Why are SIPS better?

Photo 2 story10 Reasons Why Your New Home Should be a SIP BC Home

1. SIPs slash energy costs adding net household savings. You do not have to wait until the “payback period” to give your family a $ bonus every month for the life of the home. Build with SIP BC for SIPs only OR a full compliment of Net Zero features and your energy dollar savings will be much greater than the financed costs to install them. SIPs are often cost competitive or even the lowest cost system while delivering greater system R-value.

2. SIPs are greener. The environmental benefits of a home built with Structural Insulated Panel are huge.  ALL of these points score green: Lower Energy bills; Zero off-gassing; Low on-site labor factors; Less heat and GHG to environment; A full system has LOWEST low embodied energy (less wood fiber, less steel, less concrete). We gratefully accept all challengers on this last point.

3. SIPs are stronger. Their strength comes from the lamination process that uses OSB skins fully bonded to each side of EPS foam. SIPs are therefore much stronger and more stable than a framed wall. The panels’ acts like an ‘I-beam,’ which is a very efficient shape to deliver high strength-to-weight ratio. SIP panels provide inherent stability to resist high winds and earthquakes.

Premier SIPs comply with the NBC as well as certification from the International Code Council Evaluation Service. Evaluations for Canadian building code from Intertek cover load capacity, fire, air barrier and water vapor transmission.

High-tech products like aircraft wings and surfboards also employ foam and laminate technology to maximize strength to weight. SIPs use exactly the same principles and they don’t have to fly! SIP homes in earthquakes in Kobe, Japan report no damage – not even drywall cracks. While neighboring structures showed varying levels of damage.

4. SIPs go up faster -saving construction time. Sips arrive at site pre-cut and pre-splined ready for install. The electrical chases and boxes are already cut into the panels.  Insulation and vapor barrier are integral so there is little time required before applying drywall and dry-in waiting time is zero. The speedy installation not only saves builders time in the framing process, but the straight panels save other subcontractors hours (and even days) in their trades. Straighter wall and floor panels mean the walls do not bow and curve. They also ensure faster installation of cabinets and countertops. They enable flooring contractors to lay tile, wood and other flooring products.

5. SIPS have superior whole system R-Values

Three reasons why SIPs insulate better:

     Warmer:: What the SIP does not have in the wall is stick framing members conducting heat outwards –this is called thermal bridging.

     Drier:: SIPs stay dry while daily condensation happens in framed walls. Framed walls with batt insulation trap air to insulate. Damp batt insulation occurs as the air at the extremities on the cold side condensates on days with heating and cooling cycles, dropping moisture in the wall cavity against the smooth plastic vapor barrier which in term traps by capillary against the wood. Carpenters say walls have to breathe –and due to the above scenario, that is true….And that ‘breathing’ and venting self-propagates condensation –but it is better than sealing the walls up with air in them. In a SIP assembly there is solid foam on the cold side that insulates inwards until it is warmer than the dew point of the air making it impossible to have in-wall condensation since there is no air present.

     Air Tight: Solid EPS in the SIP provides natural air-snug’ conditions without “trapping” moisture in the wall and the whole assembly works as a high diffusion vapor membrane which also eliminates the need for a plastic vapor barrier.

6. SIPs are low-impact.  Sips are made from renewable resources: No old growth trees are used. Instead, SIPs are made from fast-growing trees at an average age of 15 years to harvest, and produced in a way that yields a large percentage of use from every tree.  Including the lumber we insert in the panels, SIPs reduce “slow-growth” timber use by 60% and total wood fiber by about 30%. For the “slow-growth” lumber, the youngest age to harvest Spruce Pine and Fir  for best economy is 80 years.

EPS foam is highly recyclable and is reground and blended into new products in a variety of forms of plastic. The creation of the foam to its final stage uses only super-heated steam to expand it and set it –not a chemical reaction.

7. SIPs eliminate mold potential. Minimal air content in the wall cavities and no air movement through equals no condensation within the wall cavity or roof and therefore no mold potential. Expanded polystyrene is totally inert which means there is no off-gassing and will not wick-up or hold moisture. Warm season or cold, a SIP home ‘vapor diffusion’ system works reliably anywhere – say good-bye to vapor barrier systems that cause internal wall condensation and produce molds and mildew.  This fact also stops movement of your building as it dries out seasonally and we guarantee ZERO drywall cracking on SIP walls.

8. SIPs eliminate uncontrolled drafts. Gain control of ventilation. Drafts and cold corner rooms are gone, while gaining control of air quality with a gentle and constant supply of FRESH AND NON-RECIRCULATED AIR. Modern appliances, cooking, and simple occupancy heat the home while an efficient HRV (Heat Recovery Ventilation) system scrubs the heat out of the air 24 hours-a-day and puts it back into the incoming fresh air. For a small family fully living in a smart home, a 8” SIP wall will hoard approximately 20oC of inside heat before the furnace adds heat.

9. SIPs reduce construction waste and associated costs. Expensive waste removal to the landfill is eliminated when SIPS replace framing.  SIPs reduce the size requirements of heating and reduce or eliminate air conditioning needs. Ventilation systems balance the air for a truly “healthy home”. SIP BC whole systems also eliminate all drywall cracking on exterior walls and ceilings.

10. SIPs reduce site theft. SIPs are difficult to steal since the size and specialized cuts make them impossible to load quick & easy. Often SIPs will deliver and install all in the same day too!