SIP’s! What are they?

SIP’s in the UK have only in recent decades become a noted method of construction, most commonly used in the construction of residential properties and small commercial projects, despite having existed since the 1930’s. The first instance of a SIP’s building was in Wisconsin, USA, 1937 and was even dedicated by the First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. The building survived the harsh Wisconsin climate and ultimately stood the test of time with its removal to make way for a larger building in 1998. Since 1937 like most things developments have been made and more modern materials used resulting in panels with better insulation and structural integrity.

Wisconsin, Forest Products Laboratory, stressed skin panel building.

A SIP’s panel, simply put, is a form of insulated foam core sandwiched between 2 pieces of OSB this provides a very strong building material which has insulation built in.

There are many benefits to using SIP panels when it comes to construction, a few of those are:

Reduced build time: Due to the format of using large panels wall sections can be erected very quickly, often once a foundation has been placed and the walls ready to be put in place, the shell of a SIP building can be completed in a matter of days. One of our Garden Lodges can be completed in a matter of weeks, depending on size usually between 4-6 weeks of construction time.

Better Insulation: The panels, as it says in the name, have the insulation at the core of the building and because they can be slotted together very precisely there are much less cold bridges and the buildings are very air tight allowing for a better control over temperature.

Less wastage: SIP’s are often prepared in a factory before they are then sent to site, this allows for less wastage on site and very minimal wastage during manufacturing.

Green: The insulation for SIP’s is built into the structure, removing the need to add insulation at a later date, providing a very well insulated home reducing heating bills etc. The OSB used to construct the SIP’s is also sourced from young fast growing trees, which makes for a very renewable source and young trees can process carbon dioxide better than older trees therefore, reducing the overall CO2 emissions created.

We have now worked with SIP’s for a considerable time, and we are always comforted when visiting customers and they tell us how warm and cosy their new garden rooms feel, because of the insulation very minimal levels of heating are required to maintain a comfortable temperature in the lodges. They are also often taken aback at how quick the process is, from when the materials turn up on site to when they are able to move into the annexe. If you want to build at a specific time of year through us, then the best thing to do is book a site survey a month or 2 before you would like to build.

It may surprise you that even with these huge beneficial factors of using SIP’s, brick and mortar is still a more commonly used format of which to build and one of the simple answers to this is because it is still functional and it is the most widely known format for building a home. For large homebuilding companies to retrain would provide a fairly substantial cost and ultimately why fix something that isn’t broken? but we ask why not have something a bit better?

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