With the increasing attention given to building homes that are energy efficient and sustainable, many architects and builders consider using SIPs to create a high-quality structure that has these elements. But like any new technique in construction, building with SIPs requires some training. It is necessary for builders to make sure that staff are adequately trained in handling SIPs because the demand for SIP panel homes is only going to increase.
Although there are many builders who would devise their own techniques of the trade, here are five general tips for working with SIPs that guarantee success.
The primary characteristic of a SIP is that it comes pre-fabricated and delivered to the project site cut according to specific dimensions. This means that you’ll need to carefully plan the structure, including where all the electrical connections will go because changing the plan after the panels arrive is not going to be an easy feat. Handling SIPs also depends on the size of the project. For example, will you require using forklifts or cranes to install the panels? Planning for these needs will ensure that the project execution goes smoothly.
- Storage and organisation
SIPs are susceptible to moisture damage. Part of the planning process also requires that you find proper storage space for them. SIPs need protection and should be above ground by at least three inches. You also need to cover the boards using a breathable material. If possible, arrange the panels according to the area where they will be installed. It will be easier for workers to move them around if the boards are already pre-arranged.
- Setting and sealing
The best way to install SIPs is to start with the corners and move outwards. Bracing the panels is also an essential step during installation, and you also need to remove any dirt and debris along the plate area. When installing SIPs, a levelled foundation is key to ensuring that the panels are secured in place. After installing the boards, the next step is sealing all openings. Airtightness enhances the performance of SIPs and will also ensure their durability.
- Preventing water penetration
After completing panel installation, the exterior sides of the SIPs need protection from moisture. Suppliers typically provide house wrap when you purchase SIP panels. You need to ensure that there is enough of it to cover all exposed areas of SIPs.
- Selecting the correct HVAC system
One of the challenges homeowners have with a SIPs home is finding the right HVAC system. Since SIPs create an air-tight envelope, the house is well-insulated. The improved insulation means pairing it with an HVAC system can be a bit tricky. If you invest in an HVAC system that is too big, it may underperform and short cycle. When you work with an HVAC contractor, they should be able to factor in the high insulation properties of SIPs so that they can calculate the heating and cooling needs of your home and recommend the right HVAC system.