Structural Insulated Panel Systems
The strength of the adhesive used makes these panels structurally analogous to an I-Beam, with the boards functioning as the flanges and the insulating core as the web.
The panels can be pre-cut and custom fabricated, and are quickly assembled on-site by fitting splines into pre-routed grooves in the panel edges to form virtually any wall or roof configuration.
The result is a simple, fast, highly efficient structural system which provides superior thermal performance and substantially greater strength than conventional stud constructions.
The idea of SIPS is far from new.
Structural insulated panels have been used for decades in the construction of refrigerated buildings, where enduring thermal efficiency is extremely important.
Homes built with structural panels have been tested and monitored since the 1930s by the United States Department of Agriculture’s Forest Products Laboratory.
SIPS pioneers saw enormous potential for these panels in both light commercial and residential construction. In the late 1950s, for example, the National Association of Home Builders used SIPS in their demonstration research homes.
In the decades since then, structural insulated panels have proved their viability in thousands of commercial and residential buildings across the country. This has been accompanied by significant advances in the materials and technology of SIPS.
As long as energy costs remained low, construction schedules were leisurely, labor and lumber were abundant and inexpensive – and profit margins on conventional construction remained high – there was little incentive for architects, owners, builders or contractors to utilize new techniques. Today, all that has changed.
Escalating heating and cooling costs have led owners and tenants to demand greater thermal efficiency and improved energy performance in their buildings and homes. Federal, state and local building codes are also mandating improved energy efficiency.
At the same time, the building and construction market has become more competitive. Accelerated construction schedules and shrinking profit margins are forcing builders, contractors and designers to look for more efficient and reliable construction methods that reduce labor and alleviate the quality variables that plague stick construction.
SIPS provide practical, proven answers to these needs.
The rigid insulation can’t sag or shift. Its R-value remains very stable over time and is minimally affected by moisture. And because there are far fewer interruptions in the insulation – SIPS span widths from 4′ to 24′, while the insulation in stick construction is interrupted by studs every 16″ o.c. – SIP buildings greatly reduce air infiltration and thermal bridging.
The energy efficiency of a SIPS structure means reduced heating and cooling loads, which in turn can mean savings in HVAC equipment.
SIPS also offer savings in ecological terms. Polystyrene insulation can be recycled, thus reducing landfill waste and easing the demand for new petroleum stock. By minimizing the use of dimensional lumber, USA SIPS panels can reduce dependence on old-growth forests, and the energy efficiency of the USA SIPS system reduces dependence on nonrenewable fuel resources.
SIPS buildings can be far more comfortable and economical to own and operate than stick-built structures. While this is certainly important in owner-occupied structures, it also makes buildings much more attractive to lenders, tenants and buyers as well.
Perhaps even more important in today’s construction industry is the speed and simplicity of SIPS construction.
By combining three stages of conventional shell construction – framing, sheathing and insulation – into a single unit, a SIPS structure can be erected much faster, with less specialized labor, than outdated stick-building methods. This can mean lower labor and loan expenses, and quicker occupancy.
Smaller panels can easily be installed by a crew of two with no special equipment. Panels as large as 8′ x 24′ can be erected very quickly with the use of a Skytrak or crane.
USA SIPS panels are available with pre-cut wire chases and window and door openings, and are numbered for fast, simple installation.
SIPS buildings are significantly stronger than standard stick-built structures of similar configurations, and the panels’ uniformity and one-piece construction make it much easier to build because they are straight and plumb. In addition, the two layers of structural board provide each panel with improved stability, a solid nailing base and increased protection against vandalism, break-ins and tenant damage.
SIPS have passed rigorous fire endurance tests required by national codes. Their solid-core construction eliminates the “chimney effect” that causes fires to spread quickly through hollow stick-built walls.
While the advantages of factory fabrication – such as improved quality control and assembly efficiencies – areas important as ever, modern SIPS can be custom fabricated to each project and are just as versatile as conventional construction, with much greater speed in erection.
In fact, the structural integrity of SIPS opens up many exciting new design options – such as timber framing and cathedral ceilings – which might not be practical or affordable with traditional construction methods.
These factors make SIPS an ideal system for a wide range of light commercial and residential applications, from retail malls, governmental buildings, offices, convenience marts, fast-food restaurants and warehouses to such aesthetically demanding buildings as churches, clubhouses and, of course, single- and multi-family homes.
Every USA SIPS panel is backed by a limited warranty. This, along with USA SIPS’s leadership in the structural insulated panel industry, is your assurance of quality, dependability and value. See USA SIPS’s written warranty for complete details.
The supplier of choice for the new choice in building materials.
With more than 12 years’ experience in the development and manufacture of quality construction materials, USA SIPS has the knowledge, resources and production capabilities for virtually any SIPS project, from large commercial projects, government buildings and mass-produced component buildings to single-family homes for the most discriminating buyers.
All USA SIPS panels are made to demanding quality standards with oriented strand board manufactured to APA standards for maximum strength and durability, and are available with expanded polystyrene cores.
Quality control is assured through both in-house controls and independent third-party testing by PFS Corporation.
SIPS panels are recognized by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) – assuring familiarity and expeditious approval by local building authorities.
Design and construction support
USA SIPS offers assistance in training, engineering and technical support in the design and construction of a SIPS building.
Staff designer specializing in SIPS design can assist in evaluating SIPS alternatives, design considerations and construction detailing. USA SIPS representatives also are available for on-site support.
For Estimates Send Drawings or Plans to:
USA SIPS, Inc.
PO Box 3095
Bartlesville, OK 74006