Structural Insulated Panels, commonly called SIPs, were first introduced in the 1930s and have evolved into an economical and energy efficient means of building. Panels are made with a variety of skin materials (OSB, treated plywood, fiber-cement board, or metal) that sandwich rigid foam insulation. Panels are connected by splines of similar composition (just narrower) or sawn lumber. SIPs are available in a variety of thicknesses and heights, are much more energy efficient that conventional stick-framing, and offer many builders a new way to control labor costs.
Complete SIP Structures Designs
For any structure designed with SIPs, MBE prefers to be the Engineer of Record, thus responsible for the entire structural design and analysis (aside from truss designs provided by the truss manufacturer). MBE recognizes that SIP construction is not the same as stick framing, and different methods and designs should be used. Contractors and manufacturers familiar with SIPs are consistently pleased that our engineers understand construction methods that simplify SIP installation.
While MBE prefers to design the entire project, we also will do panel only designs. These designs are most often seen when a structure has already been designed for another construction method. This is especially helpful if the foundation is already under construction when the conversion to SIPs occurs.
Panel substitution designs involved one of engineers reviewing a stick frame design and indicating which panels meet or exceed structural design specified for stick framing. This conversion is the fastest, but is also the most prone to overdesigning. If you think you may need a simple panel substitution, please consult with one of our engineers to see if a full panel design may utlimately save you money considering construction costs.