Superwall and Hydrowall Product Guide


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SUPERWALL

Rapid Structural Framing System 

HYDROWALL

Water storage inside Superwall

 

PRODUCT GUIDE AND TECHNICAL MANUAL 

 

 

 

 

Overview.. 3

Description. 4

Applications. 4

Benefits of a Modular System.. 5

Product Advantages. 5

SUPERWALL. 5

HYDROWALL. 6

Guarantee. 7

Sizes. 7

Components. 8

Modules. 9

Components. 10

Other Parts. 11

Advice and Design Service. 12

Pricing. 13

Ordering. 13

Cost and Time Benefits. 13

Limitations. 14

Hydrowall 15

Why Use Hydrowall?. 15

Water Grade. 15

How to reduce the total cost for semi- potable systems. 15

Rainwater System Design. 16

Design. 18

General 18

Modular System.. 18

CodeMark Approval 19

Product Selection. 19

Product Dimensions. 20

Level 21

Doors. 21

Windows. 22

Corners and Intersections. 22

Compatibility with Other Systems. 22

Insulation and Thermal Mass. 22

Fire Rating. 25

Engineering. 25

Foundation. 25

Flashing and Abrasion Protection. 25

Cladding. 25

Roof Connection. 27

Roof Design. 27

Non-Standard Applications. 27

Services. 27

Fixing items to the Wall 27

Precautions. 28

Maintenance and Cleaning. 28

Repairs. 28

As-Built Reminder. 29

Installation. 29

Patents. 30

Frequently Asked Questions. 30

 

 

Overview

 

Water is a precious resource, and building can be a slow and expensive process. Superwall Systems addresses two major problems by combining a fast, simple and economic construction system with space-saving water storage.

Superwall is a construction system that is both simple and fast to install by anyone with basic building skills. No specialised trades are required to assemble the system which means it is usually quicker and cheaper to get your Superwall building installed.

Australia also has major issues with water reliability. As the climate changes and the population grows, water is becoming less reliable and more expensive. Many places in Australia have experienced water shortages and are restricted to how often the garden can be watered.

The good news is that most places in Australia receive enough rainfall to supply the residents for most of the year. The rainfall landing on a typical roof is usually enough to water gardens, top up the pool, flush toilets and even drink. Best of all, it’s free and can be used when you want.

Superwall can incorporate water storage system that allows you to store water inside the walls of your home. This is known as a Hydrowall.

Superwall and Hydrowall is invented and patented in Australia by Australian architects and is the first product to combine a water tank and a wall system that will store water and is strong enough to support a roof.

 

Figure 1: Components of Superwall and Hydrowall Systems used to build a typical building

 

Description

 

Superwall is a modular structural system that can be quickly and easily assembled by anyone with basic skills. It is available in a range of standard components and can also be integrated with traditional building materials like steel or timber.

Hydrowall is an optional addition to the Superwall that turns the Superwall into a slimline water tank so that you can store water inside the walls of your project. Hydrowall uses the Superwall components to make a structural frame that will contain water and also support the roof load.

Superwall: A quick and easy structural framing system 

Superwall + Water Storage= Hydrowall

Superwall and Hydrowall can be combined to make a structural framing system for homes, sheds, fences, granny flats any other structures.

Superwall is a modular system made from a range of standard components that connect in straight lines, or can be joined and connected at corners and T-junctions. Superwall modules can also be used in conjunction with traditional building systems like brick or timber frame.

Superwall and Hydrowall can have openings for windows and doors. Hydrowall modules are connected by piping so the water can flow between them. As long as a pipe can be connected then the modules can have openings, or connect to other wall sections further away.

 

Applications

 

Superwall and Hydrowall are approved by CodeMark for residential construction (Volume 2 of the BCA).

Superwall Applications

·        Load-bearing walls

·        Rapid structural framing system

·        Infill panels between a structural frame

·        Can be used instead of timber or steel stud frame systems.

·        Internal walls

·        Fencing and screen walls

·        Restricted or difficult to access sites (such as remote and backyard constructions)

·        DIY projects

·        Kit buildings

Hydrowall Applications

·        All of the above, with the added benefit of water storage

·        Standalone slimline water tank

·        Stormwater control

·        Fire control

The System is a framing system and does not specifically include cladding. Most cladding systems can be used to cover the Superwall frame. Superwall is available in a range of standard heights and widths. The beam spacing can be easily modified to suit the cladding system.

 

Benefits of a Modular System

 

A modular system is one that has standard components that integrate with the other components and be arranged in a variety of ways to suit the required purpose.

A modular system is preferable to prefabricated systems in many ways:

·        A modular system allows people to create unique designs using standard components. Prefabricated systems are typically a set design.

·        No heavy lifting or transportation equipment are required. Prefabricated systems are assembled in factories and transported on large trucks and craned into place.

·        Modular system can be easily transported and installed in difficult locations with minimal equipment.

·        Prefabricated systems typically have high overheads due to extensive manufacturing and assembly facilities and labour to produce the component. Modular systems can be cheaper as these costs are typically less. 

 

Product Advantages

 

SUPERWALL

Superwall is a very fast, easy and economic construction system that both experienced builders and novice DIY’ers can use with confidence. Here are just some of the benefits of a Superwall System:

·        Rapid system means walls are completed in hours, not days or weeks.

·        Economical system similar to the price of with traditional framing, but much faster and easier

·        Standard components lock together without the need for cutting or screwing

·        Suitable for anyone with basic experience.

·        No cutting or wastage.

·        Compatible with traditional steel and timber building sizes

·        Compatible with most cladding systems.

·        Compatible with Hydrowall to incorporate water storage into the walls.

·        Suitable for use on slab, or stump construction.

·        Ideal for projects with difficult access (such as backyard additions)

·        No heavy equipment required

·        Kit form makes it easy to transport, unload and install

 

Fast and Simple Construction System - One module can be assembled by one person in around 20 minutes. A 2 car garage can easily be completed in one day by one person. No specialised trades are required to assemble the system, except for final plumbing connections if the water is to be plumbed into the house.

