Electrical and Plumbing
How are electrical wiring and fixtures installed?
Electrical wires are pulled through pre-cut channels inside the core of the panels called “chases.” Chases are added during the manufacturing process according to the electrical design of the home. Electricians can feed wires through panel chases without compressing the insulation or drilling through studs.
Can plumbing be installed in SIPs?
Plumbing should not be located in exterior SIP walls because of the possibility of condensation or supply lines freezing in cold climates. During the design phase of the project, all plumbing should be relocated to interior walls. If plumbing must be located on an exterior wall, it is recommended that a surface chase be installed on the interior of the wall to conceal plumbing. Another option is to construct a small section of the wall using conventional wood framing that can be used to run plumbing. Plumbing penetrations such as drain-water vents (DWV) can be placed through SIPs if they are thoroughly sealed to prevent air infiltration.
Benefits of Building with SIPS
Exceptional Thermal Performance
Once installed, SIP panels deliver unrivaled insulation and airtightness, which reduces energy costs over the building’s lifetime. SIPs are known to be about 50% more energy-efficient than traditional timber framing. A SIP building envelope has minimal thermal bridging and delivers excellent airtightness, which lends itself ideally to LEED and net-zero-ready building standards.
2. Healthier Air Quality
A SIP home or commercial building allows better control over indoor air quality because the airtight building envelope limits incoming air to controlled ventilation which filters out contaminants and allergens. The SIP envelope doesn't have the voids or thermal bridging of conventional stick framing that can cause condensation, leading to hazardous mold, mildew, or rot.
3. Sustainability Credentials
SIPs are highly energy-efficient and therefore contribute positively to the environment by reducing CO2 levels. They also use significantly less energy during the manufacturing process compared to traditional construction methods and have lower embodied energy than traditional construction materials, such as steel, concrete, and masonry.
4. Faster Construction with Less Labor
SIP walls and roofs are designed and precisely manufactured offsite in the manufacturing facility. This allows the building to be assembled on-site quickly and made watertight in a matter of days. This reduces costs such as project management, scaffolding, framing labor, and much more. A BASF time-motion study confirmed that SIP panels reduce job site labor needs by 55%.
SIPs can be engineered and fabricated to suit any building design, allowing architects and owners the flexibility and creative freedom to develop aesthetically pleasing spaces.