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Multi-storey buildings made of sandwich panels


The high-rise construction technology using sandwich panels is a way to build multi-storey residential and commercial buildings more efficiently.


Due to good energy-saving properties and easy installation, sandwich panels are widely used today in the construction of low-rise commercial buildings. Also, in high-rise construction (residential and office buildings, hotels, etc.), a developer can use sandwich panels to obtain a number of additional advantages, first of all to increase the profitability of the project.


Advantages of construction of multi-storey buildings from sandwich panels


Increase in usable area


Unlike piece materials (such as brick, ceramic block, foam and gas block), which are installed on the floors, sandwich panels are hung on the outer planes of the supporting frame (columns, crossbars, ceilings). It results in an additional usable area on each floor along the perimeter of the building.


increase the living space of the house


A comparative analysis of the cost of building wall structures for a 3-entrance 17-storey building with a total living area of 17,600 m2 showed that with the use of sandwich panels instead of gas block masonry (250 mm) with mineral wool (120 mm) and plaster, the usable area of apartments is increased by additional 800 m2, thus increasing the area of the premises sold by 4.5%. As a result, the developer receives about 11% extra profit.


Installation speed


Sandwich panel walls are mounted much faster than masonry made of piece materials. For example, a team of 4 people can mount up to 300 m2 of panels per day. The installation of sandwich panels requires fewer operations compared to the laying of piece materials, their subsequent insulation, plastering and painting, which significantly reduces the number of workers and risks on the construction site.


All-season installation


Installation of sandwich panels does not include any wet processes, therefore, it can be carried out at any season and at any temperature.



Weight reduction of enclosing structures


The weight of a 160 mm Ruukki sandwich panel with a high-density mineral wool filler is 29.6 kg/m2. While the weight of the D300 aerated concrete wall with a thickness of 250 mm and a 120 mm thick mineral wool insulation with plastering is 99 kg/m2, which is 3.3 times more. If sandwich panels are ued in construction of an apartment building in question, the dead weight of the building structures is decreased by 2% allowing the developer to save on the foundation.


Architectural shapeliness


The walls made of Ruukki sandwich panels have an ideal planarity of the cladding, which can be used as a finishing option for finishing the facade without additional cladding.


Also, any facade materials can be used for exterior finishing, the substructures of which are attached directly to sandwich panels.





Ruukki sandwich panels are durable due to the use of S280 zinc-coated structural steel, Zn 190-275 g/m2 and high-quality mineral wool of European production.


The warranty on Ruukki sandwich panels is up to 30 years, and the estimated effective life is 100 years.



Multi-storey building made of sandwich panels




The strength and stability of sandwich panel walls fully comply with the requirements of current building regulations.


Ruukki sandwich panels have been tested according to the Scandinavian SSF 1047 burglar-proof walls standard and provide class 3 protection with additional internal cladding.


Environmental friendliness


Sandwich panels are made of environmentally friendly materials to ensure the safety of people who stay in buildings made using such structures.


The environmental safety of sandwich panels is confirmed by an EPD declaration, as well as LEED and BREEAM certificates.


Designing high-rise buildings from sandwich panels


In high-rise construction, sandwich panels can be mounted both vertically with a floor height span and horizontally. Designing enclosing structures made of sandwich panels in multi-storey residential and commercial buildings consists of the following stages:


  • Selection of an appropriate panel type based on the required technical properties (load-bearing capacity, heat transfer, fire resistance, etc.)
  • Checking the load-bearing capacity of sandwich panels and possible cladding for to specified loads and spans using Ruukki load-bearing capacity tables and the TrayPan software
  • Development of part assemblies using Ruukki libraries
  • Calculation of the required number of fasteners


Thermal properties


Ruukki Energy sandwich panels with an EPDM seal should be used to avoid lock blowing. The seal is installed during production to ensure maximum tightness and energy efficiency of the wall structure.


sandwich panel with sealant


DBN V.2.6-31:2021 regulates the minimum permissible heat transfer resistance of enclosing structures of residential and public buildings Rq min=4.0 m2K/W for the first temperature zone and Rq min=3.5 m2K/W for the second temperature zone.


Depending on the energy efficiency requirements of the facility, the type and thickness of wall sandwich panels are selected:


Thickness of Ruukki SPB Energy sandwich panels, mmReduced heat transfer resistance R, m2K/W




To ensure sufficient strength of wall structures, depending on the height of the building, it is advisable to use such sandwich panels:


Building height, mEstimated wind load, kN/m2Thickness of sandwich panels, mm, with span L*
Ruukki SPB W EnergyRuukki SPB WS Energy
L=4 мL=6 мL=4 мL=6 м
до 300.883140140140140

*the calculation was made for the wind load area 1 in Ukraine


In the construction of high-rise buildings, Ruukki WS Energy sandwich panels with high-density mineral wool should be used, which provide sufficient strength to withstand significant wind loads and maintain their integrity for a long time. Also, in order to reduce the cost of enclosing structures, it is possible to use panels with cotton wool of standard density on the lower floors, where wind loads are significantly less.


The metal face of sandwich panels must be made of structural steel not lower than S280 grade. The use of steel-covered sandwich panels with a non-firm yield strength, for example, DX, construction is not allowed in high-rise.




To ensure the reliability of the wall structure made of sandwich panels, it is recommended to use a single-span mounting scheme.



The higher is the building, the more is loads on the wall structure, so the number of attachment points must be increased. The number and type of self-tapping screws are calculated using the TrayPan software, which automatically selects fasteners taking into account all possible loads. To increase the reliability of the structure, extra threaded fasteners can be provided on height, such as bolted connections, studs with plates, etc.


fixing sandwich panels


The maximum wind loads effect on the panels in the areas of local pressure on the corners of the facade, therefore, in these areas, the number of attachment points according to the calculation must be doubled. To increase the reliability, plates should be fastened with rivets, not self-tapping screws, as it is the case with low-rise construction.


Fire safety


Building regulations regulate the use of wall structures with a fire resistance class up to EI 180 and a flame propagation group M0 in high-rise residential and commercial buildings, therefore, Ruukki sandwich panels with mineral wool filler should be used for such objects, which provide up to EI 240, M0.


Hinged structures


The cages of air conditioners should be fastened to the supporting frame using fasteners passing through the sandwich panels.


Appliances, furniture, climate control equipment, etc. weighing up to 50 kg/m2 can be hung on sandwich panels indoors.




When choosing the color of the facade, please remember that dark sandwich panels are heated more than light ones, which can affect their durability and appearance, so avoid installing dark panels on the south side of the building.


Multi-storey buildings made of sandwich panels


The multi-storey construction technology with enclosing structures made of sandwich panels is innovative in Ukraine. However, its use in residential real estate projects on different continents has shown significant advantages. In the future, such solutions will be definitely successfully applied in the construction of high-rise buildings in Ukraine.


Specification of Ruukki sandwich panels


Name Ruukki W Energy 160 sandwich panelRequirements of the Ukrainian building codes for wall structures
Fire resistance and flame propagationEI240, М0EI60 – EI180, М0
Reduced heat transfer resistance at 25°C, R, m2K/W4.26up to 3.3
Air permeability kg/m2*h0.255up to 0.4
Vapor permeability, mg/(m*h*Pa)0not standardized
Water permeability class A according to EN 12865not standardized
Air noise isolation, Rw, Db3225-48
The term of effective operation of the enclosing structure, yearsup to 100at least 40


Multi-storey buildings made of sandwich panels

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Multi-storey buildings made of sandwich panels
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