SIPs - Telwood Invest

Structural Insulated
What is SIP?
SIP is an acronym that stands for Structural
Insulated Panel.
SIPs represent a revolution in building
technology. The large, light, easily assembled
prefabricated panels make it possible to erect
houses and other buildings quickly and with
minimal expense.
Development of “stressed‐skin” panels for buildings began in the
1930s. Engineering and durability testing was conducted at the
Forest Products Laboratory (FPL) in Madison, Wisconsin, a facility
operated by the U.S. Forest Service.
FPL tested the concept of using skins to carry a portion of
structural loads by building a small house in 1937.Wall studs in
the panels were 3/4” x 2 ½,” rather than the usual 2” x 4”. First
Lady Eleanor Roosevelt dedicated the house, and the structure is
currently a daycare center run by the University of Wisconsin.
FPL scientists reasoned that if skins could take part of the
structural loads, maybe they could eliminate framing
entirely. Engineering theory was developed and tested, and a
complete structure was built in 1947 using corrugated
paperboard. This structure was heated, humidified, and exposed
to Wisconsin weather for 31 years.
The structure was disassembled periodically for testing to
observe changes in panel stiffness, and bowing was minimal. In
1969 foam cores were introduced to form the modern structural
insulated panel.
What is SIP made of ?
Typical SIP
Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs)
The EPS foam core provides shear strength, while
the exterior skins of OSB provide tensile and
compressive strength. As compared to an I-beam,
the panel skins are analogous to the flanges,
while the core is its web. The completed panels
offer the utmost in R-value, fire resistance, and
ease of construction. They are the key structural
component in "one-piece" construction, which is
significantly stronger than similarly configured
stick-built structures.
Oriented Strand Board (OSB)
First developed in the 1980's, is a wood panel that has been
"engineered to perform" for housing and construction. OSB is
not chipboard, flakeboard particleboard or aspenite. It has
been specifically designed to be the most dependable,
versatile, and environmentally efficient wood panel on the
market today. OSB uses only freshly harvested trees from
sustainable fast growing forests or tree farms. The trees are
processed into precise strands averaging 4 inches long and 1
inch wide. The strands are oriented length-wise on the
exterior and cross-aligned on the interior. The alternating
layers are then bonded with resins under high heat and
pressure. The resulting product is very strong and uniform and
shares many of the same properties as plywood. Because of
its great versatility and performance, we have chosen OSB in
all areas of our homes where strength, stiffness, and
durability are required.
Expanded Polystyrene (EPS)
EPS has proven to be the most cost-effective panel core
insulation material available. EPS has the highest R-value
per dollar invested. Its R-value per inch is much higher than
fiberglass or cellulose insulations. "R" means resistance to
heat flow. The higher the R-value, the greater the insulating
power. EPS is also physically stable, unlike fiberglass or
cellulose, which tend to settle with time, creating voids and
many thermal breaks. Unlike most insulation products, the
R-value of EPS increases as the temperature drops. EPS is
an inert, organic, recyclable material. It contains no CFC's,
HCFC's, or HFC's, will not rot, is resistant to mildew, and
provides no food value to animals (including rodents).
New materials in SIPs production
OSB is not the only finish surface available for
SIPs. Interior and exterior skins can also be
varied metals, fiber cement board, plywood or
magnesite board (MGB), to name a few.
In production of SIPs new and better materials
could be used that outperform both OSB and EPS.
XPS (Extruded Polystyrene) or PUR
(Polyurethane) foam could be used as core
instead of EPS. Both of them have better
mechanical and insulation properties than EPS.
Magnesite boards (MGB) that are water-proof
and fire-proof (A1) could be used instead of OSB.
SuperSIP is a registered
trademark of EUROPANEL ltd.
(Tallinn, ESTONIA)
What is SuperSIP made of ?
XPS (Extruded Polystyrene)
XPS is a cell plastic, which is primarily made of polystyrene.
XPS excellent characteristics are based on its cell structure.
XPS cell structure is completely homogenous and sealed. It
differs significantly from the cell structure of EPS.
