A.) SIPs save time, money, and energy. They outperform other building methods in virtually every aspect because of the structural strength, ease of erection, and insulation value of the components.
When someone says “R-value”, what they are talking about is resistance to heat flow in a given medium, such as fiberglass insulation. The higher the number, the greater the resistance to flow. Thus, a product with a value of R-25 is much better than a product with a value of R-13.
In reality, this reasoning doesn’t take into account all the other components that go into making a wall: wood or steel studs every 16 or 24 inches reduce the overall R-value, and allow airflow within the wall space. In addition, other construction materials and components, such as bracing, nails or screws, wiring and switch boxes, and any number of things that are not insulation, and, in all likelihood, have low R-values, negatively affect the overall quality of an insulated wall, floor, or ceiling. Poor installation of fiberglass batt insulation can also reduce the R-effect significantly. A wall with fiberglass insulation rated at R-13 can have an actual result of R-10 or less due to these other factors.
A new study by the Oak Ridge National Labs (ORNL) in Tennessee proves that a 4″ SIP wall outperforms traditional 2″ x 4″ stick and batt construction, and even edges out 2″ x 6″ construction in terms of thermal performance. SIPs (if made with structural “skins” such as OSB) are structural elements. There are no studs or braces to cause breaks in the insulative action. The end result is a more comfortable, energy-efficient building that performs up to specifications in real-world conditions. Unlike stick and batt construction, which can be subjected to poorly installed – even missing – insulation; the nature of the SIP Supply SIP is such that the structural and insulative elements are joined and bonded together as one. There are no hidden gaps. A solid layer of foam insulation is integral to panel construction.
The ORNL study found that SIPs perform at approximately 97% of their stated R-value overall, losing only 3% to nail holes, seams, splines and the like. Wiring chases are preformed into the foam core, providing a continuous layer of insulation keeping the elements out and the interior free of drafts and cold spots. SIP Supply SIPs are superior to traditional, old-fashioned methods of building construction.