The history of SIPs
The origin of a Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) can be traced back to 1930. Famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright used these innovative structural insulated panels in his affordable Usonian houses built throughout the 1930s and 1940s. Wright attempted to incorporate beauty and simplicity into relatively low cost homes. Some of the walls in these houses consisted of three layers of plywood and two layers of tar paper but lacked insulation.
SIPs advanced in technology when one of Wright’s students, Alden B. Dow, brother of the founder of Dow Chemical Company, created the first foam core SIP in 1952. He experimented with the engineering of structural panels with insulation and is now generally credited with producing the first structural insulated panels.
SIP panels are made up of a rigid (PIR) foam core, sandwiched between two structural skins of Oriented Strand Board (OSB) an “engineered wood” product. The result is a building system that is very strong, energy efficient, and cost effective.
SIPs are now beginning to make a bigger impact within the construction industry, as self-builders and developers strive to find economic and energy efficient alternatives to the more traditional methods in order to comply with the ever tightening Building Regulation requirements for improved U values and air tightness.
- The cost and speed of erection, the structural and thermal performance of the SIP are ahead of almost any current alternative.
- The insulation values for SIP panels are far superior to conventional framing and insulating methods. SIP buildings are virtually airtight, giving the occupants more control over the interior environment. This energy efficiency will become increasingly important as the cost of heating fuels inevitably increases.
- SIP is environmentally friendly. Their facing are made from renewable, farm-grown younger trees, and none of their components contribute to environmental degradation. A SIP building helps reduce pollution by consuming much less heating and cooling energy. There is also much less waste from a SIP-designed building than a conventional building, that means less waste materials being put into our landfills and less pollution from burning waste.
- SIP can be used as structural components of a building or simply as cladding solutions to any existing structure offering exceptional thermal qualities
- These innovative structures incorporate beauty and simplicity into relatively low-cost houses.
- SIP buildings are vastly more energy efficient, stronger, quieter, and more draft free than other building systems.