Economical - Hydrowall combines a wall system with water storage so there is no need to pay for wall materials and a separate water tank. There are also significant cost benefits due to the fast construction time. Please see the cost benefits section for details.

Load Bearing Framing System - Superwall is certified to be suitable for single-storey load-bearing applications, and may also be used in other situations. The simple kit form framing system allows DIYers and unskilled labourers to erect a structural frame that is sure to be strong and correctly assembled. It can also be used as infill panels between a structural frame if additional structural support is required.

No Cuts, No Waste- The kit form components are pre-fabricated and ready to assemble on site. Superwall simply lock together so there is no cutting or wastage on site.

Suitable for DIY projects - Superwall comes prefabricated and is easily installed by DIYers with basic skills. 

Versatile to suit your design - The system consists of a structural frame that most cladding systems can be attached to. Superwall can be covered in any material to match your design. Superwall is available in a range of standard sizes and can also be customised if required. Doors and windows can also be incorporated into the system.

Reusable and Recyclable- Hydrowalls can be disassembled and reused if you ever need to relocate. The materials can also be recycled.

HYDROWALL

Hydrowall is an optional upgrade to the Superwall framing system that allows you to store water inside the walls of your home or building.

Water use is a major concern in Australia and many places are on water restrictions. Collecting and storing rainwater from your own roof is a great way to reduce pressure on the water system and also reduce your water usage costs. It also allows you to avoid water restrictions.

Unfortunately traditional tanks are bulky and unsightly and take up valuable land. Some slimline tanks are available but even slimline tanks are often too big to fit down the side of the house.

Just 10m of Hydrowalls is usually enough to meet the demands of the average family for around 80% of the year. A garage, fence, bathroom or granny flat built with Hydrowalls is the perfect way to store enough water for your family.

There are a number of other reasons to choose Hydrowall:

Economical - Hydrowall combines a wall system with water storage so there is no need to pay for wall materials and a separate water tank. There are also significant cost benefits due to the fast construction time. Please see the cost benefits section for details.

CodeMark™ Approved - CodeMark certifies Hydrowall for use in residential applications (BCA Volume 2). CodeMark approval means that councils and building certifiers can be confident that the product is suitable for the intended use.

Space Saving Water Storage - Hydrowall is only 300mm wide so it takes up around the same space as a double-brick wall. This allows a large volume of water to be stored without taking up valuable land that a large tank would use, and without the significant cost of underground tanks. 

Easy Transport and Construction - Hydrowall is essentially a kit-form water tank. The components can economically transported and then quickly and easily assembled without the need for heavy equipment. They are also perfect for restricted access locations.

Expandable - Additional modules of Superwall and Hydrowall can be added later to increase water storage capacity.

Versatile - Hydrowall can be used as a load-bearing structural frame, an infill panel between another structural frame, fences or simply as a slimline water tank in confined spaces. It can also be used in conjunction with traditional build systems like timber, steel and brick.

Environmental Design Potential - Water is an excellent thermal mass that can be utilised in passive solar designs to moderate the building’s temperature. The water can also be pumped around the home to heat or cold areas as required. The water can also be heated or cooled externally with a solar water heater or heat exchange to enhance further the thermal benefits.

 

 

Guarantee

 

Superwall frame has a guarantee of 10 years and a lifespan of 50+ years.

Hydrowall has a 3yr guarantee and 20+ year lifespan

 

Sizes

 

Heights

1.8m, 2.1m, 2.4m, 2,7m and 3m. Custom heights available up to 6m*

Lengths

600mm, 900mm, 1200mm, 1800*, 2400*

Widths

60mm* (single leaf frame), 280mm, 430mm  (double leaf frame)

                                        *Superwall only

 

Figure 2: Components of the Superwall and Hydrowall Systems

Components

 

 

 Modules

 

Superwall Modules

The easiest way to specify Superwall and Hydrowall is by ordering ‘Modules’. Modules contain all the components required. Modules connect together to form wall sections.

 

 

Heights

1800mm, 2100mm, 2400mm, 2700mm, 3000mm, 4200 and custom heights up to 6 metres

Lengths

600mm, 900mm, 1200mm, 1800mm

Widths

60mm and 70mm

Horizontal Beam Spacing

300mm, 450mm, 600mm

 

Custom sizes are available subject to minimum quantities

Hydrowall Modules

Hydrowall Modules contain all the Superwall Frame components plus the Hydrowall Liners to store water.

 

Material

Food Grade (TPU). Standard Grade (PVC)

Heights

1800mm, 2100mm, 2400mm, 2700mm and 3000mm.

Lengths

600mm, 900mm, 1200mm

Widths

300mm, 450mm

 

Custom sizes are available subject to minimum quantities

End Kits

Superwall and Hydrowall Modules are only ‘3 sided’ so that they can share the post(s) of the adjacent module.

 

End kits are required to complete each wall section. One end kit is needed for each change of direction or break in the wall.

 

Superwall end kits are simply an extra post.

 

Hydrowall end kits consist of 2 posts and the spacers.

 

Heights

Same as Superwall

Widths

Same as Superwall and Hydrowall

 

Components

Superwall Post

Superwall Post

The Superwall post is a modified ‘C’ section with slots at regular intervals where the Superwall Beams are located.

 

Heights:

1800mm: Suitable for fences and under eaves

2100mm: Fences, Under Eaves, Low walls

2400mm: Standard wall height

2700mm: Medium wall height, Parapet Wall

3000mm: High wall

Custom: Heights up to 6m are possible and subject to engineer’s certification

 

Posts also include anchors bolts to connect to the slab.

 

Superwall Beam

Superwall Top Beam

The top beam is a larger beam used for load bearing purposes. The 60 x 60 beam provides greater structural strength when the roof structure is attached directly to the Superwall frame. Top beams are only required for spans 1200mm and above:

 

Lengths: 1200mm, 1800mm

Superwall Standard Beam

Superwall Standard Beam

The standard beam is 60 x 40mm section and has a pair of pins each side that lock into the Superwall Frame. The length of the beam determines the module size. Beams are available in a number of standard lengths: 

 

Lengths: 600mm, 900mm, 1200mm, 1800mm

 

The number of beams required will depend on the fixing spacing for the cladding system, and the use of Hydrowall (or not)

Superwall Width Spacer

Superwall Width Spacer

The Spacer sets the width of the wall section when using 2 leaves of Superwall. This is normally used when creating the Hydrowall Frame, or when an extra wall thickness is needed.

