Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs)
Structural insulated panels (SIPs) are high-performance building panels. SIPs save energy and resources. SIPs allow for better control over indoor air quality. SIPs have a significantly lower environmental impact than conventional wood framing and fiberglass insulation. Not only do SIPs save energy, they also help decrease carbon emissions, water pollution, deforestation, damage to natural habitats, and emissions of other ozone harming gases. SIPs share the same structural properties as an I-beam. The rigid insulation core acts as a web, while the OSB sheathing exhibits the same properties as the flanges. The I-beam structural characteristics make SIPs home extremely strong to survive from natural disasters like earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes and straight-line winds(Download Stories of SIP Homes survived natural disasters). SIPs combine several components of conventional building, such as studs and joists, insulation, vapor barrier and air barrier. They can be used for many different applications, such as exterior wall, roof, floor and foundation systems(Example of a net-zero energy SIP home).
To view the technical specifications of TTS’ R-ThermTM SIPs, please click here.
SIPs Home Stories (www.realhousing.net)
"Freeze proof". During the late 1990s, several New England SIP homes survived over a week without power or a wood stove and never came close to freezing. SIPA(The Structural Insulated Panel Association) reported that on the night of January 13, 2011, a cold spell in Morrison, Illinois dropped temperatures to 0 degrees Fahrenheit. Mr. Terry Schroth wondered if the cold temperatures might damage the recently installed drywall and interior finish work of his new 2,000 sq. ft. SIP shop. All he could do was plug in two small 1500-watt space heaters and hope for the best. When he arrived the next morning, interior temperatures had held through the night at 60 degrees. No damage had been done to any of the finished work or equipment.
"Survive from natural disasters"
Kobe, JAPAN 1995. In January 1995, a severe earthquake – hitting 7.2 on the Richter scale – devastated Kobe located southwest of Tokyo. So-called “quake-proof” elevated highways toppled, railways were destroyed, and entire blocks of houses leveled. It was documented that six three-story homes, all built with SIPs, that were located between 10 and 20 miles from the quake’s epicenter. All six homes survived with no structural damage.
Guam, 1993. On August 8, 1993, an earthquake that measured 8.1 on the Richter scale – the world’s strongest earthquake in four years – struck Guam. Fred Prinz inspected many of the units he had built with SIPs. He found no evidence of any damage to any (SIP) structure at all. The buildings rode the earthquake so well that he could not even find hairline cracks in the drywall taping.
August 1992, Andrew – the most destructive hurricane in U.S. history. It flattened thousands of structures in Florida. Yet on 125th Street, a church and residence built with SIP panels survived without structural damage. After Andrew ravaged south Florida, it moved back out over the Gulf of Mexico, regained its category-5 wind speeds, moved northwest, and slammed into the Mississippi Delta on August 26, 1992. The town of Franklin was hit by 160+ mph winds for five hours. A home built with SIP panels survived with minor damage to the ceiling of the attached porch but no structural damage. By comparison, numerous houses were destroyed.
September 1989, Hugo. A category-4 hurricane (Hugo) struck Charleston in 1989 with a vengeance, causing over a billion dollars worth of damage to buildings, roads, and other infrastructure. Three cottages built with floor, wall, and ceiling panels from SIPs withstood the hurricane with no structural damage, while adjacent homes suffered serious structural damage, including loss of roofs and walls.
August 1998, Bonnie. For 24 straight hours Hurricane Bonnie delivered sustained winds over 100 mph along the North Carolina coast. A home being built with SIPs was framed, sided, shingled, and dry walled, but not yet finished. Through it all, the only loss the house experienced was a broken bathroom window and minor water damage. The 1,300sf ranch, made with SIP floors, walls and cathedral ceiling, did not suffer any drywall cracking.
September 2008, Ike. A beach house built in Galveston, Texas with SIP floors, walls and roofs was nearing completion when the third most destructive hurricane in U.S. history came ashore. Upon inspection, the interior was found completely dry, and no structural damage was found. The neighboring homes on each side were completely destroyed.
Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) structures have also withstood tornados in Georgia and straight-line winds in Michigan.
Advantages of TTS’ R-ThermTM SIPs
TTS’ SIPs offer a broad range of advantages over conventional framed buildings:
- TTS can provide customized SIPs tailored to our clients’ needs and specifications. SIPs can be provided that include both interior drywall panels and pre-made exterior finishes, as well as pre-framed windows and doors that save end users money and time.
