Frequently Asked Questions

Need answers? Here are the facts about many common concerns and queries. If your question isn't addressed here, please reach out to us ... we'd be happy to assist!

What are Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs)?

SIPs are a high performance building system suitable for all types of construction. Sometimes referred to as "sandwich panels" or "stress skin panels", SIPs contain a structural foam (insulating) core bonded between two structural skins. At Enercept, we use expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam for the insulating core and typically use oriented strand board (OSB) for the exterior and interior skins. SIPs are manufactured under factory-controlled conditions and can be fabricated to fit nearly any building design. The result is a cost-effective structure that is energy efficient and 2 1/2-times stronger than stick-built.

 

 

How Does The Cost Of A SIPs Structure Compare To Stick-built?

When you factor in material cost, labor expense, and job site waste with the benefit of a lifetime of energy savings, the Enercept system is a lower cost building solution.

Do Enercept Panels Contain Urea-Formaldehyde (UF) Or Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs)?

No. Enercept SIPs were tested at the University of South Dakota and no traces of formaldehyde were detected. The panels do not produce off-gassing of dangerous chemicals either.

What Is The R-Value Of Enercept Panels?

There are three methods of heat transfer: convection, conduction, and radiation. R-value is the measure of resistance to heat loss by conduction only. The most import factor in thermal efficiency is the continuity of the insulation. The Enercept SIPs system results in a solid envelope of insulation where even the connection posts have a foam core. Therefore, Enercept SIPs have the ability to resist heat transfer by both conduction and convection (air movement). With this in mind, it is reasonable to assume that a conventional home would require an R-40 wall to compare with a 6-inch Enercept wall (R-24.)

How do you ventilate an Enercept SIP roof?

A ventilated roof is not necessary in most climates. Model codes allow both vented (cold roof) and non-vented (hot roof) roof assemblies. Because SIPs are insulated, conductive loss of heat is avoided, negating the problems usually associated with a non-vented roof. If you must ventilate your roof, 2x strips can be attached to the top of the roof and then covered with sheathing to form a vented layer over the SIPs.

 

How do you wire an Enercept structure?
Enercept was the first SIP manufacturer to patent factory-installed electrical chases.  Chases are marked on the interior sheathing of the panels for easy identification. Our roof panels can be pre-wired in the factory with a limited number of electrical chases (when permitted by local building codes). Simply drill access holes through the sill and top plates for access to the electrical chases. A comprehensive Enercept Electrical Guide is available.
Do Enercept Homes Have Moisture Problems?

Enercept structures are very air-tight compared to other building methods. Generally, a WRB, water-resistive barrier is applied to the exterior of the structure. Seam tape is provided for all interior panel connections and an air exchanger is strongly recommended. These measures will protect your home from moisture, and will create exceptional indoor air quality.

Is The Enercept System Code Approved And Warrantied?

The Enercept building system has been evaluated by third party evaluation agencies for compliance with the International Building Code (IBC) and the International Residential Code (IRC).  Enercept offers a limited lifetime warranty (copies available by request.)

How Are SIP Wall Panels Connected to the Subfloor or the Foundation?

Connecting Enercept wall SIPs to the subfloor or foundation wall is very similar to traditional stick framing methodology. Watch this video as Enercept's Jon Golz explains how easy it is.

 

 

What Are The Benefits of Building Your Home Without Roof Trusses?

Do you like the open, vaulted ceiling look of the soaring great room? Or, maybe you want a loft area or bonus room over the garage, but the trusses are in the way. Or, you just want to move the insulation envelope to the exterior of your structure. What do you do? Enercept has the answer for you. Watch and learn about a system that dates back to the 1930’s.

 

What kind of HVAC system will I need?

A high-performance SIP building enclosure often allows smaller HVAC equipment to be specified. Proper HVAC sizing is crucial to an Enercept home because an oversized HVAC system will fail to reach the steady operating rate the equipment was designed for. This leads to an inefficient HVAC system which can lead to uncomfortable conditions for the occupants. This video will help answer many of your HVAC questions.

 

Homes built with SIPs don't have studs. How do you hang pictures and things on the walls?

Homes built with Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) have very few studs. So how do you hang pictures and things on the SIP walls of your home? Enercept's Jon Golz explains that it's extremely easy to hang anything you want on SIP walls.

 

What is a fly-by-corner and why does it play a very important part of Enercept Structural Panels?

What is a fly-by-corner? Well, it's SIP panel that is designed to be more easily trimmed to compensate for any growth that may have occurred during the erection of the panels. This video explains the importance of a fly-by-corner. 

 

Why Are SIPs Stronger Than Stick-Built Structures?

The strength of construction is one of the biggest arguments in favor of panel construction over traditional wood framing. When you hear about panel buildings surviving hurricanes and earthquakes while their traditionally framed neighbors shatter into sticks, you must take notice.