 

Spacers are available in the following sizes:

 

280mm (300mm wall with cladding)

430mm (450mm wall with cladding

  

Hydrowall Water Bladder

Hydrowall Bladders are made in a range of sizes and materials to suit the Superwall Frame.

 

Heights are made to suit the standard Superwall heights, being 1800mm, 2100mm, 2400mm, 2700mm and 3000mm.

 

Material

Food Grade (TPU). Standard Grade (PVC)

Heights

1800mm, 2100mm, 2400mm, 2700mm and 3000mm.

Lengths

600mm, 900mm, 1200mm

Widths

300mm, 450mm

 

Please refer to the product selection table in the section on ‘Hydrowall’ below

 

Hydrowall Flashing and Ground Protection

A heavy duty strip of PVC is installed between the slab and the Hydrowall Bladder. The sheet protects the bladder from abrasion against the slab. The sheet is also formed to act as a flashing to shed any moisture to the external side.

 

Other Parts

Cladding

Superwall can accommodate most cladding systems. The module sizes are intended to fit standard board and panel sizes with 1200mm width

Superwall Beams can be positioned with a variety of beam spacing to suit the cladding system. Additional battens can also be attached to Superwall frame if required.

NOTE: When Hydrowall is used, it is important to minimise the risk of damaging the bladder. Care should be taken to prevent metals swarf when drilling or screwing into metal. Fixing cladding to timber is recommended.

Cappings and Covers

The Superwall frame can be covered with any type of cladding. The cladding system and roof design will determine the overall wall thickness, and also if there is a need for end or top covers. Due to the infinite variety of wall lengths, cladding systems and details, it is recommended that cappings and covers are made as required.

 

Insulation

Insulation batts can be installed between the Superwall beams. External wrap and/ or rigind insulation can also also be used. When Hydrowall is used, it has a large thermal mass that can be exploited to improve the energy performance of the building.

Plumbing

Hydrowall comes with 90mm inlets and 50mm barbed outlets on each Bladder. Connection hose and clamps are also provided. This enables the installer and plumber to connect to standard plumbing.

Advice and Design Service

 

Architects, Engineers, Builders and Installers are available to assist you with how you might be able to incorporate Superwall and Hydrowall into your project. We can also help you to place an order so you can be sure you have all the parts you need.

We can also assist you with obtaining certified engineering drawings for your project.

Please contact us to discuss your design.

 

Pricing

 

The cost to supply Superwall is approximately $70 per m² of wall + installation. While this is higher than traditional stud construction, the time and labour involved are significantly less than standard construction and so generally make it cheaper than timber or steel stud when the labour and associated costs are added.

Hydrowall is approximately $199 per m² of wall. This price includes both the wall frame and water storage and works out be significantly cheaper than if the 2 components were purchased separately. There is also the added benefits of space saving and aesthetics that Hydrowall can offer.

 

Ordering

 

Ordering is done by specifying the size of the modules you require. A module includes all the posts, beams and other components you need.

It is also possible to order components individually.

Detailed pricing and product information is available on our website at Superwall.com.au. Please select the products you require and place orders through the website at any time.

If you would like assistance to determine the number of modules or components that you need please call contact us using any method below:

Email: sales@superwall.com.au

Phone: 1300 30 90 55   or    08 9467 4044

Website: www.superwall.com.au

 

Cost and Time Benefits

 

Hydrowall is a fast, simple and economical construction system. The kit components can easily be assembled by DIYers or unskilled labourers. No specialised trades are required to assemble the structure.

The table below compares the cost of Hydrowall compared to a brick wall of similar width and the cost of purchasing and installing a separate water tank(s).

Cost Per Square Metre

System   $/ sqm      

   Install Time per sqm (mins)         

SUPERWALL

   
Superwall Single Leaf 2.4m x 60mm $70 10
Superwall Single Leaf 2.4m x 60mm+ installation  $80 10

HYDROWALL

   
Hydrowall 2.4m high x 280mm  $199 20
Hydrowall 2.4m high x 280mm + installation $219 20
     
Steel Stud Frame (600mm centres) $60 ~30+
     
Brick Wall + Separate Tank    
Brickwork 270mm cavity    
Labour    
     
+ Cost of water tank varies varies

 

Cost per module equivalent

This table compares the cost of 1 x Superwall Module, and 1 x Hydrowall module with a 270 double brick wall of same dimensions (2.88m²) 

System

Cost

Install Time per module (mins)

Superwall Single Leaf 2.4m x 60mm (2.8m²)

$190

15

Superwall  Installation per module

$25

15

TOTAL

$215

15

 

Steel Stud Frame 2.4m high x 1200mm (2.8sqm)

$172

60

Steel Stud Installation per module equivalent

$60

60

TOTAL

$232

370

 

Hydrowall 2.4m high x 280mm (2.8m²) 590L        

$574                                                               
Hydrowall Installation per module $50 30                             

TOTAL

$624  30

 

Brickwork 2.4m high x 1200mm x 270mm (2.8sqm)

$639

250

Slimline Water Tank (600L)

$425

120

TOTAL

$1064

370

 

Wall Comparison

This table compares the cost of building a 12m section of wall with Superwall and Hydrowall compared to brick.

System

Cost

Install Time

Superwall 2.4m high x 60mm: 590L (10 modules)

$1900

-

Superwall Installation per module (10 modules)

$250

2.5 Hours

TOTAL

$2150

2.5 Hours

 

Hydrowall 2.4m high x 280mm: 590L (10 modules)

$5740

-

Hydrowall Installation: (10 Modules)

$500

5 Hours

TOTAL

$6240

5 Hours

 

Brickwork 2.4m high x 1200mm x 270mm

$6390

40 hours

Slimline Water Tanks (600L)

$4250

10 hours*

TOTAL

$10640

50 hours

 

* Prices sourced from Rawlinsons Construction Guide 2014

*All tables exclude concrete base/slab and final finishes which are required for both systems.

