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Dimensions and characteristics of Sip Panels

Apr 11, 2012

In the United States, SIPs tend to come in sizes from 4 feet (1.22 m) to 24 feet (7.32 m) in width. Elsewhere, typical product dimensions are 300, 600, or 1,200 mm wide and 2.4, 2.7, and 3 m long, with roof SIPs up to 6 m long. Smaller sections ease transportation and handling, but the use of the largest panel possible will create the best insulated building. At 15−20 kg/m², longer panels can become difficult to handle without the use of a crane to position them, and this is a consideration that must be taken into account due to cost and site limitations. Also of note is that when needed for special circumstances longer spans can often be requested, such as for a long roof span. Typical U.S. height for panels is eight or nine feet (2.44 to 2.75 m). Panels come in widths ranging from 4 to 12 inches thick and a rough cost is $4–$6/ft2 in the U.S.In 4Q 2010, new methods of forming radius, sine curve, arches and tubular SIPs were commercialized. Due to the custom nature and technical difficulty of forming and curing specialty shapes, pricing is typically three or four times that of standard panels per foot.

EPS is the most common of the foams used and has an R-value (thermal resistance) of about 4 K·m2/W per 25 mm thickness, which would give the 3.5 inches (89 mm) of foam in a 4.5-inch-thick (110 mm) panel an R value of 13.8 (caution: extrapolating R-values over thickness may be imprecise due to non-linear thermal properties of most materials). This at face value appears to be comparable to an R-13 batt of fiberglass, but because in a standard stick frame house there is significantly more wall containing low R value wood that acts as a cold bridge, the thermal performance of the R-13.8 SIP wall will be considerably better.

The air sealing features of SIP homes resulted in the Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star program to establish an inspection protocol in lieu of the typically required blower door test to assess the home’s air leakage. This serves to speed the process and save the builder/homeowner money.




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