Due to its sealed and uniform cell structure, XPS functions
also as vapor barrier. The insulation boards are not subject
to water capillarity and they do not need to be separately
protected against moisture or freezing temperatures.
EPS 100 (18 kg/m3)
XPS 300 (32 kg/m3)
Magnesite boards (MGB)
Mixture of first grade raw materials i.e.: inorganic
substances, natural silicates Si02, CaC03, MgO, MgCI,
glassfiber mesh. 100% asbestos free, non-toxic, safe,
durable and can withstand fire, water, moisture, insects,
vermin, fungi, termite and mildew.
Typical applications:
MGB is used in a wide range of external and internal
general purpose building applications for all type of
Fire resistance: Class A1
Emission : Class M1
Why is SuperSIP super
compared to regular SIP ?
SuperSIP panels are super compared to regular SIP
panels due to the raw materials which are
laminated together.
Regular SIP panels consist of 3 layers –
OSB+EPS+OSB - and are sufficient in normal
However, in severe and demanding conditions,
better materials should be used and combined.
SuperSIP panels are made in various types and
designed according to these needs.
Fine insulation materials are polyurethane foams (PU),
but they cost more. XPS is superior to EPS and cheaper
than PU, but more costly than EPS.
In tropical and wet climate OSB is not a good option for
sheathing. SuperSIP offers a much better combination
here – MGB+XPS+MGB
When stronger panels are needed, regular and filmfaced
plywood can be used as exterior structural skin
material. Also Edge Glued Timber (EGT) panels.
To make a special SuperSIP panel that looks finished and
is extremely weatherproof, additional exterior
sheathing of Aluminum-Composite (ALC) or Fiber
Reinforced Plastic (FRP) materials can be used.
Calculating the resistance to heat flow
in SuperSIP panels
Specific heat conductivities:
λXPS = 0,037 W/(mK)
λMGB = 0,139 W/(mK)
170 mm SuperSIP panel (12 mm MGB + 146 mm XPS + 12 mm MGB)
RXPS = 0,146 / 0,037 = 3,946 m2K/W
RMGB = 2 * 0,012 / 0,139 = 0,173 m2K/W
RΣ170 = 3,946 + 0,173 = 4,119 m2K/W
K170 = 1/ RΣ170 = 0,243 W/m2K
Conforms new Finnish standard for external walls
265 mm SuperSIP panel (12 mm MGB + 241 mm XPS + 12 mm MGB)
RXPS = 0,241 / 0,037 = 6,514 m2K/W
RMGB = 2 * 0,012 / 0,139 = 0,173 m2K/W
RΣ265 = 6,514 + 0,173 = 6,687 m2K/W
K265 = 1/ RΣ265 = 0,150 W/m2K
Calculating the resistance to heat flow in
SuperSIP panels for “Passive house”
Specific heat conductivities:
λXPS = 0,031 W/(mK)
Silver EPS
λEGT = 0,14 W/(mK)
Edge glued timber (Cross fibre)
342 mm SuperSIP panel (19 mm EGT + 300 mm SEPS + 19 mm EGT)
RSEPS = 0,300 / 0,031 = 9,677 m2K/W
REGT = 2 * 0,019 / 0,14 = 0,271 m2K/W
RΣ342 = 9,677 + 0,271 = 9,948 m2K/W
K342 = 1/ RΣ342 = 0,101 W/m2K
Conforms min. standards for external walls for so-called “Passive House”
442 mm SuperSIP panel (19 mm EGT + 400 mm SEPS + 19 mm EGT)
RSEPS = 0,400 / 0,031 = 12,90 m2K/W
REGT = 2 * 0,019 / 0,14 = 0,271 m2K/W
RΣ442 = 12,903 + 0,271 = 13,17 m2K/W
K442 = 1/ RΣ442 = 0,076 W/m2K
Conforms min. standards for ceiling and floor for so-called “Passive House”
The advantages of using SIPS
are many:
Imagine Assembling Your New Home
Kit In About 3-4 Days.