* Price is based on retail price for Hydrowall. Trade discounts may be applicable and would reduce the cost.

* 50% time reduction has been applied to the installation of slimline water tanks to account for time savings of installing several tanks at once.

* Brick labour rates assume 600 bricks laid per 8 hour day.

* Cost of water tanks can vary significantly. The price above is based on a common slimline tank with comparable volume to Hydrowall.

* No cost added for wastage and disposal that is generally required for brickwork, and would add to the cost of bricks.

Other cost and time benefits:

·        Superwall can be assembled on ‘green’ concrete as there is minimal weight until the wall is filled with water. No waiting 28 days for the slab to cure!

·        The footprint of the Hydrowall is significantly smaller than the comparable area used by a brick wall and separate water tank.

·        Superwall can be installed by DIY and unskilled labourers so is not subject to the availability of skilled trades.

·        Superwall requires no cutting or wet trades. There is no cost for waste, disposal, and minimal clean-up. The only waste is a small amount of recyclable packaging.

·        Superwall and Hydrowall does not require heavy equipment or cranes.

 

Limitations

·        Not suitable for retaining walls (except when used as a façade in front of retaining wall)

·        Not approved for structural use in applications other than residential use, unless certified by an engineer.

Hydrowall

 

Why Use Hydrowall?

Hydrowall is an optional upgrade to the Superwall framing system that allows you to store water inside the walls of your home or building.

Water use is a major concern in Australia and many places are on water restrictions. Collecting and storing rainwater form your own roof is a great way to reduce pressure on the water system and also reduce your water usage costs. It also allows you to avoid water restrictions.

Traditional tanks are bulky and unsightly and take up valuable land. Some slimline tanks are available but even slimline tanks are often too big to fit down the side of the house.

Just 10m of Hydrowall is usually enough to meet the demands of the average family for around 80% of the year. A garage, fence, bathroom or granny flat built with Hydrowalls is the perfect way to store enough water for your family.

Water Grade

Hydrowall is available in standard grade or food grade (potable water).

The standard grade liner is made from heavy-duty reinforced PVC which is not recommended for storing drinking water. This type is an economical option where the water will be used on gardens, pools, toilets and other non-potable uses. The water can be filtered in to food grade quality by the addition of a reverse osmosis (RO) filter. The RO filter may be attached to the outlet only where food grade water is required (such as the kitchen tap).

The food grade liner is made from heavy-duty reinforced TPU and has been tested to meet AS/NZS 4020 as suitable for potable water. The TPU liners are appropriate where potable water is required.

TPU liners are typically made to order as they are ordered less frequently.

How to reduce the total cost for semi- potable systems

The cost of the TPU potable grade bladders is significantly more than the PVC bladders. It is a higher quality material and is tested to meet ASNZS 4020 (Products for use in contact with drinking water).

Typically most houses do not require food grade water for all applications. Only water that is to be consumed should be potable water. Gardens, pools, toilets, washing machines and showers does not need to be food grade.

A good option to reduce the cost of your system is to specify the standard PVC bladders for your Hydrowall. You can then add a small RO (Reverse Osmosis) or other high quality filter on the outlet where you will be drawing water for consumption, like your kitchen tap.

Regardless of whether a standard or food grade liner is used it is still possible for potentially harmful bacteria to be present in the water. For this reason we recommend the use of a suitable filter for all drinking water applications.

Small RO filters start at around $300. We recommend discussing your requirements with a local water filter store to help you select the correct filter.

You can potentially save thousands of dollars on your Hydrowall system by this method.

 

Rainwater System Design

There are a number of factors to consider in order to determine how much water should be stored, and how many Hydrowall units are required. These factors include:

·        Availability of mains water as a backup

·        How much water do you use? (see the table below)

·        What do you use it for? (gardens? drinking? pool?)

·        How much rain do you receive, and how often?

·        How much rain can you collect?

·        How much room do you have for tanks?

·        How to access the water (plumbing design)

Mains Water Availability

If rainwater is the only source of water then it is essential to store enough water to last through extended dry periods. This can amount to a large storage requirement. If mains water is available then the reliance on tank water is reduced and it is up to the individual to determine what storage reserve is desirable.

How Much Water Do We Use?

This table can be used to estimate how much water you need. Alternatively you can view your water bill to get a more accurate estimate.

Average Person

130- 200 litres per day / 50,000- 100,000 litres/ year (including outdoor use)

Average Home

600- 800 litres per day/ 230,000- 280,000 litres/ year (including outdoor use)

INDOOR

 

Garden

35- 50%

Bathroom

10%

Hot Water

16%

Toilet Flushing

10- 20%

Laundry

10- 20%

Kitchen

5%

Shower

10- 30 litres per minute (depending on showerhead)

Bath

120 litres approx.

Washing Machine

150 litres/ load (medium)

Dishwasher

50 litres/ cycle

Toilet

11 litres full/ 6 litre half flush

OUTDOOR

Small

Average

Large

Lawn

Up to 70,000

90,000

320,000

Garden

Up to 50,000

55,000

60,000

Pool (uncovered)

Spa 20,000

40,000

80,000

Hose (15mm)

1090 litres/ hour

 

To calculate the tank size you need to use the following formula:

Period of no rain (days) x Daily Consumption (L)= Tank Size

Example: You live in Adelaide and during summer you can remember times where it hasn’t rained for 8 weeks (60 days) but you decide you only need reserves for 30 days and will use mains water if the tanks run out.  You have a family of 4 but will use the rainwater for the lawn and garden only.

Daily Consumption:                         Lawn and Garden= (90,000 + 55,000) / 365 = 402L per day

Storage Reserve Required:             30 days x 402L = 12,060 L
# Hydrowalls (2.4m) Modules       12,060 / 525L = 22 modules of 300mm x 2400mm Hydrowalls

How Much Water Can We Collect?

The amount of water available to collect depends on how much it rains and your roof or catchment size. Our website hydrowall.com.au has tables and calculators to help you determine the maximum amount of water you can collect.

