This is one of three houses made with a structural skin panel product. This product is manufactured by several companies throughout the world. We used two of them in these constructions. You can view the manufacturer’s website in English at http://en.mdue.it/. The product was introduced into Panama the year we moved here, so we were one of the first to use it in our area, and the first to use it for floors and roofs.
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We also did something unique to our area, we built using the product according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Most engineers around here still to this day use costly, heavy, and completely unnecessary reinforced concrete posts and beams over huge, over designed foundations. “It’s Traditional”.
If this product is used according to the instructions, you come out with a uni-body house that increases in strength because of the interconnection between walls, floors, and roofs.
Other notable features are:
- Half the weight of block houses, so lighter foundations
- Stronger than block houses
- Insulated walls that are easy to install plumbing and wiring.
- Uses stucco which is a system well known in Latin America.
If you want to move a window, you easily can! We put up the walls and then spray paint the windows and doors in. It is a medium that allows for some creativity, not as much as ferrocement, but we combined ferrocement into the panel seamlessly.