Last edited 09 Apr 2021

Structural Insulated Panels SIPS

Structural insulated panels (SIPs) are a form of composite sandwich panel system that incorporates insulation, predominantly used for residential and light commercial construction.

They take the form of an insulating core (such as closed-cell polyurethane foam or expanded polystyrene) sandwiched between two structural facings. In the UK, the mainstream suppliers typically use the same structural facing – oriented strand board (OSB), which complies with the British Standard BS EN 300 for structural integrity.

SIPs are manufactured under factory-controlled conditions off-site and can be installed quickly once on site. The benefits of using SIPs are that they are high-strength, provide good thermal performance and can be fabricated to fit nearly any building design. They can prove cost-effective as a design solution (costing around the same as timber frame construction) due to their quick installation, reduced waste, energy use reduction and inherent strength (up to six times stronger than a regular timber frame).

The maximum length of a SIP is typically 7.5 m for walls and roofs. Floors can reach spans of up to 4 m. Various thicknesses are available, although the standard panel width is 142 mm.

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