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SIPs v Timber Frame

RE: SIPs v Timber Frame

Posted 19 Dec '19 09:56 PM

Structural Insulated Panels (SIP's) v Timber Frame

When researching the pro's and con's of (Structurally Insulated Panels) SIP panels v timber frame, the information available is hugely biased in favour of the SIP's.

Including the thermal efficiency, what are the other PRO's and CON's? What are peoples opinion on the Durability, Structural Integrity and Moisture Resistance of SIP's.

SIP panel systems have to achieve all sorts of certifications and testing to demonstrate compliance with the New Zealand Building Code (NZBC) which is great, but these are the minimum standards possible to build legally in NZ and we should be striving to exceed.

Please let us know your thoughts.

RE: SIPs v Timber Frame

Posted 24 Feb '20 10:21 AM

We must remember: Sustainable Development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. SIP panels made from cruel oil based expanded polystyrene with outer lining panels made from formaldehyde encapsulated OSB. These products do not fit with this very important document. The term Eco and Green Building has empowered a ''cherry picking'' approach to Sustainable Development. What may be considered high R-value or ''speed to build benefit'' products are creeping in when they are in fact a toxic cocktail with zero downstream waste management plan. One million years to break down in landfill. Plastic shopping bags are banned while the building industry adds more and more ESP products to our built environments. Where do we think the waste from hurricane impacted housing around the globe is taken. There are no pro's with SIP panels when the truth is spoken and Sustainable Development is the aim.

RE: SIPs v Timber Frame

Posted 05 Mar '20 02:19 AM

Helpful information. Because on request in Google "eco panels or eco materials for building a house" on the first page of SIPs

RE: SIPs v Timber Frame

Posted 07 Mar '20 10:51 AM

Ecopanel was not a system that I was aware of. Will be looking into the system

RE: SIPs v Timber Frame

Posted 07 Mar '20 06:05 PM

Ecopanel has chosen not to use EPS or Spray Foam but the petrochemical content and impact to the environment remains with 2 x layers of plastic wrap. Plastic layers manufactured from crude oil. Unfortunately these layers are entering our built environments via the endless zeal for energy savings. Do we sit back and ignore it while our youth march in the streets to ban plastic bags. Energy savings are an aim the construction industry must have but it does not have a free pass where plastic is concerned. There are better ways to limit air exchanges in built environments and SIP panels than lining both sides with plastic and adding a mechanical energy consuming ventilation system.

RE: SIPs v Timber Frame

Posted 08 Mar '20 01:28 PM


I agree that SIPs are not perfect, but whats the alternative? There always going to be a fine line between making something that is economically viable, scale-able and efficient for its life?

Whats your thoughts? Whats your solution?


RE: SIPs v Timber Frame

Posted 08 Mar '20 02:23 PM

Offsite fabrication is one response to what has been a shift away from acceptance of SIP panels utilizing EPS as the internal insulation / lamination layer. Off site fabrication can provide cost savings when connected to onsite project management programs such as Procore. In the absence of the onsite or offsite project management skill set, a cost saving in offsite wall and ceiling panel fabrication is very quickly evaporated. On site fabrication of wall sections combined with portal frame building is another cost effective option replacing SIP panels. Portal frame construction does not require trusses hence only wall sections are constructed onsite or offsite. Plastic outer frame wrap and plastic inner layer frame wraps are not required in these options. Breathable exterior rigid air barrier layers, wool insulation and breathable interior wall linings establish R-values that are not impacted by moisture management within the wool fiber. A dynamic performance calculation enters with this combination to increase R-value. Assessing cost and affordability must include environmental cost, energy use and human health. If ignored the cost to society is much higher than the cost saving in the build. It is the focus on plastic wraps providing air tightness and moisture management away from framing that is driving high volumes of plastic wraps into our built environments. They are not required when the specification is specifically designed to breathe.

RE: SIPs v Timber Frame

Posted 09 Mar '20 07:56 AM

Hello HBB, am guessing at some point you'll declare that you're from Health Based Building, and have a vested interest? Not that I neccessarily disagree with you, but helps people make more informed choices and understand the angle you're coming from.

RE: SIPs v Timber Frame

Posted 09 Mar '20 08:39 AM

We all have a vested interest in Sustainable Development. The ''angle I am coming from'' is to provide factual information in response to questions asked. Only those who seek to deceive for the purpose of commercial gain should be considered constructors of an alternative truth. It is for the reader to decide if a comment supported by fact should be considered questionable if it is delivered by a person connected to an entity 100% committed to Sustainable Development. HBB is visible for good reason.The facts whoever delivers them are the facts. Plastic is invading our planet and impacting peoples lives worldwide. Mistakes can be made when industries do not foresee an impact to human health and the planet was to come. Industries cannot be held accountable for what they did not know to be bad outcomes at the time.The building industry is fully aware of the bad outcomes Plastic, EPS and Spray Foam brings to our planet. It is good to be reaching agreement on this subject.

RE: SIPs v Timber Frame

Posted 19 Apr '20 02:28 PM

Please be aware that there is a wide diversity of product available - they're not all the same. The OSB we use does not have a formaldehyde-based adhesive. In working through the Declare toxicity process, we actually found that the greatest concentrations of poison is actually the treatment chemicals in the sawn timber.
There are many aspects to the sustainability debate. Yes, EPS is bad for the environment if you discard it, but it is easily recycled. What do we do with treated timber?
There is no single solution on the market that is perfect. If there were, it would be the only product on the market. Where SIPS Direct is trying to go, is to get high performance solutions down to the price point where they are a real alternative to standard construction. There are a lot of people in desperate need of cheap housing, but the housing provided in that market needs to be better than minimum standard.

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