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Building Green with Structural Insulated Panels
Green Building Information from BuiltGreenCo.com
There are two ways to set SIP walls, either by hand or by crane, depending on the size of the panels.
Fabricated panel packages can come in a variety of sizes. Panel widths are generally 4' and 8' and up
to 24' in length. We recommend panels over 12' be set with a crane. We have set some 15 footers,
by hand, it's a bit more difficult and not advised. As for roof panels and some full gabled ends, we
recommend a crane similar to how trusses are set. Built Green Co. will be happy to answer questions
and share any tips we have to make your experience a good one. Any experienced framing crew
will be able to set panels with ease and could accomplish setting large quantities in one day.
The energy savings building SIPs will pay devedends each year!
The cost of framing with SIPs can be similar if not less than other framing methods. If your goal is to achieve
energy efficiency about the only way stick framing can come close to SIPs is building thicker walls and/or appli-
cations of spray foams. If price comparisons are done, the SIPs can easily come out more cost efficitive. Additional
savings are realized with SIPs construction, the main one being general heating and cooling units cost less. In warmer
climates cooling systems may even be eliminated. If you start to factor in reduced labor costs, less waste produced,
and quicker erection times, which could accelerate the project, SIPs will become your framing of choice.
All projects are different and unique in their on way, so each project gets its own estimate per building plans. Foam
panels come in different core sizes and each has a cost per square foot. Our packages come ready to erect with no
cutting. If you prefer to cut and fit your own panels we can supply panels as slabs.
R-value of a SIP varies depending on the thickness and type of foam core used. According to studies,
the "whole-wall" R-value of a wall with a 3-1/2" EPS core is R-14 compared to R-9.8 for a 2"x 4" stick
framed wall insulated with R-11 fiberglass insulation. When the performance of the whole wall system is
considered, SIPs perform better than traditional systems because uniform fabrication of components
without gaps or air pockets provides a more uninterrupted insulation layer. They are also designed for
efficient field installation that reduces air infiltration, and there are few thermal breaks or penetrations
in the panels that are typical of stick frame construction.
Structural Insulated Panels is a framing system which uses sandwiched solid foam core, Expanded
Polystyrene (EPS), between sheets of OSB plywood. SIPs systems can be used for walls, floors, and
roofs. These panel systems are assembled on site using a connection system. The connection systems
consists of splines and plates that have multiple beads of sealant and are nailed or stapled in place.
Structural members are incorporated into the panel assembly. When these components are assembled
the shell framing would be complete. So as framing goes up so does the structures insulation. Electrical
and plumbing systems are also incorperated into the systems. Proper planning and construction need to
be followed as with all building practices.
SIP Construction Equipment
How Do SIPs Compare in Cost?
What are SIP's R-Value?
The Tightest Building Envelopes Available - SIPs
Framing nail gun with compressor
Large sized caulking gun
Tall sized or plate type level
100' measuring tape
Hand tools for framing
Large 10 lb.sledge
Screw gun with good power
Circular saw for bracing
Crane with qualified operator
10' long 3/4" pipe clamps
14 ga. or 16 ga. staple gun
Pneumatic caulk gun
And, of course, gas grill
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