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Building with High Performance Structural Insulated Panels

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By Mayan SIPs

It is evident that our world is in dire need of new energy consumption models and reduction in carbon emissions. We believe that our transportation and industrial models are a large part of our energy consumption and carbon emissions contributors.

The fact is that our buildings both residential and commercial make up about 50 percent of the energy consumption and carbon emissions in the United States.

Passive House and High-Performance Building models tackle and have been proven to be successful in reducing both energy consumption and carbon emission in their buildings.

Let us focus on energy consumption –

A Passive House or High Performance built certified building can save anywhere from 85 to 100 percent energy consumption compared to a building built to conventional building codes.

What is passive house – https://passipedia.org/basics/what_is_a_passive_house

A Passive House or High Performance retrofitted and certified building can save upwards of 60 percent and above in energy consumption.

Not only can the building conserve energy but there are other valuable benefits that come with building the Passive House / High Performance way.

These are the main goals:

1) Energy Efficiency

2) Comfortability

3 Healthy Building (filtered fresh air, constant indoor temperature)

4) Durability

5) Resiliency

There are 3 main methods that are utilized to meet these goals:

1) Super Insulated Structures

2) Airtight Structures

3) Thermal bridge “Free” Structures

 

A first step to building a Passive House / High Performance building can begin utilizing Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs); which is an alternative to conventional stick framing.

Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) provide and help meet all three methods of meeting the 5 goals for Passive House / High Performance building.

SIPs are:

1) SIPs are extremely energy efficient – creating a superior building envelope with high thermal resistance and minimal air infiltration. Many new buildings see energy savings of 50 to 70 percent in heating and cooling.

2) SIPs improved air quality – SIPs allows for better control over indoor air quality because the airtight building envelope limits incoming air to the conditioned living area. Controlled ventilation filters out contaminants and allergens, reducing the possibility of mold and dust.

3) SIPs are stronger – one of the strongest products available, with durability similar to a steel I-beam; the combination of the outer layer, oriented strand board (OSB) with the inner layer, poly styrene foam, creates a long-lasting, strong product; far more durable to inclement weather that traditionally framed buildings.

4) SIPs are a better long-term value –they’re quicker to construct with, they increase reduction in energy costs. The airtightness of the building envelope prevents exterior air from gaining access to the interior of the building, reducing mechanical needs to cool or heat the building. Additionally, building with SIPs increases the indoor quality of the air, reducing molds, allergens and dust and good health is priceless.

One last thing building with SIPs is that:

5) SIPs Building is Faster – SIPs are faster and easier to build with. The panels offer significant time savings; because they are self-contained framing and cut out steps in the building process. According to a study done by RS Means, SIP construction can cut framing labor by as much as 50 percent.

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