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Engineered Wood Advantages vs. Dimensional Lumber: A Game-Changer for Builders

When it comes to building materials, the choice between engineered wood and dimensional lumber is an important decision that can greatly impact the quality, efficiency, budget and longevity of a construction project.

Premier SIPS (structural insulated panel systems) are an excellent solution for builders to take advantage of both engineered wood and offsite construction methods. SIP panels are factory produced with structural grade OSB engineered wood for the structural facings as well as other header & LVL elements (per plan).SIP Components 

Common dimensional lumber studs are not needed in SIPs, and a SIP panel system has approximately 80% less lumber than conventional site framed construction. Offsite factory fabrication of SIP building envelope components further enabled the engineered materials to be optimized and use most all of a manufactured panel, and any waste is reused or recycled in the factory.

Framing Factor - SIPs reduce lumber 80 percent

Engineered wood components, such as laminated veneer lumber (LVL) and structural grade-oriented strand board (OSB) used in SIPs, offers numerous advantages over traditional dimensional lumber.  Read on to explore the key benefits of engineered wood and how they translate into advantages for builders, including improved quality, enhanced precision, faster installation, reduced waste, and often structural warranties.


Benefits of Engineered Wood

  1. Precision and Predictability:

One of the major advantages of engineered wood is its precision and predictability. Engineered wood products are manufactured to precise specifications, resulting in consistent dimensions and quality. Unlike dimensional lumber, which can have natural variations and imperfections, engineered wood provides builders with uniformity and reliability. This precision allows for more accurate construction, ensuring straight and plumb buildings, which enhances the overall quality of the end product.

Site framed lumber vs engineered sips

  1. Strength and Size:

Engineered wood is designed to be stronger and more structurally stable than dimensional lumber. By combining multiple layers of wood or wood fibers, engineered wood products can achieve enhanced strength and load-bearing capabilities. Large Panel Flying inThis increased strength allows for the use of lighter components without sacrificing structural integrity. Moreover, engineered wood can be manufactured in larger sizes than natural timber, providing flexibility in design and reducing the need for joining smaller pieces together.  Premier SIPS come in sizes of up to 8’x24’ enabling huge sections to be factory manufactured and installed in minutes rather than hours or days.

  1. Warranty:

Another advantage of using engineered wood is the availability of structural warranties. Many engineered wood manufacturers offer warranties on their products, providing builders with peace of mind. These warranties demonstrate the confidence that manufacturers have in the durability and performance of their engineered wood products, which can be a significant advantage for builders seeking long-term quality assurance. Premier SIPS roof, wall and floors carry a 20-year structural warranty and 50-year thermal warranty, something you won’t find with non-engineered lumber products and assemblies.

Advantages for Builders:

Better Quality End Product:

Large Panels with FrameGuard

Engineered wood's dimensional stability ensures straight and plumb buildings, reducing the need for on-site adjustments. This not only saves time but also improves the overall aesthetics and functionality of the structure. Builders can achieve precise alignments and eliminate the frustrations associated with working with natural timber's inherent inconsistencies.

Straight and Plumb Buildings:

The precision, strength, and predictability of engineered wood contribute to the production of a superior end product. By using engineered wood, builders can create structures with tighter tolerances, minimizing issues such as warping, twisting, or settling. The result is a building that not only looks better but also performs better over time.

Bowed Lumber

Faster Installation:

Panel TiltEngineered wood's consistent dimensions and predictable behavior enable faster installation compared to dimensional lumber. The uniformity of engineered wood products allows for efficient and streamlined construction processes and the larger factory manufactured product sizes can eliminate piecing together smaller lumber components. Engineered components also eliminate the guess work and human error of site measuring and cutting (much of which contribute to poor construction and an increase of builder call backs). Builders can save time and labor costs by working with materials that fit together seamlessly, reducing construction timelines. (View time lapse videos “SIPs in Action” of engineered SIP installations which are proven to regularly cut framing time by 55%.)

Reduced Call Backs:

By utilizing large engineered wood components, builders can significantly reduce call-backs and warranty claims. The strength and stability of engineered wood products minimize the risk of structural issues, such as sagging floors or cracked walls. This translates into improved customer satisfaction and reduced costs associated with fixing or addressing construction-related problems.

Call Back IssuesEngineered wood products also test much stronger than dimensional lumber. In fact, engineered SIPs roof and wall panels are tested and verified 55% stronger than a typical 2x6” stick framed lumber assembly. This is due in part to the engineered structural OSB facings, as well as the moisture cured structural adhesive used in the lamination process of each panel. Premier’s Structural Insulated Panel assemblies are so strong they are approved in all seismic zones, approved in coastal regions and the Structural Insulated Panel Association documents how SIPs are hurricane approved in challenging counties like Miami Dade, FL. Watch this video to see how the structural engineered OSB, when laminated in a SIP assembly, delivers exceptional strength.

SIPS Strong vs Lumber

Reduced Waste and Disposal Costs:

Lumber Waste3Engineered wood is manufactured ensuring optimized use of resources and reduced waste. The manufacturing process allows for efficient utilization of timber, minimizing scrap and offcuts. Additionally, engineered wood products often come in larger sizes, reducing the number of pieces required and subsequently reducing waste disposal costs.

According to the NAHB, the average new construction home site has 8000 lbs of waste (50 cubic yards), and dimensional lumber is expensive to throw away. Builders regularly see a minimum of a 30% cost savings on waste disposal costs when framing high performance building envelopes out of engineered SIPs.

Reducing jobsite waste means less scrap sent to the landfills to rot, and less wood material wasted. With trees being a critical component in CO2 production, responsible wood/lumber use has a positive impact on the planet.  New call-to-action


Engineered Wood Delivers More Than Cost Savings

Engineered wood presents a host of advantages over dimensional lumber, making it an ideal choice for builders. From precision and predictability to increased strength and size, engineered wood offers improved quality, faster installation, reduced waste, and often structural warranties. By embracing the benefits of engineered wood, builders can elevate the quality and strength of homes and buildings created, while making a positive impact on the environment. Lumber then vs SIPs now




Find Your Local Rep

As the oldest manufacturer in the SIPs industry, Premier’s SIP system is the proven prefabricated building envelope framing system for your next commercial or residential structure. Faster, stronger, and greener than outdated lumber framing methods, SIPs are the future of framing. Join the other thousands of structures built with SIPs, and contact the expert in your local region to get started.

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