In most cases you will find that the amount of water that falls on the roof in a year is more than you need to store. Generally during winter or wet season there is more water than you use, but during dry season you will run out unless you have a very large storage volume to last through extended dry periods. In most cases it is a compromise between the cost of the Hydrowall compared to the risk of possibly running out of water in the dry periods.

How Much Room Do I Have for Tanks?

One of the great things about Hydrowalls is that they don’t take up much room. They are not much thicker than a standard brick wall so the amount of space is not usually an issue.

You may be limited by the length of the walls and location of doors and windows. Hydrowall is easy to accommodate windows but doors can be difficult because they require the plumbing to either go under the threshold or stop. For this reason it is recommended that doors are placed on the end of a Hydrowall wall section.

If you intend to put them down the side of the house or any other confined area then be aware of space confinements and council policy on setback and proximity to the boundary.

How to Access the Water (basic plumbing design).

To store the water in Hydrowalls you will need to get the water in and out of the wall.

Every Hydrowall has an inlet near the top of the wall. You only need to use one outlet for every 5- 10 modules. The water will flow between modules via the outlet and tank connections. Inlets can also be used as overflow outlets if required. Other inlets should be blocked off and sealed tightly if they are not used. Unused inlets can be concealed inside the wall cladding so they are not visible, or they can be left accessible in case you need to access them later.

The inlet connects to 90mm stormwater fittings. It is best to locate the inlet as close as possible to the downpipe.

We also strongly recommend the use of a Superhead filter or other filtration device that will screen debris and discard polluted water so the tank does not fill with sediment and the water stays clean.

The standard Hydrowall has 2 x 50mm outlets at each end of the module. Corner modules are also available with additional outlets that align with standard modules when making a corner. The end module(s) can then be connected to the plumbing system and directed to where required.

The water in the Hydrowall will have some pressure due to the ‘head’ of water. That may be sufficient pressure for drip irrigation or tap. A pump will be needed for extra pressure and to pump above the water level.

If a pump is required then consider access to electrical services.

Design

General

Hydrowall is a modular framing system that consists of a structural steel frame (Superwall) that contains a heavy-duty flexible liner to store water. The modules can be arranged in a number of configurations to suit individual design and water storage requirements.

Hydrowall is compatible with other systems such as brick, timber or steel frame.

 

 

Figure 3: Example Framing Layout

 

Modular System

Hydrowall is a modular framing system and comes in standard lengths, widths and heights. This makes for a very fast and easy construction system with no waste.

Modules are standard heights of 1.8m, 2.1m, 2.4m, 2.7m and 3m. It is possible to get custom heights by cutting the posts to the required height.

Modules have standard lengths of 1205mm (to fit 1200mm wide board) and 605mm. It is not currently possible to customize the length of the Hydrowall beams, however a ‘spacer’ can be added to fill non- standard lengths. A custom beam ‘spacer’ can be created by using timber or steel cut to the desired size. This method is used to create openings for doors and windows.

Modules can be arranged to incorporate corners, T-junctions, windows, doors and openings as required. Modules are connected together with pipe to allow the water to flow between modules. The pipework can be laid to connect modules in a variety of ways.

CodeMark Approval

Third-party CodeMark certification bodies evaluate and certify products to ensure they meet specified requirements of the two Building Codes. CodeMark strengthens the entire building supply chain and gives users the confidence that their building products comply with the Building Code of Australia (or in New Zealand, the New Zealand Building Code). Relevant legislation requires building control authorities to accept CodeMark certified products.

Hydrowall is certified by CodeMark™ as follows:

Complies with the Building Code of Australia: 

1. BCA Volume Two 2013 3.4.2.0 (a), (b) & (c) Steel Framing

2. BCA Volume Two 2013 3.4.2.1 (a) & (b) Steel Framing

3. BCA Volume Two 2013 3.4.2.2 (a) & (b) Steel Framing 

Subject to the following conditions and limitations: 

1. Must be installed in accordance with Hydrowall Installation Manual (DOC# 1201M100C Version C December 2013)

2. Only to be installed in accordance with the requirements of AS/NZS 4600:2005 Cold Form Steel Structures

3. No substitution of any component without the express written permission of the certificate holder. 4. All component parts not supplied by Hydrowall including cladding system, battens and fixing for cladding system, insulation, roofing structure or connecting brackets, plumbing fittings and pumps must meet the required Australia Standard.

5. Where applicable construction is to be signed off by a qualified Engineer.

6. This certification relates only to the structural steel framing compliance of the Hydrowall system.

7. Only inner liners supplied by Hydrowall may be used with this system. 

8. All plumbing connections must be WaterMarked.  Where applicable a qualified plumber must be used for this installation.

9. Not be used in cyclonic areas.

 codemark approved wall

Product Selection

Hydrowall modules are available in a range of heights, lengths and widths that can be assembled according to your requirements.

All modules are available in either STANDARD GRADE (PVC) or FOOD GRADE (TPU).

Model

Height (mm)

Length (mm)

Width (mm)

Volume (L)

HWM-1800.1200.280

1800

1210

280

375

HWM-1800.600.280

1800

610

280

175

HWM-1800.1200.430

1800

1210

430

740

HWM-1800.600.430

1800

610

430

345

 

 

 

 

 

 

HWM-2100.1200.280

2100

1210

280

450

HWM-2100.600.280

2100

610

280

210

HWM-2100.1200.280

2100

1210

430

870

HWM-2100.600.280

2100

610

430

405

 

HWM-2400.1200.280

2400

1210

280

525

HWM-2100.600.280

2400

610

280

245

HWM-2100.1200.430

2400

1210

430

1005

HWM-2100.600.430

2400

610

430

470

 

HWM-2700.1200.280

2700

1210

280

600

HWM-2100.600.280

2700

610

280

280

HWM-2100.1200.430

2700

1210

430

1140

HWM-2100.600.430

2700

610

430

530

 

HWM-2700.1200.280

2700

1210

280

600

HWM-2100.600.280

2700

610

280

280

HWM-2100.1200.430

2700

1210

430

1140

HWM-2100.600.430

2700

610

430

530

 

 

HWM-3000.1200.280

3000

1210

280

670

HWM-3000.600.280

3000

610

280

345

HWM-3000.1200.430

3000

1210

430

1275

HWM-3000.600.430

3000

610

430

625

-Volume is approximate due to variations in the flexible bladder and maximum fill height

-Sizes and availability may change from time to time

Product Dimensions

 

Level

When Hydrowalls are connected together the water will flow freely between modules and will be a constant level in each connected module. If the wall is sloped or on different levels then the water level will be limited to the maximum level of the lowest tank(s).

