Structural Insulated Panels have become very popular in recent years because they offer superior insulation properties, greater moisture resistance, increased structural strength, better resistance against fire propagation, and reduced demand for natural resources. But are they an affordable choice? Let’s dive in.
What Are Structural Insulated Panels?
Structural insulated panels (SIPs) are an engineered product. SIPs are panels made of wood, polystyrene or other composite materials that provide a strong but light-weight structural framework as well as insulation.
For those living in cold climates, energy efficiency and sound control are important considerations when building a new home. But who would have thought that you could have both? A properly installed SIP is not only foam core sandwiched between two sheets of orientated strand board, but also includes the thickness of the OSB which increases an average R-value from 6 to about 18 or more. And because they offer incredible strength for their weight, there’s no need for framing – this translates on thermal performance!
How Much Do Structural Insulated Panels Cost?
The answer hinges on several factors, including the size and complexity of the layout, installation speed needed, labor costs vs contractor costs and if additional insulation is required for the project.
An example answer could be:
Structural insulated panels may come with a variety of price ranges depending on which type is used in the construction. Polyisocyanurate foam boarders (R-6), polystyrene boards (R-3) and polyurethane adhesive sheets are all examples of materials to consider when constructing SIPs. The cost also varies based on what clients need out of their design solution; while prices will get higher for more complex formats (due to time-consuming construction methods), install times may be reduced with well-designed and efficient layouts.
So while it depends on what the clients wants and how many square feet they will need, customers typically spend $25 to $75 per square foot for buildings with SIPs costs around the same as conventional stud-framed codes. But they provide superior performance in areas of thermal losses and membrane shrinkage.
In terms of the cost of the panels themselves, quick numbers show that a 600 square foot through-bolted panel costs about $1,650 without windows or doors installed.
Structural insulated panels cost $2 – 4 per square foot, depending on the make and the size of the building where they’re used. Affordable housing is especially suited for this type of sandwich wall because it can be built at lower costs and there’s greater potential to utilize modular, faster crews most people associate with “expediting” a process. Not only does SIPs insulation help to minimize heating and cooling loads but it also improves thermal performance allowing for more natural daylighting into a building.
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