour tight membrane this leads to the need for a services zone on the inside face again, whilst not a new concept how does ASMET cope with receiving SW battens/spacer bars (Can battens be adequately secured? Will they work loose over time? Can the battens be removed easily when the building is demolished or if they have to be glued on have we created an unrecyclable mess?)
    c) Can ASMET support shelves, kitchen cupboards etc. Again concerns regarding fixings abound. What details will be required to provide adequate support? (Wouldn’t want to be tearing holes in the airtight membrane/structure)
    d) If the service zone of item b is used some form of dry lining would be required so as to create a decorative finish and allow people to hang paintings, shelves and cupboards. What fixing details would be required, anything out of the norm?

    External finishes:
    Given the “T” formation of the monocoque how do fix your finishes?
    Given that the lining of the envelope is on the warm side traditional weather protection to the insulation is required (soggy insulation does not perform well and will break down more readily). Does this mean creating an outer layer of ASMET (this results in box sections of ASMET) so as to encase the insulation? To form these box sections ASMET would ideally be extruded. From Tom’s description this is not currently the means of fabrication.
    If we have created a box section i.e. outer layer of ASMET again how do fix your finishes?

    Cold Bridging
    Claims have been made about the system being suited to creating housing to the PassivHaus standards. Given that cold bridges can account for 25% of heat loss in a super insulated building how does the system avoid cold bridging?( if memory serves PassivHaus has a Psi value requirement of 0.01) What thermal break details are required? What impact do these details have on other aspects of the construction? How readily can these be achieved?

    I have had similar thoughts, that is why I think a light weight sandwhich panel, preformed insulation with inside and outside coatings (staggard thickens to reduce thermal bridging) which are finished surfaces.

    Services and fixings as you say have difficulties but not insurmountable
    I agree that these issues would not appear to be insurmountable, however, before the ASMET system reaches the production line these matters will need to be considered, tested and proven to workable. From the information that I have seen to date no real conclusions can be drawn on these matters, hence me choosing to reserve making a judgement on the technology.
    • CommentAuthorsteveleigh
    • CommentTimeApr 7th 2007 edited
    No secret formula just ferrocement
    • CommentAuthorsteveleigh
    • CommentTimeApr 7th 2007 edited
    No secret formula just ferrocement
    • CommentAuthorGuest
    • CommentTimeApr 8th 2007
    Monocoque moon bases

    Man does not, at present, have the ability to construct an airtight containment building from a material which is able to be formed into a sealed monocoque structure.

    We have all seen science fiction films when people live in an artificial atmosphere within a pressurised building and we all just assume that this can be achieved. But the fact is that present technology cannot construct these buildings to any reasonable size for working and living in.

    The materials technology employed in building jumbo jets and submarines is bordering on the limit for pressurised structures - not big enough to survive in for long periods.

    Large domed structures have been built and people have tried living in them for a length of time but none have remained airtight because they are constructed of joined panels of various materials and metals. The result is fracture and air leakage caused by differential thermal movement.

    In the mid nineties a major manufacturer together with government attempted to constructed a huge airtight building in north east UK for semi conductor manufacture. The specification for this building required a sealed and fully controllable airtight atmosphere. The building consisted of leading edge building sealing technology, it was in fact three buildings in one because it consisted of three layers, each layer was carefully sealed before the next layer was applied. The result of this massive investment was a resounding failure because of the differential movement of materials and failure of sealants.

    Only a mineral material (for solar resistance) with very low thermal movement and able to resist extreme temperatures and which can be seamlessly joined together to form structures using minimum technology is capable of building large pressurised structures on the moon.

    Sound familiar!

    Bigger fish need frying!!
    • CommentTimeApr 10th 2007
    John Manniex, inventor of ASMET, has emailed me:

    >Just a few corrections to your figures.

    1. ASMET is constructed with 8 layers of 0.9 mm (19 gauge wire) 12 x 12mm giving a thickness of 14mm for webs and skin.

    2. 7.2kg wire per sqm = 1,344 lin metres + 27.54kg of RoofKrete compound, total weight per sqm is about 34.74kg

    3. Web (beam) spacing is 400mm

    The beam testing at Portsmouth University relates to beams of 10mm thick and 6 layer of 0.9mm mesh.