 If significant level changes are required then it is best to isolate the modules from different levels.

Doors

It is recommended that doors are placed at the end of a Hydrowall wall section. Hydrowalls connect to adjacent modules using a pipe. This pipe needs to be located below the threshold of the door so that it does not obstruct the doorway. To incorporate a door within a wall the pipe needs to be directed under a doorway and back up to connect to the next module. It is possible to do this if required, but it is better to avoid if there is another option.

Windows

Windows that do not run all the way to the floor are easily incorporated. Hydrowalls connect to adjacent modules with a pipe. The pipe can be any length to suit the width of the window.

Windows can be fitted into a standard module opening size of 1110mm or 510mm by continuing the Hydrowall framing system of beams and posts.

Other sizes can be accommodated by bridging between the Hydrowall modules with standard building sections. These can be connected to the Hydrowall frame using standard brackets and fixings. Likewise, the window frame can be connected directly to the Hydrowall frame.

WARNING: Drilling or screwing into the steel frame will create sharp metal shards. These have potential to damage the flexible liner. Drilling into the steel should be done away from the installation site and/or before installing the liners so the area can be cleaned thoroughly prior to installing the liners.

 

Corners and Intersections

Hydrowall can be used for corners and T-intersections. If the Hydrowall water is to be linked to the adjacent module then it must be aligned within a certain distance of the outlets so that they can align with the next module.

Compatibility with Other Systems

Hydrowall consists of a structural frame that can readily be attached to other wall systems and also support traditional members like timber or steel. In some cases the members can be directly attached to the frame. In other cases a bracket or plate can be attached the frame to connect Hydrowall to other systems.

Insulation and Thermal Mass

Hydrowall has great potential for environmental design applications as a thermal mass as both external and internal walls.

Thermal mass

Thermal mass is a material’s ability to store heat energy. Materials with a high thermal mass, like concrete brick and bulk water, take a long time to heat up and cool down. Materials with low thermal mass like thin steel, plasterboard, wood and lightweight materials heat up and cool down quickly.

This property can be harnessed to help to maintain a comfortable temperature inside the building or room.

Hydrowall has a large thermal mass because it stores a large amount of water. The thermal mass properties can be further improved by externally heating or cooling the water.

Thermal mass works best when there is a large variation in the outside temperature. When there are hot days and cool nights the thermal mass will maintain a temperature around the average. If the outside air temperature is always hot (or cold) then the thermal mass will assume the average temperature which may be too hot (or cool) inside the home.

Because thermal mass takes a long time to heat up and cool down there are situations where thermal mass may not be desirable. If the building is not used for a long period (like a weekender holiday home) and you need to heat (or cool) the room, then it can take hours or even days to heat because the heat energy is absorbed by the thermal mass. When the heat (or cool) is turned off the thermal mass will start to release that stored energy, probably when you are not in the building. This issue can be easily overcome by insulating the INSIDE of the wall instead of, or in addition to the outside. This will prevent the thermal mass from absorbing the energy and the room can be heated or cooled more quickly.

Winter

The angle of the sun is lower in winter. Homes can be designed so that the walls are shaded in summer but exposed to the sun in winter. The winter sun will warm the water inside the Hydrowall during the day and keep the room warm.

The water can also be pumped through a solar heating similar to systems used for pool heating. The water is pumped through the heater during the day. The pump stops at night and traps the warm water in the wall to radiate out at night and keep the home warm.

Summer

In summer the walls should be shaded during the day to minimise any heat that the water will take on. The house should be sealed during the day as much as possible by keeping doors and windows closed to reduce the amount of hot air entering the home. The water inside Hydrowall will be at a lower temperature than outside and help to keep the home cool.

At night the home can be opened up to allow the cooler night-time air to cool the house and release any heat that the Hydrowall has absorbed during the day.

The water can also be pumped through a heat exchange to help cool the water at night.

The thermal mass of the Hydrowall system will vary depending on the amount of water stored in the system.

 

Figure 4: Diagram of heating water through a solar piping system (winter mode)

Static System

A static system refers to the Hydrowall system where the water is static inside the wall, except for when it is filling during rainfall and emptying during day-to-day use.

Active System

An active system is when the water inside Hydrowall is circulated around the wall to heat or cool the water inside and increase the Hydrowall’s ability to heat or cool the building.

The water can be circulated from one side of the home to the other to help distribute heat more evenly. It can also be connected to an external heat source like solar or mechanical heating or cooling devices.

Condensation

Condensation occurs whenever moist air is cooled below its dewpoint. Typically this happens when there is no vapour barrier on the warm side of an insulation system, allowing warm moist air to enter cool insulation where it condenses (causing problems). Thus a vapour barrier should be on the room-side for winter, or exterior-side of insulation for the warm tropics.

Thermal Mass Reduction for R Value

The thermal mass of the Hydrowall allows for R 0.5 reduction in the R Value required for specific wall. For example, climate zone.

‘R’ Value

The ‘R’ Value of the Hydrowall system depends on the type of cladding and insulation used. The cladding and insulation selected will depend on the intended use of the building and the Building Code (BCA) requirements for the climate zone.

 

 

Fire Rating

Hydrowall relies on the cladding to meet fire requirements. The steel frame is non-combustible.

The Hydrowall liner will fail after prolonged exposure to extreme heat. When the liner fails the water will escape and may actually extinguish the fire. This could make it useful in areas prone to bush fire.

Engineering

Like most buildings, Hydrowall requires each design to be checked and certified by a structural engineer. Engineering drawings can be supplied by us, or information can be supplied to your preferred engineer.

