Low-Cost Green Home

Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs)

SIPs at factory
Photos courtesy of EH Systems

A structural insulated panel (SIP) is usually made of expanded polystyrene (EPS) insulation glued between two sheets of oriented strand board (OSB) or, less commonly, other skins such as plywood or fiber cement board. As its name implies, a SIP serves both as structure and as insulation, needing no stud framing to form walls and no rafters or trusses in most roof designs. SIPs are also used in floors.

Advantages of SIPs:

SIPs are typically used in 4" or 6" thicknesses for walls and 8" to 14" thicknesses for roofs. Wall panels are often manufactured with electrical chases at standard heights for plugs and switches, making wiring faster.

For much more information on SIPs, see EH Systems.

SIPs as roof panels