Some Examples of our building Techniques
What most likely comes to mind when you envision a new home being built is something called “stick framing.” This building system takes its name from the fact that workers assemble the skeleton of the home – wall studs, floor and ceiling joists, and roof trusses or rafters – stick-by-stick, usually on the jobsite, using lumber cut to varied sizes. This includes the familiar “2 by 6,” which has dimensions of roughly two inches by six inches.
Structural Insulated Panels
A Structural Insulated Panel, or SIP, is a sandwich of rigid foam insulation between oriented strand board (OSB) that results in a structural panel. SIPs come with pre-cut window and door openings as well as conduit for electrical wiring. They’re used for walls and ceilings, and can be combined to create nearly any home design. Specially trained crews assemble them on the jobsite. They’re often used to cover a traditional timber frame, or post-and-beam structure, but they can also be self-supporting.
A SIP home tends to be well insulated and draft free, so it needs less energy to heat and cool than a typical stick frame. As such, you may need a smaller heating and cooling system.
While the materials for the building shell will cost more than a wood frame, builders who offer this system claim that overall cost roughly equals stick framing, and may even be lower. That’s because it takes less labor to assemble the panels, and the insulation is already in place.
S.I.P. Structural Insulated Panels- They are manufactured outside or our company…specifically manufactured for us with our designs.
SIPs consist of an insulating, expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam core laminated between two sheets of oriented strand board (OSB) using a structural adhesive. This engineered system provides an extremely strong building panel that needs no additional frame or skeleton for support.
We have watched the building industry mature and the materials change and develop to the point where the structure can be so efficient it consumes a minimum amount of energy and still provide a very comfortable living or working space. This is accomplished while still giving the design professionals complete freedom to create the look and feel the customer is working toward.
The Structural Insulated Panel building systems we work with adds little to the overall cost of the building and through energy efficiency SIPs will pay for itself in a very short period of time. A great new article just hit the press by an Architect in Texas on building with SIP … .
Structurally Laminated expanded Polystyrene (ePS)
Oriented Strand Board (OSB)
There are several advantages to building with a system like this, including:
Outside air leaking into the home, or air infiltration, is responsible for 40 percent of heat or cooling loss in the average home. Almost any article you read regarding energy-efficient construction, how tight the house is to air leakage is a huge consideration in the final thermal performance. To give you an idea, in a comparative test conducted by Oak Ridge National Laboratories (a multi-program science and technology national laboratory managed for the United States Department of Energy), researchers built two identical 2,600 sq. ft. homes, one made of SIPs and one with conventional wood framing and fiberglass insulation. The SIP research home was five times more airtight than the wood-frame room when measured by a blower door test.
Did you think I was kidding when I said they spread them “all around”? Despite the fact that this house isn’t ridiculously large (under 4,000 square feet total) there were SIPs literally laying in stacks on almost every available piece of ground.
In the picture above, you can see the 7/16″ OSB laminated on to the styrofoam (expanded polystyrene or EPS). The overhang you see is to allow the panels to nest together and to sit properly on the sill plate. What’s a sill plate? Go to the next picture…
This is a picture of a sill plate – a double sill plate actually – sitting on our post-tensioned concrete slab. These are treated 2x’s that are anchor-bolted down to the slab. The reason there are two is because you don’t want to have your OSB sitting directly on the concrete slab. Water and OSB don’t really like one-another and the first sill plate holds the SIPs off the ground by 1 1/2″ … the second, slightly smaller 2x sits into the channel of the styrofoam we saw in the previous photo. You can also see that the joints between the two sill plates receive caulking to help create a tighter seal (it’s also super sticky).
Another great SIP article in a trade magazine: http://www.builderonline.com/building-science/passive-resistance.aspx
Article on Healthy Home with OSB