Foundation

Hydrowall must be installed on a suitable base that can support the load when it is full of water. This is typically the same as what would be required for a brick wall. The Hydrowall frame is secured to a concrete slab using anchor bolts.

The Hydrowall frame can be secured to the slab and assembled while the concrete is still ‘green’ due to the lightweight construction. Sufficient curing time must be allowed before the Hydrowall can be filled with water.

Flashing and Abrasion Protection

A flexible groundsheet is laid under where the Hydrowall will be located. This will protect the Hydrowall liner from abrasion against the slab and also act as a flashing to shed any moisture to the outside.

Cladding

The Hydrowall system is a modular structural system and does not specifically include cladding. Hydrowall consists of a steel frame and a heavy-duty flexible liner for storing the water. The structure can then be covered in whatever cladding materials you choose. This makes the Hydrowall versatile for matching in to your design.

Hydrowall can also be used in conjunction with a stud or brick faced wall, either internally or externally.

Some options for cladding materials are Colorbond metal sheet, composite panels, CFC or plasterboard sheets, weatherboard, or almost any cladding system you choose. Some cladding systems can be supplied by us, or you can supply your own.

Temporary or removable cladding systems can be used if access inside the wall is required, or if the building will be moved. You may consider leaving one cladding panel that can be easily removed in case additional services need to be added to the wall.

Cladding systems with a minimum fixing spacing of 1200mm, or systems that can be installed with structural adhesives/tapes are recommended because it does not require drilling/screwing into the steel frame.

NOTE 1: Drilling into steel creates metal shards that may become lodge against the liner and create leaks. Drilling or screwing should be done away from the installation site if possible and cleaned. If this is not possible then drilling or screwing should be done before installing the liner so the area can be cleaned.

Cladding is attached to the frame by fixing a timber batten to the inside of the post. The batten is attached with tek screws through the holes in the vertical post. Sarking and cladding can then be fixed to the timber battens.

If the cladding system requires fixings to be spaced less than 1200mm then several options are possible:

 

 

Figure 5: Cladding detail for 1200mm fixings

Horizontal batten

Timber battens can be attached to the beams using structural adhesives, cable ties/straps, or screwed to the beam off-site (see note 1 above). Timber can be attached either to the side or top of the beams.

Vertical batten

Timber battens can be attached to the Hydrowall frame using the same method as the horizontal method above.

Steel ‘top hat’ battens can be attached by one of two methods. The first method is to attach the steel top hat to horizontal timber battens (see 'horizontal batten' method above). The second method is to attach the top hat direct to the beams, preferably to pre-drilled holes (see note 1).

 

Figure 6: Batten option for cladding systems with <1200mm fixing spacing

 

Roof Connection

The frame provides connection points so brackets or other structural members can be attached to the Hydrowall Frame.

An engineer is required to check and certify the structural loads. We can arrange engineering details for you or provide you with information for your engineer.

Roof Design

Hydrowall has inlets located 250mm from the top of the module, on the external side. The roof needs to be designed to allow sufficient room for gutters, downpipes and preferable a pre-filter such as the Superhead to be positioned to flow into the inlet.

 

 

Non-Standard Applications

Hydrowall is approved for structural use under Volume 2 of the BCA (residential). It is possible to use Hydrowall for other applications, however it should not be used structurally outside the scope of the CodeMark certification. In this case Hydrowall may be used as a non-structural infill panel between a structural frame made from steel, concrete or other structural system.

We recommend discussing non-standard use with your council or building certifier prior to construction.

Services

Hydrowall can incorporate services like power and plumbing services. The vertical posts provide space to run services. There is also room between adjacent liners, and an air space between beams.

It is important to lay services prior to installing the cladding as it may not be possible to install services after the cladding is installed without risk of damage to the liner.

Fixing items to the Wall

Fixings or holes should only be made to the batten inside the vertical post to reduce the risk of accidentally screwing or drilling into the liner.

Try to avoid drilling/screwing into the metal frame except into the designated holes. Metal shards created when drilling or screwing can cause damage to the liner.

Precautions

Hydrowall is a heavy-duty product, however some precautions should be taken to ensure the best performance and longevity of your system.

·        Avoid sharp objects and heat

·        Avoid cutting, drilling, screwing, welding, grinding and other activities that are likely to damage the Hydrowall liner

·        The maximum recommended temperature for water stored inside the Hydrowall is 50°C

·        Avoid prolonged exposure to UV light

·        Avoid contact with naked flames and hot objects (including hot water supply)

·        Take care when handling, unpacking and laying-out the Hydrowall liner

Maintenance and Cleaning

Hydrowall does not require maintenance unless pollution has been allowed to build up inside the liner. For this reason it is strongly recommended to use a pre-filter device to prevent pollution and debris from entering the Hydrowall.

If the Hydrowall needs to be cleaned then there are several options depending on the nature of the problem. Some problems can be treated by adding chemicals to the water to disinfect and clean it. Other problems may require that the whole system is drained before being treated and refilled.

It is not possible to get inside the liner like some other tanks. All maintenance must be done externally.

NOTE: It is important to routinely check the quality of the water stored in the tank. Other factors like pollution, debris, mosquitoes and sunlight can affect the water and make it unfit for consumption, regardless of the liner used. We recommend the use of a UV steriliser or other filter on the outlet where water will be consumed.

Repairs

Hydrowall is made from a heavy-duty reinforced liner, similar to the materials used on inflatable boats and outdoor equipment. It is extremely strong and resistant to abrasion and punctures. Very sharp objects like nails, screws, metal shards, sawing and drilling are likely to cause a puncture and should therefore be avoided wherever possible.

If the Hydrowall is damaged and starts to leak then it can be repaired or replaced. Depending on the severity and position of the leak, most holes can be repaired with a standard puncture repair kit.

If the leak is high, and it is likely to be difficult or costly to remove the cladding and repair, then you may prefer to leave the hole. A maximum fill height can be created by adding a standpipe to the outlet pipework that is a little shorter than the leak height. The water will then overflow from the standpipe before it reaches the level of the hole.

