Structural Insulated Panels

Frequently Asked Questions

SIPs

 

The SIP construction materials offer a unique efficient build experience. Peruse these Q&As about structural insulated panels and building construction. Contact us for more information and to collaborate on your next project. 

SIP houses

Tell me more about SIPs

What are SIPs?

Structural insulated panels (SIPs) are building panels that consist of an insulating foam core sandwiched between two sheets of structural material, such as oriented strand board (OSB).

According to SIPA, the Structural Insulated Panel Association, SIPs are one of the most airtight construction systems available, saving energy and cutting CO2 emissions.

Enercept SIPs are high-performance building panels used for floors, walls, and roofs. They are made of two layers of 7/16″ oriented strand board (OSB) and a core of rigid EPS foam. Our OSB is derived from trees grown sustainably, which encourages the preservation of trees.

Along with other SIP benefits, structural insulated panels offer a high level of insulation and can reduce the time needed to build a house compared to traditional methods. They also have good structural strength and can improve energy efficiency, reducing costs in the future of the home or property.

How do SIPs compare to stick-built construction in terms of cost?

Though SIPs may seem more expensive at the onset structural insulated panels (SIPs) can be more cost-effective than traditional stick-built construction.

Here are a few reasons why:

  1. Reduced labor costs: SIPs are prefabricated in a factory and can be assembled quickly on-site, reducing labor costs.
  2. Reduced materials costs: SIPs are made of a foam insulation core, which can be less expensive than traditional insulation materials.
  3. Reduced construction time: SIPs can be assembled more quickly than traditional building methods, which can reduce the overall cost of the project.
  4. Energy savings: The high insulation value of SIPs can lead to energy savings, which can offset the cost of the SIPs over time.

However, it’s important to note that the cost-effectiveness of SIPs can vary depending on the project and location. Factors such as the cost of materials, labor, and transportation can all impact the overall cost of a SIPs project.

Are SIPs appropriate for all types of construction?
SIPs may not be the best option for all types of construction and it’s best to consult a professional to determine if they are appropriate for your particular project.

Benefits to Owners

Are SIPs energy efficient?

Yes, structural insulated panels (SIPs) are considered to be energy efficient.

The insulation core of a SIP is made of foam, which has a high R-value (a measure of insulation’s ability to resist heat flow). This means that SIPs can effectively keep heat inside a building during the winter and keep it outside during the summer. The airtightness of the SIPs also helps to reduce energy loss through drafts. Additionally, SIPs can create an airtight building envelope that can improve indoor air quality and reduce the need for mechanical ventilation. As a result, SIPs can help to reduce energy consumption and lower heating and cooling costs.

What are the benefits of SIPs?

Structured insulated panels (SIPs) offer several benefits over traditional building materials.

Some of the main benefits include:

  • High insulation value: SIPs have a high insulation value, which can help to reduce energy costs and improve the overall energy efficiency of a building. Energy savings of up to 60% when compared to similarly sized stick buildings constructed using more traditional methods.
  • Strong and durable: SIPs are made of structural materials such as oriented strand board (OSB) which make them strong and durable. They can withstand high winds and heavy snow loads, making them suitable for use in a variety of climates.
  • Faster construction: Because SIPs are prefabricated, they can be cut to size in a factory and then assembled quickly on site. This can significantly reduce construction time and labor costs.
  • Low air infiltration: SIPs have tight seals around windows and doors, which helps to reduce air infiltration and improve the overall air tightness of a building.
  • Cost-effective: SIPs can be an cost-effective solution for building construction as they are prefabricated and can be easily transported to the site, reducing labor costs.
  • Environmentally friendly: Our panels are made with oriented strand board (OSB) that is produced from trees, grown with sustainability in mind, promoting tree conservation. SIPs are made from polystyrene foam derived from post-consumer waste, which reduces the use of fossil fuels and reduces the amount of waste sent to landfills because scrap foam and wood from the production cycle is ground and recycled.

Benefits in Construction

How are SIPs different from traditional building methods?

Building with structural insulated panels (SIPs) involves a different process than traditional building methods.

Here are the general steps involved in building with SIPs:

  • Design: The first step is to design the building using SIPs. This includes determining the size and layout of the building, as well as determining the size and location of the SIPs.
  • Engineering: The next step is to have the design reviewed and engineered by a structural engineer to ensure that it is structurally sound and meets building codes.
  • Manufacturing: After the design is approved, the SIPs are manufactured in a factory. The foam core is cut to size and sandwiched between two sheets of structural material, such as oriented strand board (OSB). The SIPs are then transported to the building site.
  • Foundation: A foundation is poured or set for the building.
  • Assembly: The SIPs are assembled on the foundation according to the design plans. The panels are cut to size and fit together to form the walls, floors, and roof of the building.
  • Finishing: Once the SIPs are assembled, the building is ready for finishing work. This includes installing windows, doors, and other finishes, such as siding, drywall, and flooring.
  • Inspection: After the finishing work is complete, the building is inspected to ensure that it meets building codes and is safe to occupy.

Building with SIPs can be completed more quickly and efficiently than traditional building methods, leading to energy savings and improved indoor air quality.

What makes building with SIPs more efficient?

Building with structural insulated panels (SIPs) over traditional construction methods can offer several advantages.

Some of the main reasons to consider using SIPs include the following:

  • Energy efficiency: SIPs have a high insulation value and tight seals around windows and doors, which can help to reduce energy consumption and lower heating and cooling costs.
  • Speed of construction: SIPs are prefabricated in a factory, which means they can be assembled quickly on-site. This can significantly reduce construction time and labor costs.
    Structural integrity: SIPs are made of structural materials such as oriented strand board (OSB), which make them strong and durable. They can withstand high winds and heavy snow loads, making them suitable for use in a variety of climates.
  • Cost-effectiveness: SIPs can be a cost-effective solution for building construction, as they are prefabricated and can be easily transported to the site, reducing labor costs.
  • Environmentally friendly: SIPs can be made from polystyrene foam derived from post-consumer waste, which reduces the use of fossil fuels and reduces the amount of waste sent to landfills.
  • Indoor air quality: Because SIPs create an airtight building envelope, it can improve indoor air quality and reduce the need for mechanical ventilation.

It’s important to note that SIPs may not be suitable for all types of construction, and it’s best to consult a professional to determine if they are appropriate for your particular project.

Energy efficiency of SIPs

Reduced Energy Costs

SIPs have a high insulation value and tight seals around windows and doors, which can help to reduce energy consumption and lower heating and cooling costs. Typically, owners enjoy energy savings of up to 60 percent compared to conventional stick-built structures of the same size. This can be a great benefit, especially if you live in an area with extreme temperatures.

Increased Air Quality
Air-tight construction provides a healthy home environment by avoiding the unwanted transmission of dust and allergens from the outside. SIPs have tight seals around windows and doors, which helps to reduce air infiltration and improve the overall air tightness of a building—at the same time, reducing costs associated with dust and allergies.

For those that desire beauty, efficiency and sustainability.

Structural Insulated Panels offer a unique build experience that not only gives you the custom home or building you desire but also a smaller environmental impact than traditional builds.

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