Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) offer many advantages over traditional home building techniques which use 2×4 lumber framing and concrete foundations. For one, the panels can be assembled much faster than a house can be framed, for another, using SIPs for exterior wall panels will replace studs, insulation vapor and air barriers. SIPs are structurally very strong, and can bear three times as much weight across an even surface as traditional stick-framed walls.
But SIPs are probably best known for their insulation properties. Thermapan SIPs consist of a sandwich of two 7/16″ oriented strand board (OSB) with a “filling” of Expanded polystyrene (EPS) insulation. Because EPS is a closed cell insulation, it prevents air from entering the form which keeps its R value constant. Further, when SIPs are used to frame a house, they provide a superior air-tight seal that is difficult to match in traditional stick-framed homes.
Thermapan manufactures several different types of SIPs, each developed for a different application. Below are a few of the products they carry:
- Exterior Wall SIP: (7/16 OSB, interior layer of expanded polystyrene). Dimensions: available in 4′ widths, and 8′, 9′ or 10′ lengths. Thicknesses: 4 1/2″ (R19), 6 1/2″ (R29) and 8 1/4″ (R38).
- Roof and Ceiling SIP: Can be used for framing and insulating (including air and vapor barrier) cathedral ceilings, as well as for green roofs. Available in 4′ widths, 8-16′ in length, 6.5-12.24″ thickness. R values range from R29-R58.
- Floor SIP: Great for living spaces above garages and sunrooms. Width: 4′. Length: 8-16”; thickness: 6.5″-12.25″. R-value range: R29-R58.
- PWF Foundation SIP: made for below grade uses. Consists of pressure-treated exterior sheathing that resists decay. These panels are constructed to support heavy loads. Exterior side of panel is 5/8″ PWF plywood, interior side is 7/16″ OSB. Length 8′, 9′ or 10′; thickness 8.25″ or 10.25″. R values: R38 or R48.
For more detailed information on Thermapan SIPs visit their website. Thermapan SIPs are manufactured in Fort Erie, ON.
To locate a dealer near you click here.