Even the novice handyman will be able to build
the home of their dreams with these affordable
and easy to assemble housing packages. These
homes are manufactured with Structural
Insulated Panels (SIPs), a factory manufactured
wall system that replaces standard stick framing
and batt insulation with a solid one piece wall
section composed of two sheets of oriented
strand board (OSB) that has been adhesively
welded to a thick rigid core of Expanded
Polystyrene Foam Insulation (EPS).
• Simplifies Construction:
SIPs integrate structure with insulation. The
frame of the home and the thermal envelope are
one and the same.
• Reduced Labor Costs:
SIPs can be erected by novice crews and do it
yourself builders. Each 4' by 8' panel weighs
125 lbs (some 30 kG/m2), so no crane is usually
required for wall panels. Average erection time
for exterior wall panels is usually half a day, for a
3-man crew.
• Flexibility:
There are fewer restrictions to design and
more choices to customize from cabin to
• Finishes Apply Easily:
OSB surface provides a sturdy and continuous
nail and screw base to which exterior and
interior finishing materials can be attached.
• Easily Wired:
Pre-cut electrical chases have been built into every
panel so that the wiring of the outer walls can be easily
• Superior Strength:
Monolithic shell can withstand seismic forces better
than stick built. Our panels are rated 3-5 times stronger
than 2´x 6´ (50 mm x 150 mm) construction.
SIPs are also tested against tornados and proved to be
an excellent building system. SIPs are usable with wind
speeds up to 130 mph.
• Comfort:
Panel homes are quieter and cleaner: The thick solid
insulation reduces noise and dust infiltration.
• Reduced Energy Use:
By virtue of its solid walls and monolithic construction,
you are able to eliminate the cracks normally found in
the walls of the average stick built home. Heating and
air conditioning costs can be reduced by 50%-60% over
the life of the home.
• Quality:
SIPs walls are straight and flat with no bulging
framing members. This is virtually impossible
to achieve with old-fashioned stick framing.
• Safety
Much safer in case of an earthquake or a
• Advanced building system
Elements are prefabricated, RTA (ready-toassemble). That gives better quality control
• Better building environment
Cleaner building site, less waste.
• Good durability
SIPs are usually very resistent to mold and
• Environmentally friendly
No CFCs, all materials are recyclable.
Other Builder´s benefits:
* Reduced theft
* Lower administrative cost
* Faster profit realization
* Build year round
Other Owner´s benefits:
* Can be bought as DIY package of panels –
Do it Yourself Kit
Saving on foundation.
As building made of SIPs are very light, you can save on
Pile or pad foundation are a real alternative.
SIP technology gives you an oportunity to get additional
By replacing a typical exterior wall used in Estonia, 40 cm
thick (25 cm light clay construction block +15 cm
mineral wool insulation) with 20 cm SIP panel, your
exterior wall will be 20 cm less. A 150 m2 house (10 x
15 m) has perimeter of 50 m. On the same size
foundation it makes 50 x 0,20 = 10 m2 additional
SIPs are strong
By spreading the structural loads out over large
areas, the many individual studs used in stickframing can be eliminated.
SIPs structural designs are much stronger than
stud walls installed in comparable thickness (even
3-4 times). This strength is similar in principle to
the properties of an “I – beam”, in which the
strong top and bottom flanges (OSB) are joined
by a web (EPS insulation core)
A panel acts similar to an I‐beam section.
The strength of a panel is determined:
• Foam core thickness
• Skin tensile strength
• Skin compressive strength
When a load is applied to the top skin of the panel or I‐beam it
goes into compression, the bottom skin goes into tension.
Structural Strength of typical SIP (North American)
Sheathing – 11,1 mm OSB3
Core – EPS
150 mm thick, 1200 mm wide
64 kN/m when axially loaded
57 kN/m when eccentrically loaded by no more than ¼ of the
4 m single span – load at span/333 or 14 mm is 2,33 kN/m2
As SIP works like an I-Beam, traverse loads will increase the more
thick the sheathing and the more thick the panel itself.
