What are the advantages of panelized construction over conventionally framed buildings?
Panelized homes made from , . panels are erected quickly, provide unprecedented energy efficiency, offers tremendous design flexibility and are substantially stronger than conventional framing.  In essence, the , . panelized system is the construction method of the 21st Century.
What holds the house up since framing is not used?
Structural support is provided by steel framing members placed 24" on center and screw connected to steel engines at both the top and bottom of the panels.  This assembly results in a wall exponentially stronger than a conventional 2" x 4" wall.
What are the disadvantages to this type of panelized construction?
Sips wall and roof panels are state-of-the-art construction.  As such, many builders may not be familiar with erection techniques.  Fortunately, shell erection can be handled by an experienced , . or local contractor familiar with this type of assembly.  Moreover, techniques required for construction are very easy to master, and instruction is provided by , .
Is there an advantage to the 7" panel thickness for walls and 12" panel thickness for the roof?
Yes, indeed.  This construction system provides the highest level of energy efficiency (4.35 R/1" at 25F, 3.85 R/1" at 75F) for a given wall or roof system available in the industry.  Additionally, because of the design flexibility, the homeowner receives more living space than in comparatively insulated houses, with the same outside dimensions, and vaulted (cathedral) ceilings in all living space directly below roof members.
What is the interior layout like in a Sips home?
Because the building shell provides most of the load-carrying requirements of the house, there is inordinate flexibility of interior design.  In fact, the improved volume space offered by this system is a feature favored by homeowners.  Users can select a sips home design, plan the layout themselves, or work with an architect, builder or representative to provide for all your special needs.  Unlike most houses, the structure does not constrain your design flexibility.
Sips Panels
What are Sips Panels?
Sips panels are highly insulated building panels which have a core of rigid insulation supported with exterior and interior steel framing members made from 1" x 2" 18 gauge galvanized steel.  The steel framing members are joined together with self-tapping screws to provide a warp-free integral structure.  Adjacent panels are joined with top and bottom 1-1/2" x 1-1/2" steel angles which are secured with self-tapping screws.
What kind of exterior siding can be used on the panels?
Virtually any type of exterior application can be employed.  This would include masonry, wood, vinyl or aluminum.
How are panels made?
Panels are designed, cut and assembled to very specific tolerances at the , . plant.  Each wall and roof section is custom made for a specific home.  Therefore, both builders and home owners have confidence that the system is made specifically for their use.
Are there problems with dimensional stability of the panels?
Panels are extremely stable, and while they may expand slightly, the effect is almost indefinable.
Does the R-value of the EPS experience thermal drift?
No, when properly insulated, the R-value of EPS insulation remains constant because the cellular structure contains only stabilized air.  The R-value of EPS will not decrease with age.  As a result, the thermal resistance, or R-value, may be used without age adjustment.
Why isn't there a vapor barrier in the panel?
The panel itself serves as the vapor barrier.  Most model building codes require a vapor barrier with a perm rating of 1 or less.  The perm rating of the system is less
than 1.  Moreover, with the , . system wall, voids are eliminated and therefore moisture does not condense.  Moisture is not a problem with this panelized system.  The expanded Polystyrene (EPS) material in the panels will absorb and release moisture on a seasonal basis, but there are no harmful effects from this cycling.
Do I need to add a vapor barrier or use a vapor retardant paint?
No vapor barrier is required with the panel.  The only place where moisture migration might be a concern is at panel joints;  however, these joints are sealed following installation to prevent moisture areas, such as kitchens and bathrooms, is recommended.
Environmental and Health Concerns
What are the physical properties of expanded Polystyrene (EPS)?
EPS is an advanced formulation of lightweight, closed cell plastic foam material composed of hydrogen and carbon atoms.  It is derived from petroleum and natural gas by-products and developed for high R-value, structural strength, and for safety characteristics.
Does temperature cycling affect EPS insulating characteristics?
No.  EPS is able to withstand the abuses of temperature (freeze-thaw) cycling without loss of structural integrity or other physical properties, thus assuring long term performance.
