Confused About SIPs? Here’s What You Need to Know

We start off with the escalating prices of energy bills. And since a lot of houses have most of their appliances requiring electricity to function, it is indeed a point of concern to cut energy costs. So, it’s natural to think about smart ways of going about your daily life, while maintaining your current lifestyle. Studies suggest that heating and cooling account for 60-70% of the energy used in an average American home. If you want to substantially reduce energy costs, decreasing the amount of energy needed for heating and cooling your home would be a good place to start. You might be wondering; how can I reduce my energy consumption in my new construction? The answer is pretty simple, SIPs will help you where most of the products in the market have disappointed you with their complex installation procedures, labor expenses, energy and time required. SIPs are designed specifically to save all the above-mentioned factors while giving you a perfect blend of what you desire the most: simple, easy to install and a product that lowers your energy bills so significantly that it ends up paying for itself.

What are SIPs?

To put it simply, SIPs or Structural Insulated Panels are a 21st century composite material that provides the benefits of insulation and structural performance in a single building product. R-Control SIPs consist of EPS (expanded polystyrene) insulation laminated with structural adhesives to oriented strand board structural sheathing. SIPs benefit from the unique characteristics of composites – the simple sandwich panel forms an amazingly strong insulated panel for building walls, roofs and floor. SIPs are manufactured under factory controlled conditions and can be fabricated to fit nearly any building design.  The outer boards can be plywood, metal or other rigid sheet materials, but oriented strand board is used by a wide majority of SIP makers. The core of these SIPs serves as an insulator and spacer between the outside skins. Okay now that the components have been addressed let’s explore the benefits of using SIPs. Remember we mentioned that SIPs are deliberately built to reduce energy consumption, let’s examine SIPs.

Why Consider SIPs?

Compared to stick-frame insulation techniques, which utilize 2”x 4” studs and hundreds of nails are used to hold the studs and outer sheets together. Subsequently, SIPs are twice as strong as a stick-framed house, and offer a substantial advantage in locations where tornadoes or hurricane force winds are typical.

Experts at R-Control remark that SIPs are very energy efficient. Admittedly, this increased insulation and energy efficiency is not just limited to the thickness of polystyrene; studies suggest that impressive results are produced because SIPs are designed and manufactured to function as a single unit. Comparatively, a typical stick frame house will require twice the energy to maintain optimal temperatures in most climates. The following is a breakdown of the benefits which are generated using Structurally Insulated Panels.

  • Comfort – When a structure is built with SIPs, it creates an interior environment that blocks wind and moisture, is very quiet, clean, and that contributes to superior comfort.
  • Construction Speed – SIPs are a faster method of construction. They reduce framing time by as much as 50% percent compared to conventional stick frame methods.
  • Energy Efficiency – As mentioned earlier, SIPs are designed primarily to insulate, which results in sustaining the inside temperature of your building requiring less heating or cooling thus lowering energy bills.
  • Green Building – By employing the use of modern construction materials, SIPs reduce their impact on the environment.

What about their strength or more importantly do they even meet local and national code requirements?

As a matter of fact, yes. Structural Insulated Panels have been tested rigorously and extensively by nationally recognised organisations such as the International Code Council Evaluation Service. R-Control SIPs meet building codes because they comply with the fire and structural regulations of the International Building and Residential Codes.

This was a simple introduction to SIPs. Obviously, there are a lot of additional factors contributing to the pre and post manufacturing of SIPs but that’s for another article. Right now, the purpose was to explore SIPs and see what they do offer in terms of value for your money. Admittedly the overall concept is valid and appealing but as mentioned there are a lot of factors that need to be considered. This means more exploration to compare conventional building materials and techniques verses SIPs when constructing your new home or building.


Sandeep is an expert blogger and travel advisor. He writes majorly on trips and journeys made on trains and buses from one place to another.

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