What Are S.I.P.s

Structural Insulated Panels

Little Green Buildings are truly green. One quarter of the wood used over traditional stick and batt framing. Our wood comes from sustainable forests. We use marine glue because standard plywood and OSB (Oriented Strand Board) off gas formaldehyde. Most of all the polystyrene core of insulation is an eco-friendly super insulator.

The problem with using R-values to gauge the energy efficiency of a home is that insulation is typically rated in a laboratory under controlled conditions. But in an actual stick home and batt wall, heat conducts not just through insulation, but more significantly through studs, reducing the overall efficiency of the system. And gaps in the wall - sill plates, top plates, electrical outlets, window jambs and even nail holes - further reduce the true R-rating of the wall because of convective heat transfer.

A SIP wall’s ability to perform closer to its rated R-value is a result of its tightness as a system, which minimizes convective heat loss. The rigid EPS insulation of SIPs eliminates air circulation and moisture that is often prevalent in stud walls.

As awareness builds surrounding the environmental impact of buildings on greenhouse gas emissions and urban air quality, the construction industry will be under increasing pressure to adopt new standards and practices to reduce energy consumption. Regardless of the Kyoto Protocol, where signatory governments agree to take concrete measures to reduce greenhouse emissions - inevitably rewarding environmentally friendly technologies at the expense of less efficient ones - the economics of energy costs and natural resources availability will make non-traditional building materials such as Structural Insulated Panels more and more attractive.

Build time for SIPs structures are two to three times faster than traditional stick built. Four by eight panels typically weigh around 100 pounds, easily handled by two to three people. Just put the spline in, slide them together, a few screws and go get the next. 4x8 walls go up in minutes. Change a window location, just move the panel with window already installed.

SIPs panels are much stronger than traditional 2x4 or 2x6 framing. SIPs share the same structural properties as an I-Beam or I-Column. The rigid EPS insulation at the core of a SIP acts as the web, while the Marine glue plywood sheathing exhibits the same properties as the flanges.

These have become very popular in the Southeast part of the United States because of their superior strength in hurricane areas. These structures have survived Level 6 hurricanes. As far as snow loads go, just about any where on earth, they’re that strong!

Because of their superior R-values and easy assembly, scientist were able to erect a SIPs building in the South Pole.

Why Use SIPs?

  • Extremely energy efficient.

  • Super insulated floors, walls and roof.

  • Small heating and air conditioning equipment = much lower utility bills and no more cold feet.

  • Because of the core system of rigid foam no mold, no bugs.

  • And a great fire rating!

  • Stronger, straighter, three times faster to build.

  • No vapor barriers to worry about.

  • Little or no waste.

  • No need for bird blocks or ridge vents.

  • Storm and earthquake resistant.

  • Snow loads just about anywhere on earth.

  • Super quiet. Need a place to shut out the noise of every day life?

  • More space. Because the roof itself is insulated “no attic”, more room for loft or storage space.




Take a glass of water, place it in a 96 sq. foot building with our 4” walls, floor and roof with a 100 watt light bulb in zero degree Fahrenheit outside temperature - How long would it take the water to freeze?  Probably never!!

Structurally insulated panels polystyrene pressure bonded between marine glued plywood sheets.
  • Constant R-Values
  • Stronger! Quieter!
  • No Bugs! No mold !

32 square feet to 400 square feet