Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs)

Modular components for prefabrication

This accurate and efficient modular system of building - when combined with other prefabricated elements, allows us to fabricate high performance homes. Buildings that are engineered and built around science and Modern Methods of Construction (MMC).

SIPS Render
 

What are SIPs?

SIPs are high performance thermally efficient panels - formed by laminating two layers of structural board with an insulating layer of foam in between. These laminations create an engineered panel that provides structural framing, insulation, and exterior sheathing in a solid, one-piece component, used for walls, roofs and floors in new residential and commercial buildings.

One Structural Insulated Panel replaces the many pieces that make up a conventional timber framed wall.  Especially a High-Performance or Passive House equivalent in timber framed construction. These many pieces include:

  • Vapour permeable external Air Barrier (Rigid),

  • Super Insulation (non-slumping and above Code),

  • Strengthened Bracing and Framing, plus

  • an Airtight Vapour Barrier on the inside of the framing.

 

BRANZ - Assessing SIPs in New Zealand

 

The language around how we build in NZ is slowly changing. Gradually we are moving away from only using simple stick framed construction, and utilising other systems like SIPs.  With that in mind, New Zealand's own independent testing agency BRANZ is underway with detailed research and analysis into this system of building.    See more here:

BRANZ - Assessing SIPs in New Zealand

Green Building with SIPs

The World Green Building Council describes a number of ways to make a building green. 

These include:

  • Taking an intelligent approach to energy by minimising energy use in all stages of a building’s life-cycle,

  • Safeguarding water resources by efficiently harvesting water for safe indoor use, and managing waste water sustainably,

  • Minimising waste and maximising reuse - using fewer, more durable materials and generating less waste,

  • Promoting health and wellbeing through design by incorporating fresh air, natural light, aspect / views and comfort,

  • Keeping our environment green to preserve, enhance and regenerate nature,

  • Creating resilient and flexible structures designed for flexibility and dynamic uses, anticipating (climate and other) changes over time,

  • Connecting communities and people physically, socially and technologically through diverse and contextual environments,

  • Considering all stages of a building's life-cycle (and it’s embodied energy) during design, construction, operation and maintenance, through to renovation and eventual demolition.

 

Structural insulated panels (SIPs) are one of the most airtight and well insulated building systems available, making them an inherently green product. An airtight SIP building will use less energy to heat and cool, allow for better control over indoor environmental conditions, and reduce construction waste. 

 

Internationally studies have shown SIPs built with the above materials have a significantly lower CO2 footprint when compared to traditional timber-framed houses across whole-of-life impact. The fabrication of the panels is a highly efficient process. OSB (Oriented Strand Board) sheathing comes from sustainably managed forests and uses 85% of the usable timber on a tree, compared to 35%
with framing. The imported OSB used in NZ SIPs has half the level of Formaldehyde (important when considering off-gassing) typically found in plywood.


EPS(Expanded PolyStyrene) is completely inert, dimensionally stable and is fully encapsulated within panels and connective timbers when construction is complete.  Clean EPS is fully recyclable in New Zealand.