Could this reusable metal wall be the 2×4 of the FUTURE?

From Belinda Carr.

One of the exciting new innovations in construction is the Lada Cube panel system. These Lego-like walls are made of modular metal cassettes that lock together to form interior walls. They are highly versatile, infinitely reusable, mobile, and customizable. They also eliminate construction waste, which is a huge problem in our industry. Throw out everything you know about how walls are built because this system turns walls into modular, prefabricated products.

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0:00 Introduction
1:19 Modular construction
3:05 Components
4:11 Camlock system
6:01 Cradle to Cradle
7:18 Advantages
8:46 Disadvantages
9:45 Podcast
10:37 Conclusion

Lada Cube has come up with standard wall cassettes in various widths including 6, 12, 18 24, 36 and 48 inches. They can build nearly every wall configuration with these sizes. Each cassette consists of 3 main parts.

The side frames are made of custom rolled steel studs. The panel is completely reversible so either side can be the interior face. The second component are steel channels that connect the two side frames. They also act as blocking to stiffen the panel and provide additional surfaces to screw into.

The panel has double insulation cavities; one of either side of the mid panel that can be made of different materials including white PVC or polyvinyl chloride, brown MDF or medium density fiberboard and translucent polycarbonate.

The panels might seem super heavy and intimidating, but they are actually light enough to be carried by 1 to 2 people. The larger cassettes can handle 300 pounds of stress. You might be wondering how these panels connect to one another. They don’t need nails, screws or adhesives. The entire wall system comes together with a brilliantly designed camlock system.

A cam lock system comes in pairs; a male camlock latch and a female camlock receptacle. To connect the 2 panels all you need to use is an Allen wrench. A simple twist of the wrench causes the male camlock latch to grasp the female camlock pin and pull the panel in tight for secure coupling. The system is quick and easy to assemble and disassemble for fast set up and tear down. It’s also much easier than using nails or screws.

Let’s go over some of the pros and cons of the system. The walls are a zero waste product. Every stud is custom made and assembled in a factory. Any excess material can be recycled and used to make new steel studs. Because of the camlock mechanism, there is minimal damage to the walls after deconstruction.

Another advantage of the system is that it’s future proof. These corner posts that connect 2 walls can also accommodate walls in the other 2 directions in the future. The walls are also designed so you can run electrical wires through pre-drilled holes on either the front or back side of the panel. Lada Cube has proprietary plug and play electrical boxes that work perfectly with their modular system. They are attached to metal brackets that straddle the side frames. They can move horizontally to the exact location they need to be. Wires run from these boxes to the top of the cassettes through flexible metal conduit. The final electrical connections can be easily made by electricians on the jobsite. Other utilities like water lines, drains and vents are also incorporated into the design of the panel.

Now for the disadvantages. The system is more expensive than conventional modular walls because they have yet to produce components in large quantities. That brings me to the next disadvantage. Mass adoption. Right now, the company has found an ideal client; Walmart. But that’s not enough to sustain a business. The last disadvantage I noticed is the lack of refinement in outer panels or skins. While the inner structural walls are an engineering marvel, the outer panels and the cleat system design need a lot of work. Fortunately, the CEO John Fay and the rest of his team are continuously working on improving the system and making it user-friendly for the rest of the players in our industry.

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#construction #engineering #robotics #recycle #architecture