    We have upped the thickness to substantially over-engineer the product and then we could have a fall back position for reducing prices in the future. I do not think we will have a problem with price though because the sqm price of the present 14mm wall thickness including webs is working out about £120 and this should reduce further with quantity scaling.<

    7.2kg/m2 of wire (not 2.5kg/m2 as I said) is the equivalent of 0.85mm thick steel sheet (not 0.3mm as I said) - so about the same as a typical car panel.
    • CommentAuthorbiffvernon
    • CommentTimeApr 10th 2007
    Posted By: steveleighAll other methods of building need firm foundations including all the eco-homes, straw bale, rammed earth, clay blocks, timber frame, steel frame etc., all need foundations and most need steel reinforced concrete ground floor slabs.

    Eh? My house was built with no cement and no steel and no foundations that a Building Control Officer would recognise these days, but it has stood quite happily for 250 years. How come?

    Foundations are just a cunning plot devised by the cement and steel industries.
    • CommentTimeApr 10th 2007 edited
    Posted By: Jeff Norton (NZ)I am visualiasing chicken wire and self leveling compond
    No offence Jeff but hippies have been building chicken wire domes since the dawn of time. These may suffice in wimpy Arizona Whole Earth Catalog land but in a 'real' climate like UK and I'd guess NZ, durability seems to require a lot more than amateur know-how! John Manniex has clearly gone into this deeply with ASMET.
    The use of weldmesh and the way it's layered has an extremely strong structural effect that might or might not be obtainable with chicken wire.
    I kept asking about the cement/aggregate aspect and he consistently pretended he hadn't heard, so I know that's where The Secret lies! I've been thinking not so much self-levelling compound which is probably full of dodgy additives emphasising workability over structural strength; but more about cementitious tanking treatments. Vandex has unique crystal-growing additives that explain its supreme performance; but the numerous others rely on carefully-graded aggregates (which I can understand) and probably special kinds of Portland cement (which are beyond me). The strongest concrete results from selecting and proportioning aggregate granules of various sizes and shapes, so that once wet-vibrated they pack together to almost entirely fill the volume with pieces of near-pure crystal, of enormous individual strength. The relatively weak cement slurry is then left to do what it does best - as a glue of minimal thickness, not as a gap-filler.
    In a rough attempt to create this gap-filled mass, concrete used to be specified as e.g. 1 part cement : 2 parts sand : 4 parts aggregate but the result was as highly variable as the particle mix within different sands and aggregates; so now it's a performance specification e.g C24, of strength, workability and other parameters. Now concrete batching plants make the best of the aggregates and cements that are economically available, in any mix that produces the specified performance. However even high-spec structural concrete has to be cheapish, with imperfect gap-filling and plenty of voids filled with cement slurry. High performance cementitious mixes such as tanking and certainly ASMET/Roofkrete depend upon very careful batching using fine aggregates (e.g. sand) possibly expensively selected, sieved or otherwise consistently graded for both size and shape. Not requiring gap-filling, high strength can be accompanied by low cement content. It is possible that ASMET/Roofkrete contains much less energy-intensive cement than you'd expect.
    John admits to studying aggregate grains ("sand" to you and me, "silica-the-commonest-substance-on-earth" to him) under a microscope in his garage/lab. Asked how he trained in such science he says he just picked it up while self-building several houses but I think there's more here than meets the eye. He buys the aggregates already batched to his spec, then bags it with the cement, in his lab. The nature of the Portland cement, I have no idea. He hasn't tried substituting lower-energy lime.
    No offence taken fostertom. I am interested in this product but I don't see the benefits except the durability.

    Because the material is water/vapour proof then logically it needs to be on both internal and external surfaces (preferable finished surface) with insulation bonded internally (and services?). this layering would need to be done on site or in a factory both have there limitations. This layering of materials to do different jobs is obviously common practice now, how are they eliminating this problem?

