Structural Insulated Panels

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Materials needed

Structural Insulated Panels or SIPS for short are a sandwich type wall. they are usually made of OSB panels and expanded polystyrene. The O.S.B panels are placed on the outside and the polystyrene is placed in the middle. Different materials can be used to make a S.I.P. The outside for example can be made from steel, aluminum and cement board. The center of the wall can be made of agricultural fibers such as wheat straw.

Origins of Structural insulating panels.

The idea of SIPS started in about the 1930's. research of the technology was done mostly by Forest Products Laboratory. The technology initiated as a U.S forest service to conserve forest resources. A small house made by using this technology was built. The small house gained enough attention to be brought to the first lady Eleanor Roosevelt. It was suggested that better materials be used. So in 1947 a new set of materials were brought up. The materials worked quite well. Until this day this technology is used.

Basic steps to building a house with Structural Insulated Panels.

There is not much difference between building with SIPS than with building with regular frame panels. Larger SIPS panels need the use of lifting equipment smaller SIP panels can be carried by man force. Some material specially designed for use with SIP panels are needed like special adhesive. To cut through the panels special saws are needed. Other than these nothing else is required.

Disadvantages to using Structural Insulated Panels.

As with any other type of building materials there are advantages and drawbacks to using structural insulated panels. Depending on the material being used there are different drawbacks and advantages. When using plywood as the outer layer of the panel, there will be more lateral strength but plywood must be treated to avoid termites and this type of material is not heat resistant. When using fiber cement siding there is resistance to termites mold and fires, the availability of panel sizes are quite scarce.
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