To help you get the most satisfaction from your SIP experience, the Structural Insulated Panel Association has put together this list of tips and suggestions so you'll get the best performance from your SIPs.
SIPs are simple to use. You can order pre-cut panels that arrive on site ready to set in place. Stand them up, fasten them properly, seal all joints, and in a few days your new house is ready for finish work.
Set aside a level spot to store panels. Try to organize your panel delivery for efficiency — store panels from the first floor separately from panels for the second floor, and so on.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Regarding Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs)
Stack panels so that you can read the identifying marks or labels and find each piece when you need it. Lay panels flat on stickers, no closer than three inches to the ground. Give the panels plenty of support, and don't let them sag — for 8-foot panels, two stickers are enough, but for to foot panels, use three stickers. Set wall plates carefully. Panel skins provide the strength for walls so panel skins must be fully supported. The panel slips over the wall plate, so remember to set your plates a half inch in from the building edge, and leave room where plates meet for the skin to slide by.
Set panels in order. Mark out your wall plates to show where panel edges fall. Seal joints as you work. Panel joints must be thoroughly sealed to ensure there is no air infiltration from the outside or exfiltration from the inside.
Install panel skins in direct contact with concrete. Provide a capillary break between panel skins and concrete. Install standard deterrents to resist termites and carpenter ants such as insect clips and flashing. Use high-quality roofing and siding. High performance asphalt shingles are suitable for use on a SIP roof. Popular siding materials such as steel or tile, vinyl, wood, brick, or fiber-cement are also fine for SIP houses.
Use proper underlayments for roofing and siding. SIP walls are airtight without housewrap, but they do need a drainage plane material either housewrap or asphalt paper works well. Flash all penetrations. Most windows will eventually leak some water at the window sill; install flashing under and around windows and doors to direct water away from the wall structure.
Hose bibs, dryer vents, exterior lights, and the like must also be flashed, as should roof penetrations such as plumbing stacks, chimneys, and skylights. Provide a mechanical ventilation system. Passive air infiltration will not be enough to provide indoor air quality. Control indoor humidity. High humidity levels can be unhealthy and can damage your building.
Install exhaust fans in kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry rooms to expel moist air as needed. Moisture intrusion through slabs, crawlspaces, and basements can be significant, so make sure your foundation has good drainage and provides for control of moisture vapor. Install or use unvented combustion equipment.This is not a good thing for house efficiency. If I decided to insulate the entire structure, replace the windows, and seal all the doors I might have a warmer house but I might create big problems.
Say I missed a spot. This winter all the moist, warm air in the house would be trying to get out that hole. As it mets the sub-zero air coming in from the outside, the moisture in the warm air would condense. Water droplets would form on the inside of the wall.
It would seep down the wall cavity and soak the insulation. If, when I insulated, I added vapor barriers on the interior and exterior surfaces not unheard ofthe water would be trapped inside. Rot and mold would take hold. This is a microcosm of the building efficiency evolution over the last thirty years: good intent and innovation applied without a complete understanding of bulk water management.
SIPs are a flashpoint for problems because the envelope is so tight that small lapses, like an improperly sealed roof vent, create big problems like a rotten roof. But first we have to seal the house and this is where the techniques of SIP installation really hit the ground. This is what we learned today. Secure panels with the right screws.
This joint went together easily and looked fine from the outside but when we looked at the bottom, we saw a gap from the overburn of the EPS. The thing to do here is mark the gap where we will see it later, then fill it when we go back to foam the joints. I was exposed to so many good things today it would be impossible to cover it all. Here are just a few pictures I snapped along the way. Notch your Speed Square for easy marking.
Posted in Construction. Some captions would enhance the photos, though. This info on why houses rot is VERY helpful. We recently bought a house we have had yrs now. It is a post and beam and is about 15 yrs old. It has SIP panels and heating this house is awesome!!
We have found that our window frames are rotting. My BIG problem is tough that the panels exterior wood surface are rotted!! How on earth do I fix that???
Will I be scrapping off all of the old rotted wood and re-gluing new wood to these panels? How does the rot affect the foam?Working with structural insulated panels has its challenges, especially for first-time users. A SIPs expert provides key tips. The growth of the green, energy-efficient homes market has led to an increased demand for high-performance building envelope products like structural insulated panels SIPs.
Typically composed of a layer of EPS, XPS, or polyurethane foam sandwiched between oriented strand board panels, SIPs can provide R-values for walls, floors, and roofs ranging from 14 to 58, depending on the panel thickness and composition.
However, working with structural insulated panels does have its challenges, especially for first-time users. Kiesecker offers the following advice:. For example, SIP facings should never be cut horizontally for the installation of electrical wiring; doing so will compromise structural performance. If the project specifies roof panels or wall or floor panels larger than 8x8 feet, a forklift or crane may be required for installation.
