SOURCE: AltusGroup


May 13, 2016 15:53 ET

ARCIS Ultra-Thin Precast Panels Reduce Cladding Weight by Nearly 90% While Preserving the Durability and Aesthetics of Concrete

New License Agreement With AltusGroup Makes Innovative Technology Available Nationwide for First Time Thru North American Producer Base

BETHLEHEM, PA--(Marketwired - May 13, 2016) - Boasting panel depths as thin as 0.75 inches (19mm), innovative ARCIS®ultra-thin precast panels provide a versatile, lightweight architectural cladding option that offers the remarkable durability and versatile aesthetics of precast concrete. Project profiles, design resources and more are available at

Ideal for use as a rain screen or cavity wall system, sealed exterior façade or accent panel, ARCIS panels use non-corrosive, aerospace-grade stainless steel prestressing -- braided cable strand -- placed longitudinally and transversely in the panel face to impart strength, crack control and durability while allowing concrete cover to be minimized. The pretensioned steel tendons are placed off the midplane of the panel to help resist curling, warping and cracking in panels that can be sized up to 8' x 15' (2.4m x 4.6m) and as small as 20-30 Ft2 (approximately 1.8-2.8m2) in total area depending upon panel orientation.

As a result, ARCIS panels can weigh nearly 90 percent less than conventional six-inch thick architectural precast, with final installed weights of 9.4 psf (46 kg/m2) to 25 psf (122 kg/m2). Thinner, lower-weight exterior wall panels mean a less robust and lower-cost superstructure, smaller and less expensive cranes or hoists for installation, reduced shipping expenses and more usable interior floor space. As with conventional precast concrete products, custom finishes, reveals, insets and colors can be provided through the use of form liners and pigmented concrete.

ARCIS has been used on a variety of building types in the Pacific Northwest since 2003. A new licensing agreement with AltusGroup ( -- the collaboration of top precasters dedicated to innovation in the built environment -- will dramatically expand the availability of ARCIS technology throughout North America.

Five of AltusGroup's current members are now marketing ARCIS products: Knife River Prestress (out of its Portland, Ore., facility), Armtec (Richmond, B.C.), Enterprise Precast (Omaha, Neb.) Gage Brothers (Sioux City, S.D.) and EnCon United (Denver, Colo.). More AltusGroup precasters are expected to join their ranks in 2016 and 2017 including Europe and International additions.

"This agreement is clear evidence of our desire to be the driving force for bringing precast innovation to North America," said John Carson, executive director of AltusGroup. "This is a huge opportunity for us to bring the ARCIS technology to the architectural building community and precast segment and add a completely new product dimension. We have been studying the movement of the architectural market with respect to changing regional building codes and material specifications and believe the ARCIS product technology gives us another proven, economical platform to meet the market's diverse enclosure needs."

ARCIS panel connections are made using embedded stainless steel anchors that are attached directly to the prestressing strand. The connection to the building structure is accomplished with screw fasteners. No welding is required, which dramatically speeds and simplifies fieldwork.

The amazingly strong nature of the ultra-thin precast panels also makes them suitable for a number of other construction applications where crack resistance, durability, and attractive finishes are demanded. Those applications are:

  • Marine decking as an alternative to wood, composite or conventional concrete decking
  • Stair treads (tray and steel inserts)
  • Plaza decks
  • Tactile ADA detectable warning panels

ARCIS technology complements AltusGroup's award-winning CarbonCast Enclosure Systems and Double Tees, which comprise more than 34 million square feet of precast surface area since their introduction.

About AltusGroup

The first-ever national partnership of precast companies dedicated to "innovation powered by collaboration," AltusGroup challenges the brightest minds in precast to develop, speed and perfect technologies that improve the built environment.

Products include the award-winning CarbonCast® line of products featuring C-GRID carbon fiber grid reinforcing and ARCIS ultra-thin precast panels for rainscreens and other applications. The nearly two dozen AltusGroup companies have an unparalleled network of manufacturing plants, technical staff and sales personnel to ensure architects, engineers and contractors get the help they need-and the quality and performance they expect.

For more information, visit or call 866-GO-ALTUS. 

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