Nexgen Partner Highlight

South Florida SIPs 

Why let your dream home disappear in a matter of minutes? Let South Florida SIPs build you a home that is stronger than the storm and will keep your family safe.

Due to its great versatility and performance, SIPs can be used in all areas of construction where strength, stiffness, and durability are required. These High Impact Panels give additional strength to your construction, resisting winds over 230 MPH

The South Florida SIPs website has some excellent photos of a start-to-finish home build using SIPs.  Check them out using the  Learn More arrow.  


FAQs for Structural Insulated Panels

How much faster can I build with structural insulated panels?

SIP homes go up faster than traditionally framed buildings. A properly trained SIP installation crew can reduce labor costs by more than 50 percent compared to traditional stick framing, according to a third party study conducted by the R.S. Means unit of Reed Construction Data. Panels can be manufactured as big as 8- by 24-ft., so entire walls can be put up quickly, reducing dry-in time. SIPs can be supplied as ready to install building components when they arrive at the job site, eliminating the time needed to perform individual job site operations of framing, insulating and sheathing stick-framed walls. Window openings may be precut in the panels, and depending on the size, a separate header may not need to be installed. Electrical chases are typically provided in the core of panels, so there is no need to drill through studs for wiring.

How are structural panels supported? Are there studs in the panels?

For most applications, SIPs are structurally self-sufficient. The structural characteristics of SIPs are similar to that of a steel I-Beam. The MGO skins act as the flange of the I-beam, while the rigid foam core provides the web. This design is extremely strong and eliminates the need for additional framing. In cases where a point load from a beam or header requires additional support, a double dimensional lumber spline or engineered wood spline is field installed at in-plane panel connections. SIPs are also used as curtain walls for steel frame or timber frame structures.
In large commercial applications, SIPs can minimize the amount of structural support needed and reduce material costs. In roof applications, SIPs rely on beams and purlins for support. SIPs can span long distances, allowing a minimal amount of structural supports to be used.

What considerations do you need to take into account when building with SIPs vs conventional framing?

The majority of construction with SIPs is very similar to conventional framing. SIPs accept dimensional lumber and are fastened together using staples, nails or screws. Proper sealing is especially crucial in a SIP structure. All joints need to be sealed with specially designed SIP sealing mastic or low expanding foam sealant, and/or SIP tape. Voids between panels and unused electrical chases need to be filled with low expanding foam. In addition to sealing, planning and consideration needs to be applied to material handling. Although smaller 8- by 4-ft. panels can be set by hand, larger 8- by 24-ft. panels require the use of equipment to unload and set.

Can structural insulated panels be modified on site?

On-site modification can easily be done using a few additional SIP specific tools. Panels can be cut using a beam saw or a beam cutting attachment to a circular saw. The foam core can then be recessed for splines or dimensional lumber using a hot wire foam scoop or specialized angle grinder attachment to recess the core.

How do I attach siding or other exterior claddings to structural insulated panels?

Pricing information can be obtained by contacting any of SIPA’s Manufacturer or Dealer/Distributor members. However, the material price does not reflect the labor savings capable with SIP construction. A study conducted by the R.S. Means unit of Reed Construction Data shows that building with SIPs can reduce framing labor needs by as much as 55 percent over conventional wood framing. Builders can also expect decreased job site waste disposal costs and savings on HVAC equipment. Energy-efficient SIP buildings demand a higher market price because of the utility savings they offer to home buyers. When all these factors are considered, building with SIPs is often less expensive than other building systems.

Learn More