Proper storage, weather protection, and handling will make the installation process more efficient. Store the panels on a level spot, no closer than three inches to the ground. Organize the panels by the sequence in which they will be installed i. SIPs need to be fully supported during installation. The panels slip over a wall plate, which needs to be set half an inch from the building edge to ensure that the panels are fully supported.
Also, make sure to set the panels in place in order—start in the corners or valleys and work outward. Once SIPs have been installed and sealed, weather protection such as housewrap is required to prevent moisture deterioration. Windows over time will eventually leak some water at the sill. Use flashing under and around the units to direct water away from the wall structure.
When working with an HVAC contractor, make sure they take into account an estimate for lower levels of air infiltration. Proper HVAC sizing is critical because an underused system will fail to reach a steady operating rate, resulting in short cycling, which is less energy efficient and requires more maintenance. Structural insulated panels SIPs. By Professional Builder Staff November 7, If you're thinking about building a new house and doing some research, you may be hearing about SIPs and ICFs, two new building systems that have been gaining popularity.
But like everything, they have their pros and cons. Both are types of panels that have foam insulation. They're usually used for exterior and foundation walls, sometimes floors and roofs. In fact, I'm building my new garage using an original ICF made from cement and inert wood chips. SIPs have one layer of foam insulation -- usually closed-cell spray foam -- sandwiched between two layers of building material. There are many different types of SIPs. Some have corrugated metal, others have galvanized sheet metal.
But the most popular kinds have OSB oriented strand board or plywood sheathing on both sides of the foam insulation. ICFs are constructed differently. Instead, they have a layer of concrete sandwiched between two layers of foam insulation, usually EPS expanded polystyrene. These two panels are connected to each other with plastic connectors or steel ties that hold the foam layers in place. The space in the middle is filled with concrete, making them look like concrete-filled Lego.
When pouring the concrete, it's important there aren't any air pockets. Gaps in the concrete will compromise the structural strength of the entire wall or structure you're building. It gives us that thermal break we're always looking for by keeping warm from meeting cold. This eliminates thermal bridging, which happens when you have anything in your wall that conducts cold more than your insulation, like wood or metal studs.
That's why you have cold spots in the winter on your exterior walls. However, the main selling point of these panels is that they provide all the layers in a wall that should be there without having to build them.
This saves time and costs related to labour. The building process is quick and requires less equipment. When you're building in harsh climates outdoors you want building materials that can go up fast.Experts in energy efficient innovation… Leaders in structural insulated panels. Insulspan SIPs integrate seamlessly with timber framing, forming a high performance structural shell.
Our energy efficient SIPs provide superior comfort and lower utility bills for homeowners. Imagine an energy efficient product that lowers consumer energy bills, increases builder productivity and efficiency, and creates high performance structural envelopes. Discover the value Insulspan SIPs can offer you. More About Our Products. Visit our About Us page to read about our commitment to you during the evolving coronavirus pandemic.
Our extensive library of technical and product specific structural insulated panel information, including structural strength and design specifications. Learn the ins and outs of SIP building at your own pace. Structural Insulated Panels are a great solution for building all kinds of structures. Explore what you can build with SIPs. Are you seeking a seasoned SIPs panel architect or designer in your area? If you do not have experience building with SIPs you probably have a lot of questions.
There are also relevant links to get even more information regarding these popular structural insulated panel questions.
We invite you to explore our site to learn more about the unique advantages of Insulspan SIP Panels and why EPS panels are a good solution for building a higher quality home or commercial structure. When you work with Insulspan, rest assured that you are working with a financially stable company that produces sustainable, high-quality products through adherence to our core values of quality, service, and expertise.
All rights reserved. Homeowners Builders Architects Timber Framers. Mobile Navigation. Search our Site Click Here to See Project Profile. Timber Framers.
Learn More. Search Tech Library. Watch Videos. Find an ADU Plan. Explore Construction Types. Choose a SIP Designer.An Energy Efficient EF structure has many different components: foundation, exterior walls, floor, roof, insulation, windows, doors, mechanical systems and lighting which all play important roles in the way energy is consumed.
However, the core of any EF structure is the design of the building envelope foundation, floor, walls and roof. Yes, there are many different techniques used by architects. The only design that gives the ultimate in comfort and reduces energy consumption for the maximum energy. This is assuming that the EPS foam remains dry, once water vapors intrude, condense and saturate the EPS foam the fuel consumption will increase substantially.
Additionally, when one is comparing stick framing to building with SIPs one should also consider in all the cost effective benefits of SIPs such as. When all of these costs are factored in, SIP type construction costs about the same as stick framing. With fuel costs 3 times higher and fuel prices that keep increasing year after year; it only makes common sense to build with PUR SIPs.
