SIPs Defined

Technology changes everyday. And when you have technology, you have a whole new set of acronyms to learn. You know: DHP, SIP, HRV, IAQ …

Let’s start with the most important one for us: SIP

We build our homes, all our homes, with Structural Insulated Panels. SIP.

SIPs are basically a sandwich. OSB is the bread and EPS is the filling.

*Sigh.* Yeah. Okay. Two more acronyms for you.

OSB is Oriented Strand Board. OSB is made of woodchips from smaller trees. The chips are spread out so their layers overlap and then are bonded with waterproof and boil proof resins.  If you’ve ever seen the Mythbuster episode where they build a boat out of newspaper and ice, you know that long, overlapping fibers make a board significantly stronger.

EPS is Expanded Polystyrene. EPS is a closed-cell foam. In sheets it is notably rigid and strong. And, yes, it IS the same stuff that they use to make those dreadful foam coffee cups and packing peanuts. What anti-litter campaigns hate about EPS is also it’s saving grace.  EPS takes tens of decades to degrade … when it’s exposed to the elements. When EPS is in a protected place, like between two pieces of OSB in a SIP home, that home will last far, far longer and maintain a healthier environment than a standard stick-built house.

So. SIPs:

  • are durable and extremely long lasting
  • are strong and can withstand hurricane force winds and at least a 6.5 earthquake
  • are “true” (straight) allowing windows and doors and cabinets to be hung faster with less cussin’
  • allow homes to be built more quickly
  • require less framing lumber
  • are made locally (at Premier SIPs in Fife, WA)
  • generate less waste on the job site
  • 90% of the scraps are recyclable
  • are warmer and have fewer air leaks than traditional stick-built homes
  • create more energy efficient homes

We like SIPs.

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