What Are Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs)?

Posted by Roberta Bartel on March 26, 2020

A SIPs 101 Explanation of Structural Insulated Panels and Why You Should Build With Them.

According to the Structural Insulated Panel Association,

"SIP panels are the building material for the  21st Century"

"Structural insulated panels (SIPs) are a high performance building system for residential and light commercial construction. The panels consist of an insulating foam core sandwiched between two structural facings, typically oriented strand board (OSB).  SIPs are manufactured under factory controlled conditions and can be fabricated to fit nearly any building design. The result is a building system that is extremely strong, energy efficient and cost effective. Building with SIPs will save you time, money and labor."

This short video lays out the definition in a very simplistic manner:

The Future of Framing

At Enercept we like to say structural insulated panels (SIPs) are "the future of framing".  In truth, the future is now.  SIPs construction includes many of the same components as traditional construction, but offers benefits of a stronger structure, increased energy efficiency, faster installation and a more cost-effective project.

Are SIPs a new building component?

Certainly not.  In fact, they've been around for more than 70 years.  SIP development began in the late 1940's.  Enercept has been fabricating SIPs since 1981.

Are SIPs expensive?

Building with SIPs is actually an excellent way to save money in several ways: 

  • Labor Costs
  • Job Site Waste
  • Energy Savings

Is wiring a SIP structure difficult?

No.  Skilled electricians can wire a  SIP building quickly, easily and cost-effectively using Enercept's innovative factory-installed electrical chases.

Are all building panels SIPs?

Some pre-fabricated panels are non-structural or have no insulation. True SIPs are a building panels comprised of an insulated core sandwiched between two facings of structural board.  Enercept SIPs utilize expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam laminated between two sheets of Oriented Strand Board (OSB), which offers strength and durability. 

Are SIPs versatile in design?

Enercept SIPs are flexible and customized. They can be used for nearly any building design. The strength of SIPs allow for a myriad of design options which might not be possible with other building methods.

We're Driving Change

As building demands have dictated more from suppliers, Enercept and the SIP Industry have stepped up to meet those demands.  Our off site construction systems approach alleviates much of the cost and time found in more traditional construction without sacrificing quality or sustainability.

At Enercept, producing a quality product and providing stellar customer service are always top of mind. This commitment to quality has made us "the builders' choice" for structural insulated panels.


Learn more:

Learn More About Building With SIPs

Topics: SIPs, Structural Insulated Panel, OSB, EPS, building systems