General Procedure for Repairs

1.       Drain the Hydrowall to approximately 100mm below the leak.

2.       Remove a section of cladding to allow sufficient access to the area to be repaired.

3.       Allow the area around the leak to dry thoroughly.

4.       Follow the instructions on the puncture repair kit.

5.       Test the repair by filling the wall with water or pressurised air.

6.       If no leak is present then patch the wall.

General Procedure for Replacement

1.       Drain the Hydrowall completely, or isolate the liner to be removed and drain it.

2.       Remove any supports on the liner.

3.       Disconnect the damaged liner from the adjacent liners. Take care not to damage the outlets of the adjacent liner.

4.       Position the new liner inside the frame.

5.       Connect the new liner to the existing liner(s).

6.       Strap the new liner to the frame.

7.       Test fill and observe for any leaks.

8.       If no leaks then install the cladding.

As-Built Reminder

Because Hydrowall can be clad in any material it can look like any ‘normal’ wall. To prevent others from accidentally drilling or screwing into the wall and possibly damaging the liner, it is a good idea to remind yourself and others where the Hydrowall is located. 

We suggest placing a warning label inside the Meter Box to notify future owners, tradespeople, and your family about the presence and location of the Hydrowall system.

 

CAUTION

Hydrowall water storage tanks are installed in this home. Take extreme care when drilling, screwing or cutting walls.

 

 

Hydrowall is located: .…………………………………………….………………………….

A reference plan is stored: ………………………………………………………………………...


It is also a good idea to keep a reference drawing and/or photos showing the location of the Hydrowall. 

Actual sticker may vary

The warning label is provided when you purchase your system or is available from our website.

 

Installation

Please refer to the installation manual for detailed installation instructions.

The installation process is generally this:

Tools

·        Masonry Drill (if connecting to a concrete slab

·        Socket set (to connect spacers to posts on Hydrowall)

·        Level

·        Alignment tool (string or laser)

·        Holesaw(s) for making holes in cladding for Hydrowall inlet and outlets

·        Cladding installation tools: Drill/ Driver for fixings, blade for cutting cladding

·        Roof installation tools (if required)

Pre- Superwall

1)      If using Hydrowall, run any sub- slab plumbing that Hydrowall is connecting to.

2)      Lay slab

Superwall

3)      If using Hydrowall, assemble the side post sections using the posts and spacers.

4)      Position first post and keep in position with temporary stand (temporary stand not required for Hydrowall Frame)

5)      Add top and bottom beams

6)      Position second post and lock beams into post

7)      Repeat for each module.

8)      Make any final adjustments to the frame position.

9)      Secure frame to slab with hold- down brackets

Post Superwall

10)    Construct Roof frame as required

11)    Run services as required

12)    Install Insulation as required

13)    Install cladding

Patents

Hydrowall and Superhead are patents of Superwall Systems Pty Ltd.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost?

The cost depends on the size of the modules you require. It is roughly $200/m² supplied. Please contact us for detailed pricing and trade/volume discounts.

Can I install it myself (DIY)?

Yes. Hydrowall is very simple to install and can be quickly and easily assembled by anyone with a minimal amount of building experience.

Do you have installers available?

Yes. We have installers available Australia wide, however minimum order sizes may apply to some areas. The modules are easily installed by anyone with basic skills so if we are unable to supply an installer then we can assist you to find someone. You will also need a plumber if you are connecting to your home supply and in most cases, the plumber can probably help you to assemble the your Hydrowalls.

Can Hydrowall be used as a retaining wall?

Not as a structural retaining wall. It can retain to a depth of 300mm when a suitable cladding system is used. Hydrowall can also be used as a façade in front of structural retaining wall.

Can I hang things on the wall?

Yes. Fixings can be placed anywhere on the vertical posts. You can also use a track or rail system along the top of the wall and hang things from that.

Can I put services like electricity and water in Hydrowall?

Yes. Service conduits can easily be incorporated in the Hydrowall System. It is best to install services prior to cladding. Services can also be surface-mounted providing it is secured to the wall only in the designated safe places.

What happens if it gets a leak?

Hydrowall is made from a heavy-duty reinforced flexible liner, similar to the material used for inflatable boats, and is highly resistant to punctures. If however a leak does occur then the hole can usually be patched, or the entire liner can be replaced.

Will my house flood if it leaks?

No. The system is designed with a flashing to direct water to the outside. For such an event to occur it would need to be a serious accident such as a vehicle impact causing major damage.

Can I have doors, windows and openings?

Yes. Please see the section on doors and windows.

Does it go around corners?

Yes. Hydrowalls can be configured with corners and T-junctions.

What sizes and colours are available?

Hydrowall is available in heights between 1.8m and 3m high, lengths of 600mm and 1200mm, and widths of 280mm (300mm with cladding) and 430mm (450mm with cladding).

The colour will depend on whatever cladding system you want. Hydrowall can be covered in most cladding systems to suit your home and design.

Can I drink the water?

Hydrowall is available in 2 types: Standard and potable.

The Standard Grade is made from reinforced PVC which is not recommended for drinking (potable) water. This type is our economical option and is suitable for applications where drinking water is not required. It is possible to treat the water to a potable grade by using a reverse osmosis (RO) filter on the outlet(s).

The Potable Grade liner is made from TPU and is suitable for potable water. The material has been certified to meet ASNZS 4020 (Products for use in contact with Drinking Water).

NOTE: It is important to routinely check the quality of the water stored in the tank. Other factors like pollution, debris, mosquitoes and sunlight can affect the water and make it unfit for consumption, regardless of the liner used. We recommend the use of a UV steriliser or other filter on the outlet where water will be consumed.

How do I clean the tank?

Prevention is better than cure, so we recommend using a Superhead or some other filter to prevent debris and pollution getting inside the tanks (liners).

If you already have a problem with debris in the tank then it may be difficult to fix due to the limited access. Most debris is located closest to the inlet(s). If you have a severe sediment problem then you can try to vacuum it up by inserting a suction hose into the inlet. 

If you need to treat the water for smells or discolouration then you can try a treatment solution. Most caravan or boat shops will sell chemicals used to treat storage tanks. If that fails then you may need to drain the tanks.