SIP panels are really strong
Measures against theft
To improve the reliability of outside walls against theft, different measures
can be employed:
1. Use different cladding outside
½ brick wall
Thin ceramic cladding
Metal net + plaster
Wooden cladding
WPC (wood plastic composite) cladding
FRP (fiber reinforced plastic) cladding
ALC (aluminum composite) cladding
2. Use special panels for outside walls, which have metal net inside
3. Use window blinds
4. Always use a reliable alarm system
Making a foundation
for a SIPs building
Due to the fact that SIPs are light-weight, the
foundation of such buildings can be downsized
and even lighter types of foundations can be
One option of making a foundation for a SIPs
building is to use ICF (Insulated Concrete Forms).
These forms are usually made of EPS/XPS
By using ICF system when building a
foundation you will get:
1) easily assembled planking
2) insulated foundation
3) finished socle
House made of SIPs
Air leakage in SIP houses
More than 50% of a home’s total envelope loss may be due to
SIPs houses have significantly lower air leakage. The resulting
energy efficiency provided generally allows heating and
cooling equipment to be downsized, reducing initial capital
costs and operating costs.
• Low infiltration = shorter duct runs
• All ducts inside conditioned space
As for the “Passive House”, the air-tightness should be n50 < h-1
according to Blower Door Measurement.
Thermal envelope should be well insulated – outside wall
U < 0.097 W/m2K, ceiling and floor insulated even better.
Energy need for a Passive House is usually less than 15 kWh/m2a
Mechanical ventilation is usually a must
Due to the typical low air infiltration rate, it is
critical that a whole house ventilation system us
installed to maintain indoor air quality and control
interior humidity levels.
We will recommend to install an air-to-air
heatpump to recover the heat of the outgoing air.
Houses in the future should be built according to
the “passive house” concept.
How Does Plumbing and Electrical
Integrate with SIP Panels?
While there are some specific techniques that
builders will need to become familiar with,
building with SIPs will not create a significant
roadblock in your construction.
Traditionally, very little plumbing is included in
exterior walls regardless of the building style
used, and with Structural Insulated Panels
(SIPs) most plumbing is located to interior
SIPs can be combined with other building
elements and systems like:
* Engineered joists
* Adaptable timber and tube steel framing
enveloped with SIPs
* Glulam timber beams and frames
Simple handtools can be used
SIPs application options
SIPs can also be used to enclose a structural
frame. When SIP wall panels are attached to a
structural framework, they are sometimes
referred to as “curtain wall” panels.
Some buildings incorporate elements of both
axial wall bearing load panels and curtain wall
panels. These hybride have the efficiency of a
structural panel building and they can take
advantage of timber framing methods for
aesthetic or special load-bearing needs.
Structural frame and SIPs
An advanced technology of making
light hangars (Sweden)
Useful literature
Building with Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs): Strength and
Energy Efficiency Through Structural Panel Construction (For
Pros By Pros) [ILLUSTRATED] (Hardcover) by Michael Morley
Publisher: Taunton (September 10, 2000) , 192 pages
Builder´s Guide to Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs)
Joe Lstiburek, Ph.D.
More books and information about SIPs can be found here:
Connection details
according to SIPA
Panel connection options
I‐Joist Spline
• Increases axial and
transverse strength
• Adds minimal
thermal bridging
Patent pending innovative frame set, designed
by EUROPANEL, is available and ready to be
introduced to the market (not described here)
Will be produced by some friendly Chinese
companies according to agreements.
Manufacturing cost already calculated
Testing SIPs
SIPs as such have been comprehensively
tested for mechanical properties, insulation
values and fire-resistance in various labs and
engineering evaluations are made for
construction details.
Load charts are also readily available.
Due to the light weight of SIPs the dead loads
are very small.
SIPs and International Codes
On May 22, 2007 the International Code Counsil
(ICC) voted to incorporate Structural Insulated
Panels into the International Residential Code
The acceptance of SIPs into section R614 of the
IRC has been a long anticipated goal of SIPA
(Structural Insulated Panel Association) and will
undoubtedly bring about significant changes in
the SIPs industry.
• Builders and design professionals using SIP walls in
residential projects will no longer be required to
conduct or supply additional engineering to show
equivalency to IRC.
