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Panel-raising ceremony kicks off construction

May 25, 2002|STAFF REPORT

CALEXICO — A panel-raising ceremony was conducted Thursday on Santa Fe Drive in the presence of city officials, county representatives and a number of dignitaries from the Imperial Valley, Mexicali and San Diego.

The ceremony kicked off the construction of 25 homes at Hacienda Del Sol to be built with energy-efficient structural insulated panels supplied by Premier Panels of Phoenix.

The cost of the panel system is slightly higher than traditional "stick framing," but the labor savings and speed of construction, up to 50 percent faster than standard construction, make up for the higher cost.

The earthquake-resistant, non-combustible structure can save 18-30 percent on fire insurance. Low long-term replacement costs and a maintenance-free wall system are the result of the system's strength, durability and structural integrity. The home is energy-efficient as inhabitants are able to save about 50 percent on heating and cooling costs. Outdoor noises and temperature fluctuations are also greatly reduced.

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Jack Love of Premier Panels said, "We believe this is the first production-built entry-level tract constructed with SIPs in the entire country. SIPS have been in use for more than 30 years, but in larger custom homes where the additional cost could be justified."

James M. Allen of La Jolla, president of Al-Calexico LLC, the builder, said, "We expect heating and cooling costs of these homes to be one-third to one-half as much compared to those residences with identical floor plans constructed with stick framing.

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