    How is this light weight structure held down? wind up lift is a big problem in NZ with strict building codes more so then earthquake which the monocoque it would excell at.
    • CommentAuthorPeter A
    • CommentTimeApr 11th 2007
    Why does the ASMET need to be on both faces? The main strengths of the product mean that it is better placed on the outside face, this then flies in the face of typical vapour barrier locations. I understand why Jeff says to make a sandwich construction but that just adds to the cost and pretty soon it's not a viable proposition. Why not accept that it's on the outerface and then think how a secondary vapour barrier can be installed in the inner face, for example fully fill the 250mm ish webs with insulation, fix a batten to the web, pin a reflective vapour barrier with taped joints to the batten, plant a further batten or mf batten to create a cavity to improve u value further, provide services void and ensure vapour barrier not damaged, then fix wall finishes (they don't have to be plasterboard). These are just 1st thoughts on the problem and would need a condensation calc done (if any body knows how to with ASMET!).
    There's more than one way to skin a cat, any observations?
    • CommentTimeApr 11th 2007
    I agree with Mark Siddal's comments, which are worth reading in detail.
    John Manniex sees no reason why ASMET monococques shouldn't be fabricated inside out - i.e. smooth inside, ribs outward. Others had told him this; having explained interstitial condensation I think he now understands fully why. That would create a rare thing - a perfect (apparently) airtight and vapourtight inner skin, ready for plaster skim, with insulation where it belongs, outboard. But then as Mark says, what about fixing shelves, running services etc? A battened/plasterboard service void? but how to fix battens without penetrating the skin; and we're right back to the thermally lightweight interior. It would also make ASMET's weatherproof properties irrelevant; the full palaver of weather-cladding would be necessary. If it wasn't already - as said at the very begining, >the beating of a lifetime of weather necessitates outer materials capable of weathering, perhaps sacrificially – or else easy maintenance< and ASMET would require cast-iron assurances, if not proof, before being trusted for a lifetime as a weather-surface. So ASMET has to be seen just as a structural frame, albeit with rare and useful air- and vapour-tightness; it's not a complete system, "the answer", solving the whole problem at a stroke; it still needs the full internal and external treatment by conventional means, with all the design decisions, labour and materials that's always involved.
    There's a suggestion that housing needs could be solved by gearing up to mass-produce (whether in factories or on site) ASMET, thereby not requiring a multiplicity of industries to supply all the other conventional building materials. Only in certain warm third-world situations, where a simple skin of corrugated iron is all that's necessary, would that be true - hence perhaps John's current concentration on China.
    One other useful property; with ASMET it's dead easy to create greywater tanks in the basement, swimming pool on the roof etc.
    • CommentAuthorGuest
    • CommentTimeApr 11th 2007
    I don’t have a proper understanding of vapour control layers and dew points. John Manniex was always going on about a precise control of water molecules within the structure is this possible? Is this branch of science to far above the building trade and more into space technology?


    An ASMET house can be anchored down on each corner or buried for basements. An average house would weigh about 25 tonnes - would that move in a wind? Should be easy to calc.

    Cheers Steve
    • CommentAuthorsteveleigh
    • CommentTimeApr 11th 2007 edited
    No secret formula just ferrocement
    • CommentTimeApr 11th 2007
    And I'm thinking that Roofkrete is the answer for green roofs, which otherwise have such an onerous requirement for a tough, perfect-forever, damage-protected membrane.
    A big disappointment with green roofs is the need for through-ventilation above the insulation, beneath the membrane. The whole green roof then becomes merely a pretty weather-layer; it's great potential as a massive heat sink is cut off from any benefit it could give to the interior.
    Roofkrete's strength makes the 'extensive' (as opposed to 'intensive') roof a little bit more feasible. That is, 500mm or more of soil, flowerbeds, trees etc, as opposed to a minimum-thickness, minimum-weight layer of specially drought-tolerant alpines. Such a soil layer, if thick enough, can contribute enough insulation value to keep the membrane warm enough (with more insulation under it) to avoid danger of interstitial condensation on its underside. so not requiring that through-ventilation. The roof's massiveness then becomes an asset available to the interior; such indeed is the key to the Hockerton approach to zero-energy.
    Covering with soil also solves the worry (which John Manniex says isn't a problem) about thermal expansion of large jointless exposed roof membranes - any membranes, not just Roofkrete. The membrane, protected from extremes of temperature, not to mention UV radiation, has a much easier time and should really last forever.
    • CommentTimeApr 11th 2007
    Posted By: steveleighprecise control of water molecules within the structure is this possible? Is this branch of science to far above the building trade and more into space technology?
    Yes, I didn't fully understand John about that. Something like because ASMET is a sealed vapourtight box and moisture can't get in, we can at last capture internal moisture by mechanical means and recycle the precious liquid and the energy in it.
    HRV is really valuable in any building, and necessitates airtightness, which ASMET provides, but except in transient seasonal conditions ingress of external water vapour isn't the problem. In other words ASMET has no special vapour-advantages, apart from airtightness, as far as I can see, compared with other constructions.
    Vapour is notoriously difficult to control anyway - see http://www.greenbuildingforum.co.uk/newforum/comments.php?DiscussionID=127
    Ahh Yes, This I can visualise! an ASMT dome buried in the ground, interseasonal storage (no insulation required,)just a single skin of roofkreet in contact with the ground as per greenshelter.com