• Inclusion in the IRC recognizes structural insulated
panels as equal to other code approved building
2007 Supplement to the IRC
(RB34 – 06/07) Section R614
Applicability limits to SIP constructions - General
Building Dimensions: Maximum building witdh is 40’ (12,2 m)
Maximum building length is 60’ (18,3 m)
Number of stories: 2 story (above basement)
Basic wind speed:
Up to 130 mph (209 km/h)
Wind exposures:
Exposures B (suburban)
Exposures C (open terrain)
• Seismic zone:
A, B and C
• Building height:
Maximum 35’ (10,7 m)
Applicability limits to SIP floor constructions
Floor dead load
10 psf (0.48 kN/m2) maximum
Floor live load
First floor
40 psf (1.92 kN/m2) maximum
Second floor (sleeping rooms) 30 psf (1.44 kN/m2) maximum
Applicability limits to SIP wall constructions
• Wall dead load
• Load bearing wall height
• Deflection Criteria
10 psf (0.48 kN/m2) maximum
10 feet (3 m) maximum
Applicability limits to SIP roof constructions
• Roof Dead Load
• Roof Snow/Live Load
Ceiling Dead Load
Roof Clear Span
Roof Slope (Pitch)
Rake Overhang
10 psf (0.48 kN/m2) maximum
70 psf (3.35 kN/m2) maximum
ground snow load (16 psf (0.77kN/m2)
minimum Roof Live Load).
5 psf (0.24 kN/m2) maximum
(unsupported) 40 feet (12.2 m)
3:12 to 12:12
2 feet (610 mm) horizontal projection
beyond exterior wall
Production of SIPs
Calculations for minimum needs
* Production facility needs to be at least 500 m2.
* Two men crew per shift to serve the
production line. Additionally a foreman who
is also a forklift driver and a storekeeper
* The avarage capacity of such production line is
ca one 4´x 9´ (1200mm x 2750mm) panel per
every 5 minutes.
* Some transport and lifting equipment needed,
also compressed air.
Production line for SIPs 4´ x 18´
(1250mm x 5500mm) maximum
To get the best set of equipment and increace
the capacity of the production line, some
changes should be made to the previous one:
* first, to change the vacuum press to a
hydraulic one, in which case it would be
possible to press a pack of panels at once.
* supply/feeding should be half-automated.
Production Cost
Production line cost starts from ca 300,000 USD
Profit margin as high as 100 %
Payback time can be as short as 6 months (working in 1 shift)
Panels prime production cost (raw materials only) depends on
the raw materials used:
120 mm panel = Magnesite board and Expanded polystyrene
12mm MGB + 96mm EPS + 12mm MGB X EUR/m2
120 mm panel = Film faced plywood and Extruded polystyrene
12mm FFP + 96mm XPS + 12mm FFP
Y EUR/m2
Additional cost to raw materials (salaries + taxes,
amortisation, rent for premises, electricity, heating, etc.):
Z EUR/m2
Detailed feasibility study and business plan available on request
SIPs in the world
The main producers of SIPs today are located
in the following countries:
USA, Canada, UK, Australia, Japan
North-American producers and SIPs system
builders have united into an association
Today´s market in USA
Marketing and Sales
Sales can be devided into sales of:
• Standard panels
• Sets of panels as by DIY principle
• Assembled walls with doors and windows
• Together with architects and building companies house packages
• Technology, know-how and franchise
Marketing plan includes use different media:
Internet, TV, Books, Training and presentations,
Fairs and exhibitions, direct marketing, etc.
Marketing and sales plan available on request.
After testing and certification according to ETA (European
Technical Approval) panels can be sold all over EU.
Sales in countries in Asia, Africa and South America, which are
not so wealthy, but where there is a hugh need for affordable
houses. They usually have state-controlled and guaranteed
national housing programms, backed up by local banks.
Different types of panels can be used in different climate.
Sales of DIY sets in differnt countries all over the world. These
sets need minimum skill and only some simple hand tools to
erect and are especially suitable for smaller buildings in the
countryside – like garages, shelters, workshops and storages.
Photos from
building sites
Buildings made of SIPs
You better believe it!
SIPs building in Arctic region
Panel connection detail drawings
Thank You!
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