What are SIPs (Structural Insulated Panels)?

Structural Insulated PanelsStructural Insulated Panels (SIPs) are a structural frame made from a sandwich of two layers of structure and one layer of insulation.  The standard 144mm Sips Eco Panel comprises of two layers of Oriented Strand Board (OSB), either side of 122mm of premium carbon treated expanded polystyrene (EPS).

The nature of the stressed skin panel makes it exceptionally strong, whilst largely comprising of insulation, meaning you can achieve high levels of insulation in thinner wall thicknesses than other forms of construction.  With no need for cavity or internal insulation, structural insulated panels can provide a very fast way of constructing very efficient walls with u-values as low as 0.14 (without additional insulation) using standard Sips Eco Panels.

SIPs can be used as the inner skin of an external wall (in place of timber frame or blocks), or can be used as a pre-insulated roofing structure.  They are suitable for new builds and home extensions as well as being ideal in-fill panels between other structures like steel or oak frames.  For a full list of uses of Sips Eco Panels including walls, roofs, home extensions and garden offices, please click here.

Structural insulated panels are a very flexible product and can be used with any external cladding, be it brick, render, weatherboarding or metal cladding.  Equally they can be roofed with slates, tiles or metal roofing.  We have examples of many different styles of building and finishes in our galleries.  Internally they can be simply finished with plasterboard and a skim coating (with service cavities where needed) meaning that wet trades are kept to a minimum, speeding up build times even further.

SIPs have a long history, having been first developed in America in the 1930's and have been used in the UK since the 1980's.  They have a strong track record of testing, with most manufacturers members of the Structural Timber Association (STA) and in addition to this Sips Eco Panels have a C.A.T.G. SIP Mark Scheme - our third party accreditation.  The BRE (Building Research Establishment, an independent testing body) have written an Information Paper (IP 13/04) on structural insulated panels and have conducted testing on SIPs on behalf of the Government and insurers, so you can specify SIPs safe in the knowledge that they have a proven track record of performance.

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