While HomeSource Custom Homes has for over 35 years primarily built custom stick-built homes, in recent years we’ve been utilizing structural insulated panels (SIPs) in response to our clients’ desire for a more energy efficient building envelope.
Structural insulated panels (SIPs) are high performance building panels used in floors, walls, and roofs. The panels consist of an insulating foam core sandwiched between two structural facings, typically oriented strand board (OSB). SIPs are manufactured under factory controlled conditions and can be fabricated to fit nearly any building design. The result is a building system that is extremely strong, energy efficient and cost effective.
Building with SIPs initially costs slightly more than building with wood frame construction but when you factor in the smaller heating and cooling systems that are required along with potential 40% – 70% monthly energy costs savings, SIPs generally costs about the same with better long-term value.
SIP homes go up much faster than traditionally framed buildings. A properly trained SIP installation crew can cut framing time by 55 percent compared to conventional wood framing, according to an independent third party study conducted by R.S. Means. Panels are manufactured as big as 8- by 24-ft., so entire wall and roof sections can be put up quickly, reducing dry-in time. SIPs are ready to install when they arrive at the jobsite, eliminating the time needed to perform the individual jobsite operations of framing, insulating and sheathing stick-framed walls. Electrical chases are typically provided in the core of panels, so there is no need to drill through studs for wiring.
A high performance building envelope often allows HVAC equipment to be downsized and ductwork to be minimized. Builders can also significantly reduce jobsite waste disposal and temporary heat during construction. Homeowners that incorporate other energy-efficient features into a SIP home can see utility savings of 50 percent or more.
Structural insulated panels are one of the most environmentally responsible building systems available. A SIP building envelope provides continuous insulation, is extremely airtight, allows for better control over indoor air quality, reduces construction waste, and helps save natural resources. Life cycle analysis has shown that SIP homes have a tremendous positive environmental impact by reducing energy use and greenhouse gas emissions throughout the home’s life cycle.
The airtightness of the SIP building envelope prevents air from gaining access to the interior of the home except in controlled amounts. A controlled indoor environment is both healthy and comfortable. Humidity can be controlled more easily in a SIP home, resulting in a home that is more comfortable for occupants and less prone to mold growth and dust mites.
SIPs are compatible with almost any building system. Wall panels can sit on a variety of foundation materials, including poured concrete, blocks, or insulated concrete forms. SIPs are sized to accept dimensional lumber and are seamlessly compatible with stick framing. HomeSource Custom Homes can build with SIP walls and a conventional truss roof, or stick walls and a SIP roof with little difficulty.
Why You Should Consider Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) for Your Custom Home
SIPs can be adapted to any floor plan but are also extremely popular as a method of providing a well-insulated building enclosure for timber frame structures. A timber frame home is a system using heavy timbers connected by pegged mortise and tenon joinery. Many timber framed homes today are actually hybrids, which are SIPs homes with timbers only in the great room, kitchen, dining room, and entry foyer.
Contact HomeSource Custom Homes at 636-296-0100 for more information about SIPs and timber framed homes. Our display showcase display home at 3787 W. Outer Rd, in Arnold, MO is open daily from 10:00 am – 6:00 pm Monday –Saturday, with extended hours until 9:00 pm every Wednesday.