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With UNL research, insulated concrete walls taking leaps in strength

UNL Structural Engineer Marc Maguire says they're both environmentally and structurally sustainable
Posted at 7:36 PM, Oct 20, 2023

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Insulated, composite concrete walls are making continued progress at the University of Nebraska, Durham School Engineer Marc Maguire says.

"This type of wall is the most sustainable, the most thermally efficient wall out there," he said.

He said part of the improvements over the years have been improving thermal efficiency without sacrificing structural strength.

"We're getting more and more thermally efficient," said Maguire. "My job as a structural engineer is to make sure we are still structurally efficient."

They showed off the strength for 3 News Now's cameras on Friday at a lab at the Peter Keweit Institute on the campus of the University of Nebraska Omaha, where the University of Nebraska Lincoln's Durham School is located.

"This is absolutely an answer to people's desire to have less of a carbon footprint," he said. "If we want more sustainability, we need to start using less electricity."

He also pointed out the energy cost benefits.

"I don't like my air conditioner running nonstop all summer like it does," said Maguire.

While the tech is mostly used in warehouses now, Maguire hopes to see it used in homes, too.

Maguire has helped develop a building code for this type of wall that will be in place soon.

"The codes have kind of lagged behind," said Maguire. "But now we have a very robust insulated wall code...I think it's really going to help this amazing wall system take off."

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