An Insight into Construction with SIPs

When you decide you’re Building with SIPs, it’s recommended by various experts to start with a certified or associated builder recommended on the Structural Insulated Panel Association website. Or, do an online search with your state name, plus “SIPs” If you plan to build your home, consider looking for an experienced SIP installer to help you and your crew.

But you might be wondering, how is construction relevant to this topic? In a nutshell, employing SIPs as building material is much easier than any conventional insulation technique.

Here are some of the important things you need to know beforehand.

  • SIPs generally come in 48 or 96 inch wide panels.
  • In most cases, the builders use architectural drawings as a reference map to determine and fine-tune all the construction details.
  • These drawings are used to determine each surface of the house -from roofs to walls- and give each SIP panel a unique number.
  • All the recorded measurements are cross-checked and reviewed by a licensed architect and the contractor, after which the order is placed for the SIP panels.

We hope this scenario might be making sense as to how this process happens.

Next, some facts that you should be aware of regarding SIPs

  • SIPs are fabricated, which means each panel is constructed according to special requirements.
  • It is important to know that the architectural drawings, construction and fabrication are three different services. Thus, it is suggested that you do some research to find the best place, to provide all these solutions (if needed) at a single location.

So, how long does it take to assemble the SIP panels?
Well, in most cases if the fabrication of the panels has been done at the factory, then their construction site assembly requires only a quarter of the original time committed. However, if the fabrication is being done at the construction site, then this takes more time. Since, in-house fabrication allows the SIPs production to continue at an accelerated rate without interference from weather or other construction site conditions, will subsequently allow less time for assembly.

SIP placement and assembly is known as panel installation. Installing SIPs is a simple procedure to understand. Once the concrete floor slab or wood floor platform is completed, the rest of the process is straight forward and quickly proceeds to the finished structural shell. Here is what’s involved in this process:

  • Any -window, door or skyline- openings can be cut into the SIP panel before installation.
  • Bonding or joining the wall panels with each other is a proprietary system, unique to each builder.
  • A minimum of two people is required to handle and install these panels.
  • The SIP panel being set slides next to the previously fitted panel and over the base plate. Thus, resulting in a series of fixed panels.
  • A caulking gun is used to apply an sealant on all the joining surfaces and base plates.
  • Once the panel is set, nails on each joint of the panels is employed to fasten the panels in place.

And finally, before we conclude this article, it is important to mention the reason SIPs outperform conventionally constructed buildings and homes with the same R-Value. Let’s start by stating that energy saving R-Control SIPs come in various thicknesses and R-Values R-15, R-23, R-30, R-37 and R-45. You might be wondering what’s the purpose of stating the obvious. Technically speaking the R-value of a building material was not intended to be scale of thermal efficiency of a home. Instead, it only measures resistance to heat loss by conduction. As many of you know, heat travels in three ways by processes called conduction, convection and radiation. So, considering the above-mentioned terminologies, this simple scenario that can illustrate the heat loss from your home or building.

  • Your house is sitting on solid ground or rock and heat flows directly into the earth by the principal of conduction, this accounts for an estimated 15% heat-loss.
  • Heat travels by conduction through solid walls and the roof of your home. There is a difference in temperature between the outer walls and roof tiles and the atmosphere, so the air near them warms up and flows away by convection. This process accounts for a substantial heat loss
  1. Walls = 35% heat loss
  2. Roof = 25% heat loss
  3. Doors & Windows = 25 % heat loss

The principal is very simple, the more heat that escapes from your home or building, the colder it gets inside and the more you increase your heat to stay comfortable the more it will cost you.

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