Is EPS manufactured with chloroflourocarbons (CFCs) or hydroclorofluoro carbons (HCFCs)?
No.  EPS neither contains nor uses chlorofluorocarbons, usually referred to as CFCs or hydrochloroflourocarbons, referred to as HCFCs, in its manufacturing process.
What happens when the panel burns?
When the panels burn, quantities of carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide are released; however the volume released is substantially less than that released by a comparable amount from white oak or Douglas fir.
What is the wall finish rating of , .Panels?
ASTM testing by an independent laboratory showed the wall finish rating of the panels can achieve up to a one hour rating with drywall attached.  Complete information on wall and roof finish ratings is available from.
What are the building code requirements for panels relative to fire?
Building and fire codes vary from location to location, however, typically a 15 minute finish rating is required for light construction. panels, with an interior layer of 1/2" drywall, significantly surpasses this requirement.  Complete information on wall and roof finish ratings is available from , .
Do I need an air-to-air heat exchanger?
Air-to-air heat exchangers, and/or other types of mechanical ventilation are recommended in all tight houses, including those constructed with sips panels  recommends that air-to-air heat exchangers be incorporated into all of our  sips homes.
Does EPS offer good moisture resistance?
Yes.  A study by the Energy materials Testing Laboratory has show that EPS insulation does not absorb appreciable moisture, even under conditions characteristic of prolonged, cold, damp winters.  The small amount of moisture absorbed (an average of 0.02% by weight) has little or no effect on compression and flexural strength.  Further, the EPS insulation retains between 95% and 97% of its thermal efficiency.
Finishing a , . Home
What skills are required for finishing a , . home?
General carpentry skills are all you will need to finish a home constructed with the panelized wall and roof system.  Skilled homeowners can do most of the work themselves, subcontracting work requiring specialized skills such as electrical and plumbing.
How is the roof finished?
After panel joints are sealed, 1/2" OSB or plywood is fastened to the steel structural members in the roof panels, and then felt paper and shingles are installed.
Can exterior siding be directly applied to the Sips panels?
Generally, yes.  Felt paper and other moisture barriers should not be used between the panels and siding;  however, an air barrier such as Tyvek or Typar is recommended.
How should the siding be applied?
Horizontal siding is screwed directly to the structural support members of the panels.
Are windows and doors difficult to install?
Windows and doors are ready to install in a home because of the exacting standards used to cut rough openings prior to delivery.  After 2"x8" framing, units are set into the openings and shimmed to level.  Then, the perimeters are sealed with expanding foam sealer, resulting in an energy efficient installation.
How are interior walls installed?
Interior partition walls are generally constructed of either wood or steel 2x4s and sheathed with drywall, as in conventional frame construction.  Where an interior partition wall meets an exterior wall, the edge stud is screwed into a structural support member pre-designed for that location.
How do you run wiring in panels?
Horizontal wiring runs are engineered into the panels prior to assembly, so field wiring is simplified.  Vertical runs can be field routed with minimal effort.
How are electrical boxes attached to panels?
The boxes are field screwed to the structural support members in the wall panels.
How do you run plumbing in a Sips home?
There will be almost no difference between plumbing in a Sips home and plumbing in a conventional framed house.
How are walls finished in a Sips home?
Walls are generally finished with drywall on the interior face.  Typically, the drywall is fastened with self-tapping screws to the support members of the panel;  however, some builders use construction adhesive in applying drywall to the Sips panels, enabling them to use fewer fasteners.
What is the best type of heating system for a Sips home?
Any type of heating system can be used; however, the advantages of this unique, high energy efficient panelized system will reduce the BTU loading requirement substantially from what is conventionally expected.  Where gas is available, a 50 GAL hot water tank will meet all heating and domestic hot water needs.  Therefore, work with your heating contractor, general contractor or , Representative for recommendations.
For additional information on  Sips homes, custom designs and details on shell erection and finishing, contact our company. at