Superior performance characteristics
- TTS’ R-ThermTM SIPs create a building envelope that is airtight and extremely well-insulated (R-36 of 6"wall).
- Our SIPs offer a significant increase in structural strength over conventional framed homes, including shear, tensile and compressive strength, bending strength, and axial load-bearing capacity.
- Because TTS’ SIPs are highly resistant to local loading, railings, cabinets, fixtures, and wall-mounted brackets can be anchored anywhere on interior walls.
- TTS’ SIPs resist buckling and bending, and are superior to framed walls in their resistance to shearing forces, a critical structural attribute for resisting extreme wind, hurricane and earthquake conditions.
- TTS’ SIPs are "Freeze proof". During the late 1990s, several New England SIP homes survived over a week without power or a wood stove and never came close to freezing. SIPA(The Structural Insulated Panel Association) reported that on the night of January 13, 2011, a cold spell in Morrison, Illinois dropped temperatures to 0 degrees Fahrenheit. Mr. Terry Schroth wondered the cold temperatures might damage the recently installed drywall and interior finish work of his new 2,000 sq. ft. SIP shop. All he could do was plug in two small 1500-watt space heaters and hope for the best. When he arrived the next morning, interior temperatures had held through the night at 60 degrees. No damage had been done to any of the finish work or equipment.
- TTS’ R-ThermTM SIPs standard properties:
Ease of installation
- Installation of TTS’ SIPs is simple and requires much less labour than traditional framed houses. A three-person crew can typically complete the panel erection of a standard 2000 sq. ft. home in as little as a single day, and complete the installation within three days.
- TTS’ SIPs are manufactured in a highly controlled factory environment with rigorous quality control measures, resulting in a final product of exceptionally high quality and consistency.
- Less forest acreage is required to build a SIP home than a conventional wood framed house.
- Through the use of advanced optimization software and automated fabrication technology to produce a product that meets client specifications, TTS’ SIPs drastically reduce the waste generated during construction. TTS’ production line also employs a state-of-the-art material recycling system so that no waste is produced during SIP production.
- TTS’ SIPs are highly energy-efficient compared to conventional framed homes, reducing the energy requirements by 290 barrels of oil over the lifecycle of a typical 1,100 sq. ft. home.
- TTS’ SIP line has higher throughput and is more automated than other SIP production lines, resulting in increased production rates and a significant reduction in production costs.
- The energy efficiency of TTS’ SIP buildings results in reduced GHGs and other toxic emissions that cause global warming, acid rain and ozone depletion. TTS’ SIPs are also lighter than conventional wood framing materials, consuming less fuel to transport, and because they are produced from less wood, SIPs reduce deforestation, contributing to carbon sinks.
- A recent Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) conducted by BASF Corporation evaluated the total environmental impact of SIPs, taking into account their entire life cycle, from raw material extraction through production, operation, and demolition. The LCA confirmed that SIPs have a significantly lower environmental impact than conventional wood framing with fibreglass insulation, reducing energy consumption and decreasing carbon emissions, water pollution, deforestation, damage to natural habitats, and emissions of other ozone harming gases.
- Because they are airtight, buildings constructed using TTS’ SIPs provide a high degree of control over indoor air quality, allowing occupants to filter out contaminants and allergens and dehumidify incoming air, which reduces mould growth. Our SIPs do not contain any volatile organic compounds (VOCs) or other harmful chemicals that can affect occupant health, and the components used meet some of the most stringent standards for indoor air quality.
Lower energy costs
The airtight building envelope provided by TTS’ SIPs results in substantially reduced energy costs associated with heating and cooling a building, and allows for the installation of a smaller and less expensive HVAC system, saving homeowners an average of $29.32 per month in energy costs.
Upcoming Improvements to TTS’ SIPs
TTS also has a series of planned upgrades to its SIP production line, including:
- Transitioning to the use of natural oil polyol (NOP) foam derived from canola, soybean and grains, rather than petroleum-based PU foam;
- Including up to 10% natural fibres in the insulation component of our SIPs, reducing the quantity of foam utilized and further reducing the cost of our SIPs while maintaining the thermal resistance characteristics;
- The use of TTS’ unique microwave technology, which increases significantly reduces curing times and increases the energy efficiency of the production process versus conventional SIP manufacturing, reducing the GHGs associated with production even further.
Last Updated on Thursday, 24 January 2013 00:45