Opting for SIPs not only results in high-performing buildings that are stronger and healthier, but it also opens the door to..
The construction and operation of buildings has a significant impact on the environment. Buildings account for 39% of total U.S. energy usage and 38% of carbon dioxide emissions. Sustainable buildings use less energy, reducing carbon dioxide emissions and playing an important role in combating global climate change. Buildings also use a tremendous amount of natural resources to construct and operate. Constructing sustainable buildings that use these resources more efficiently, while minimizing pollution that can harm renewable natural resources, is crucial to a sustainable future.
Sustainable Building With SIPs
Structural insulated panels (SIPs) are one of the most airtight and well-insulated building systems available (more on this here), allowing for better control over indoor environmental conditions. Reduced energy consumption for heating and cooling throughout a building's life is SIPs’ most substantial contribution to preserving the environment.
SIPs Save Energy
Year after year, SIP buildings consume less energy than comparable stick frame structures. Building with SIPs creates a superior building envelope with high thermal resistance and minimal air infiltration. Time and time again, SIPs structures are between 40-60% more energy efficient than outdated framing methods.
An Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) whole-wall r-value study shows that a 4-inch SIP wall (nominal) rated at R-14 outperforms a 2×6 stick framed wall with R-19 fiberglass insulation, as follows:
- ORNL blower door tests reveal that a SIP test room is 15 times more airtight than its stick framed counterpart with fiberglass insulation.
- Up to 40% of a home’s heat loss is due to air leakage.
- SIPs have demonstrated amazingly low blower door test results when properly sealed. Based on the reliable performance of SIPs, ENERGY STAR chose to eliminate the required blower door test for SIP homes to meet ENERGY STAR standards.
Year after year, SIP homes and buildings simply consume and emit far less energy than comparable stick frame structures.
Read more about the science behind SIPs' ability to reduce a structure’s energy consumption in our spotlight on SIPs and thermal bridging and continuous insulation.
SIPs Save Material Resources
The major components of SIPs, EPS Insulation and oriented strand board (OSB), take less energy and raw materials to produce than other structural building systems. SIPs are fabricated in a controlled factory environment, where materials are optimized with precision equipment allowing for greater material efficiency than site-built framing:
- OSB is manufactured from fast growing, underutilized, and often less expensive wood species grown in carefully managed forests – a true renewable wood resource.
- The OSB production process uses small wood chips and highly automated machinery, making OSB a very efficient use of raw materials, with a positive environmental impact when compared with many other materials. About 85-90 percent of a log can be used to make high quality structural panels, and the remainder – bark, saw trim, and sawdust – can be converted into energy, pulp chips or bark dust.
- Scrap OSB generated during the manufacturing process can be recycled into new products.
- Production of the EPS engineered insulation core uses 24% less energy than fiberglass insulation of an equivalent R-value.
- EPS is a recyclable lightweight insulation composed mostly of air. Only 2% of EPS is plastic. Over the lifetime of a building, the EPS insulation used in SIPs will save many times the energy embodied in the petroleum used to make EPS. Learn how SIPs outperforms other products in our blog highlighting several independent studies.
- Scrap EPS generated during the manufacturing process can be recycled into new EPS products.
- EPS manufacturers regularly include a portion of recycled material in new products to reuse materials and practice environmental responsibility.
SIPs Reduce Job Site Waste
The NAHB estimates that the construction of a 2000 sq. ft. home produces 7,000 lbs. of waste. SIPs have the ability to drastically reduce the waste generated during construction by using advanced optimization software and automated fabrication technology to ensure the most efficient use of material.
Outdated site framing, including measuring and cutting lumber, is typically associated with dumpsters of wood scrap (waste) and disposal costs. Superior SIPS building envelopes are factory fabricated, eliminating the waste of job site framing; as a result, Premier SIPS regularly reduces construction waste by 30%.
Our SIP panels offer higher R-values, contributing to increased energy efficiency, lower heating and cooling costs, and..
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.