Friday, April 22, 2011

Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) Make Good Sense

When we talk about the buildings we make at Shelter, one of the most frequently asked questions is, "What is a SIP?"

Stacks of SIPs before installation
The first time I saw a Structural Insulated Panel (SIP), I thought it looked like an ice cream sandwich. That's essentially how a SIP is made: EPS (expanded polystyrene) insulation laminated between sheets of OSB (oriented strand board). SIPs are not new to the homebuilding market. Fine Homebuilding notes that SIPs have been used since the 1940s.

Why do homebuilders, including Shelter, use SIPs in construction? As Fine Homebuilding succinctly points out, "[s]tructural insulated panels make stronger homes that go up faster and reduce energy bills dramatically."