Structural Insulated Panels.



Structural Insulated Panels, commonly known as SIP’s, are a form of timber framing but are made up of two sheets of sheathing.  This sheathing is usually OBS3 which is bonded to a rigid insulation core either of urethane foam or eps.  These panels then form the load bearing structural skin of the walls and roof of the building. 



SIP’s have been used in the UK for the last twenty years but in other parts of the world they have been used since the 1950’s and invented in Madison in Wisconsin in the 1930’s.  They are only becoming really popular now because of the rising cost of energy prices and new guidelines into the performance of new housing stock.  If you are looking for a premium insulated home then SIP’s are fast becoming the most recognised solution.  SIP’s are easy to use and are very versatile in design application, they are also a very fast way of erecting a watertight shell of a building. 


SIP’s are not that expensive to use, they appear to be more expensive than brick and block but the performance of them as standard are much higher than the current building regulations for the more conventional build.  So if you build the traditional way but to the standard of a SIP’s one then the cost would be a lot higher for the traditional method.  Anyone can build using SIP’s as long as they are good at carpentry and have had some SIP’s training.  The reason being is that all of the external and internal finishes are completed the same way using the same building techniques.  Also SIP’s have undergone extensive testing for both insulation and structural performances.  Fire performance has also been tested using SIP’s and are supported by the BBA.


Mortgage lenders view the SIP’s construction method as a main stream form of construction in the UK so there will be no problem gaining a mortgage if you choose to build this way.  All standard footings are compatible with SIP’s but they do need a load bearing skin of block work up to DPC level, this supports the soleplate and its tolerance should be 5-10 minimum.


SIP’s can be erected in a matter of days to a watertight finish.  There is no need for lots of tradesmen as one set can do it all, therefore the shell of the building is constructed between 30-70% quicker depending on the size and complexity of the build.  SIP’s also give a dB reduction of 40dB when a single panel has been lined with a 15mm gyproc board and far exceeds current requirements for sound proofing.   

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