    Earth tube heating and ventilation?
    • CommentAuthorsteveleigh
    • CommentTimeApr 11th 2007 edited
    No secret formula just ferrocement
    Test reports from Portsmouth University
    • CommentTimeApr 11th 2007
    Posted By: steveleigh.......system called roofforrest. Which is a self supporting green roof system for high rise buildings. Whereby roofkrete forms box beams (to any depth) which stretch across the building and imposing the load on the perimeter walls down to the foundations
    Yes, I saw the demo ASMET box-beam end/bolt flange. This is something else - ASMET as a substitute for steelwork/beams etc. Could well be the relatively-low-energy structural material of the future - but that's one more thing to prove!
    It's an excellent and necessary idea, but not so easy - it seems to me that inventing a new kind of beam is the very least of the problem of putting massive green roofs on top of highrises - doubtful indeed that the existing perimeter walls would have the spare structural capacity to carry such huge top-heavy additional loads down to the foundations. And faith in rigidity is seen as an alternative to allowing for expansion/contraction and movement generally.
    I'd say that this whole project has reached the point where it needs to get some creative structural, environmental and materials scientists on board, providing authoritative answers, otherwise pure enthusiasm will start to look unconvincing.
    • CommentAuthorMike George
    • CommentTimeApr 11th 2007 edited
    Yes, look what happened to multifoil :devil:
    • CommentAuthorsteveleigh
    • CommentTimeApr 11th 2007 edited
    No secret formula just ferrocement
    Posted By: steveleighThe questions that were offered from the conference floor after the lecture and the conversations with the experts (professors of concrete technology) made it plain that all the books have been written and there is no way a new material could be introduced


    I would like to say somethink positive about ASMET but there is an element of smoke and mirrors about it which tends to make me think it is too good to be true. I think your latest post is very defensive and I disagree with most of it.

    In particular, I know several experts in concrete technology, a very highly regarded professor amongst them, who continue to publish new material about concrete despite your statement above. The material they publish is however, mostly subject to international peer review. These people may indeed be very vain, but publications are their livelihood, and anything which truly stacks up under scrutiny is a potential goldmine for them. This poses the question: if ASMET is the panacea you proclaim, why is there no peer reviewed material available?
    • CommentTimeApr 11th 2007
    Eight years ago? What are you guys waiting for? If it's really as mould-breaking as it possibly seems, then it's proveable. Steve, do you and John have the ability to find, finance and manage the creative dream team that will be necessary to prove the point? It *is* possible to break the mould, despite the incumbent interests' obstruction - look at the success of the multifoil boys, who have forced a Europe-wide re-think of insulation testing methodology, results expected August.
    • CommentAuthorGuest
    • CommentTimeApr 11th 2007
    Mike George
    Where is the evidence of ‘international peer review’ before the great builders of the pass built the great structures of Europe (which academia continue to use as examples of great achievement). They were built by hands-on people and not academics. Does this prove that hands-on designer builders can manage to build great buildings without the need for academics? I think track record is the only true prove of any product. Academia can sometimes cloud simple issues which need experience more.
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