Additionally, you may have spent hours on the internet researching different websites mine included and most likely are somewhat confused about what is truth and what is just plain old fluff. Something I can totally understand having been there myself many years ago.
Just remember quantity does not equal quality. Their credibility depends solely on whether or not you trust and believe their salesperson. Made in the USA. We manufacture and fabricate SIPs for all of residential and light commercial structures.
We have a track record of success and know how to coordinate the logistics and the challenges associated with building in harsh environments. You can talk face to face with us or visit and tour our facility where you can witness firsthand our professionalism and quality of our SIPs, something I believe is unequaled in the industry. Due to the manufactures limitation on sizes we can produce panels 4 foot wide and up to 12 feet long, the most common lengths being 8, 9, and 10 feet.
Density : 2. The denser the foam the stronger the panel. Chemical Resistance : PUR foam is not affected by oil and most solvents. Thermal Resistance : R-value 8.
Once cured it becomes a thermos set plastic that will not change. The structural bond created by pressure and heat impregnating the foam into the plywood fibers results in closed cell structural insulated foam panel of tremendous strength 4 times stronger than conventional stick framing.
Water Vapor Permeance : Polyurethane foam is impervious to water absorption and as such maintains a constant R-value. To meet federal fire regulations, Tris chloroisopropyl phosphate and TCPP flame retardant has been added. Fabrication : AIP SIPs are custom fabricated according to specific shop drawing including installing framing members for window bucks, wall end fills and point loads.Insulated concrete forms ICF and structural insulated panels SIPs are two common wall systems used to construct commercial buildings and homes.
Both wall systems combine structure and insulation into one unit, which quickens construction and reduces labor costs. Structural insulated panels, also called foam-core panels, structural foam panels, stress-skin panels, and sandwich panels, first gained attention 50 years ago for its high level of insulation, air tightness, and strength over wood-framing wall systems.
SIPs are 4- and 8-inch thick rigid foam panels, sandwiched between two rigid sheathing materials. Other exterior wall sheathing materials include plywood, sheet metal, fiber-cement siding, magnesium-oxide board, fiberglass mat, gypsum sheathing, and composite structural siding panels.
SIPs create straight walls that are structurally sound, air-sealed, and insulated all in one step. Also, because SIPs are factory assembled, wall construction is quick, which reduces labor costs and construction waste. Roofs, walls, and floors of homes and light commercial buildings can use SIPs. However, there are several problems associated with SIP wall systems. Insulated concrete forms ICFslike Fox Blocks, are composed of concrete sandwiched between two layers of insulated foam.
Above- and below-grade ICF construction creates a disaster-resistant, moisture-resistant, durable, energy-efficient and quiet structure. Also, ICF offers design flexibility and is quick and easy to install. ICF wall construction creates passive fire protection within a building or home by limiting the spread of fire and smoke. If a fire occurs, ICF also hinders the collapse of the structure. ICF wall systems, like Fox Blocks, build a strong continuous path that ensures a building can maintain its integrity against winds above mph.
Fox Block ICF walls also can resist damage debris flying over mph. ICF walls, like Fox Blocks, provide a moisture-resistant solid continuous monolithic concrete wall with a perm rating of less than 1. The perm rating is a measure of an assembly or a material ability to limit the amount of moisture that passes through the assembly or materials.
The lower the perm rating, the better. ICF wall systems are healthy and durable because they are moisture-resistant and non-organic, which limits the growth of mold and wood rot.
Mold and wood rot may occur in the presence of moisture or organic materials, like wood. Mold is unhealthy to those inside the building and wood rot can reduce the structural durability of a building. The strength and flexibility of ICFs allow builders and architects to create any imaginable size or style of a home or building.
To SIP or not to SIP? It’s complicated.
The ICF forms are easy to cut and shape, including customized architectural effects, such as cathedral ceilings, curved walls, large openings, long ceiling spans, and custom angles. The Fox Block is an all in one wall system that combines five construction steps into one, including air barrier, structure, insulation, vapor retarder, and attachment. While ICFs create suburb wall systems, they are not suitable for a roof assembly.
The pre-insulated, pre-engineered SIPs are ideal for large spans of roofing and will contribute to an energy-efficient and air-tight structure.
Please visit Fox Blocks for more information on insulated concrete foam vs. To download this file, please fill out this form. When plywood or OSB gets wet, the walls may mold, degrade, and rot. SIPs have low thermal mass. Materials made of high thermal mass help to stabilize the temperature within a structure, and ultimately save energy and money. A non-panel friendly design will escalate cos and waste, and diminish the performance of the structure.