Structural insulated panel (SIP) construction is becoming increasingly popular due to its fabrication and energy-saving efficiency. However, as a homeowner, you may wonder why it is considered energy-efficient for buildings and what this system’s additional benefits are.
This article will focus on why SIP construction is considered energy-efficient and its benefits for your sustainable home.
Is SIP Construction Considered Energy-Efficient?
SIP construction is thought of as energy-efficient because it uses up to 50% less energy in the construction process. Additionally, structural insulated panel homes spend less energy on climate control because the panels are airtight and solid. This results in more money saved on your energy bills.
Benefits of SIPs Panels
There are benefits to using structural insulated panels in construction, whether residential or commercial.
A few energy-related advantages of SIPs include the following:
Lower Heating or Cooling Costs
As a homeowner, you’ve probably noticed that your highest utility bills are energy bills for climate control. To understand how SIPs panels help in this regard, you must first know how energy is lost when heating a home.
A home loses heat through two methods:
- Convection through air leakage – when air flows through small holes in the home, it takes some heat with it. Therefore, well-insulated homes should be as airtight as possible, and structural insulated panels do this exceptionally well. In fact, they are 15 times more airtight than traditional construction systems.
- Conduction through the walls – heat can travel through conductive materials and can be lost through the walls if they aren’t sufficiently solid or insulated. Traditional insulation methods focus mainly on adding layers of insulation to the walls. SIPs solve this problem because there are no hollow walls to fill with insulation—the panels are solid foam.
By addressing heat loss via both conduction and convection, structural insulated panel construction systems provide a highly efficient method of insulating homes to prevent heat loss. So naturally, if there’s less heat lost from a building, it costs a lot less energy to maintain a warmer temperature inside the home, making you much more comfortable year-round.
The same applies to cooling a home—you don’t want the airflow to introduce heat from outside via convection, nor do you want the heat to be absorbed through the walls.
A well-insulated home is an energy-efficient home. SIP construction is the best insulation method available today, so it’s the best choice for a sustainable home.
Less Energy Spent During Construction
You might have heard of modular houses built within weeks instead of months. This quickness is likely because of the use of structural insulated panels. The labor force required on-site to build SIP houses and other buildings is significantly lower than other alternatives.
Not only does this allow construction crews to spend less time on-site, but it also means that they’re powering the entire construction site for fewer days. Fewer on-site days means less energy spent on powering the site and lower workforce and installation costs.
An added benefit is that there’s no need to wait for curing time on site, which is a significant advantage. With the added benefit of lower long-term energy costs, what’s not to love?
However, there’s just one disadvantage in the construction process of these panels—only some construction crews have the expertise necessary to install them, so you’ll have to use a certified SIP supplier for installation.
Depending on where you live, it may take some time to find professionals with specific expertise in structural insulated panel construction.
Lower Transportation Costs
Traditional construction requires transporting heavy loads of materials to the construction site. There’s also transportation of the construction crew for the many months it’s working on the building.
On the other hand, installing structural insulated panels requires transporting fewer materials and the crew visiting the site for fewer days. In addition, since they typically come ready-assembled from the factory, they’re easier to transport than other, more traditional materials.
Where Are Structural Insulated Panels Used?
SIPs are used in floors, walls, and even load-bearing walls. New builds and modular homes tend to use more of these panels in construction. They are manufactured and assembled in a factory and can be installed directly on-site.
Mostly, structural insulated panels are used in new buildings, as it’s a relatively new concept. However, people are beginning to use them to create sustainable homes for an energy-efficient living, and they’re only getting more popular with time.
You can even find SIPs in some older homes if they have undergone major renovations, including extending floors or converting rooms. Homeowners can make major renovations using these panels in just a few weeks.
It’s clear SIP construction is highly efficient both in terms of energy and time. This new technology will only improve over time, and it’s a great way to diminish your carbon footprint by reducing the energy cost of building your home or other construction projects.
Additionally, the overall energy efficiency of your home will increase after construction is finished. You’ll be able to heat and cool your home more efficiently and have money left over for other projects.
We highly recommend using SIPs panels in your next construction project!