Structural Insulated Panels: How They Work and Why You Should Use Them

Structural Insulated Panels: How They Work and Why You Should Use Them

Oct 26, 2018, 5:40:55 PM Life and Styles

Typically, most homes use a wooden lattice framework for structural support. It’s cheap, and it’s easy to use. A lot of homes all around the world use this type of construction framework. However, it’s not the only option you have. Some options are far better regarding energy efficiency and cost. One of the top residential construction materials used in the industry today is the structural insulated panel or SIP.


History of structural insulated panels

Most construction specialists compare structural insulated panels (SIPs) to Oreo cookies. They consist of a layer of foam sandwiched between layers of plywood or oriented strand board (OSB). This type of prefabricated construction material was introduced in the market in the 1950s. The sales of structural panels skyrocketed in the 1970s after manufacturers positioned SIPs as a cost-effective and energy-efficient substitute for traditional construction materials.


Why you should choose this type of construction material

Structural insulated panels are indeed energy efficient. Thanks to the thick foam layer, you can finally eliminate cold and heat bridges in your house. Once your home is free from thermal bridges, you can retain heat better, most especially during the cold seasons. You don’t have to turn up the thermostat setting just to enjoy a comfortable temperature inside your house. If you want to reduce your carbon footprint and electricity consumption significantly, building a SIP house may be a good option for you.


How does a typical SIP work?

A structural insulated panel is prefabricated in a factory. Special machines and computer programs are used to manufacture it. The foam material is mostly made from expanded polystyrene. However, some manufacturers use more expensive and durable options such as polyisocyanurate and polyurethane.

To help homeowners like you install electrical wiring with ease, manufacturers create narrow channels called wire chases inside the foam. You can install the wires as you position each panel. The manufacturers will also cut the door or window openings on your behalf. It doesn’t matter what size or shape you want to use. Your chosen SIP manufacturer will create the panels according to your specifications.


Structural insulated panels are the best choice

SIPs offer a lot of benefits. If you haven’t decided on which construction material to use in building your house or room extension, you should include a structural insulated panel in your selection. This type of panel is worth your money. It lasts for many years, and it helps keep the interior temperature tolerable, regardless of the season.

The only downside to this type of material is that it may be hard to install on your own. First-time users may find it hard to install a SIP without the aid of a professional. You will need to check the electrical wiring plan so that the installer will know where to put the wire chases. Don't attempt to create the wire chases on your own because you might compromise the integrity of the structure. Only trust a seasoned insulated panel installer to help you with your construction or extension project.


Published by Zachary McGavin

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