 

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How Do HVAC Designers Determine Heating & Cooling Loads?

Proper HVAC sizing is crucial to an Enercept home because an oversized HVAC system will fail to reach the steady operating rate the equipment was designed to for. Watch as Enercept SIPs expert Jon Golz talks about HVAC in a SIPs-built structure.

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How do you stage panels on a site for installation?

When building with structural insulated panels, what is the best way to stage them on a site for installation?

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Does Enercept have home design services?

With Enercept, your SIPs will be custom-made to meet your blueprint specifications. Our skilled drafters give you the one-on-one attention you deserve throughout the process. Using your floor plan, the Enercept drafting department will calculate and design the panelized layout for your exterior shell. Fine details, unique shapes, and irregular openings are not a problem.

FAQ_Virtual#1_DesignServices

 

What is the cost of SIPs vs sticks?
What is the cost comparison between building with structural insulated panels (SIPs) and traditionally built homes? How much do SIPs cost? Perhaps not surprisingly, it’s a difficult question to answer because each project is so unique.
FAQ_Cost of SIPS vs Stick Built

 

What time savings in labor can be realized when using SIPs compared to sticks?

Why do builders and architects love building with SIPS? There are many reasons, but mostly it’s because Structural Insulated Panels go up very fast. By using SIPs instead of a typical stick frame structure, you can reduce labor costs by up to 55 percent.

FAQ_Time Savings-1

 

Should ice and water material be used over the entire roof with SIP panels?

Should ice and water material be used over the entire roof with SIP panels?

FAQ_Ice&Water Material?

 

What does code compliant mean?

When we talk about "code compliant" what are we actually talking about?

FAQ_Code Compliant

 

How do Enercept SIPs meet the structural code?

If you are a builder building with structural insulated panels you may have been asked this question from your clients. 

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How do Enercept SIPs meet the energy code?

How do Enercept SIPs meet the energy code?

FAQ_Energy Code

 

How do Enercept SIPs satisfy a customer's wants for low energy bills?

How do Enercept SIPs satisfy a customer's wants for low energy bills?

FAQ_Customer Wants Low Energy Bills

 

How do Enercept SIPs satisfy a customer's wants for a comfortable home?

How do Enercept SIPs satisfy a customer's wants for a comfortable home?

FAQ_Customer Wants Comfort

 

What sizes do the Enercept panels come in?

What sizes do the Enercept panels come in?

 

How does Enercept handle the rim area of the floor joist or trusses?

How does Enercept handle the rim area of the floor joist or trusses?

FAQ_Floor Joist

 

Can Enercept make curved panels?

Can Enercept make curved panels?

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What quality of doors and windows need to be installed in a SIP building?

What quality of doors and windows need to be installed in a SIP building?

FAQ_Quality Doors Windows

 

What is a top flange joist hanger and how is it used with Enercept wall panels?

What is a top flange joist hanger and how is it used with Enercept wall panels?

FAQ_Web_What is a top flange joist hanger and how is it used with Enercept wall panels

 

How do you drill sill plates for electrical in wall panels?

How do you drill sill plates for electrical in wall panels?

FAQ_Website_How do you drill sill plates for electrical in wall panels

 

How do you wire a wall panel from below the subfloor?

How do you wire a wall panel from below the subfloor?

FAQ_Web_How to wire a wall panel from below the subfloor

 

Is there a concern with locating a horizontal chase at the baseboard level?

Is there a concern with locating a horizontal chase at the baseboard level?

FAQ_Web_Is there a concern with locating a horizontal chase at the baseboard level

 

How do you wire SIP wall panels from a concrete slab on grade?

How do you wire SIP wall panels from a concrete slab on grade?

FAQ_Web_How do you wire SIP wall panels from a concrete slab on grade

 

Can you add an electrical chase to panels on the job site?

Can you add an electrical chase to panels on the job site?

FAQ_Web_Can you add an electrical chase to panels on the job site

 

What is the maximum number of electrical wires that can be run through a chase?

What is the maximum number of electrical wires that can be run through a chase?

FAQ_Web_Maximum number of electrical wire through a chase

 

How do you wire with metal conduit?

How do you wire with metal conduit?

FAQ_Website_Wire Metal Conduit

 

What is the cost to add additional electrical chases?

What is the cost to add additional electrical chases?

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Can you run wire on the top of the wall in the void area?

Can you run wire on the top of the wall in the void area?

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Three basic things to learn when setting wall panels

When building with structural insulated panels (SIPs), there is three basic things to learn when setting wall panels, as Enercept SIP expert Jon Golz explains.

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How do you set a sill plate for a standard 6-foot wall?

When building with  SIPs, how do you set the sill plate for a standard 6” wall?

FAQ_Web_Setting the sill plate for a standard 6 wall
What is the best way to work down a wall to a window opening?

When building with SIPs, what is the best way to work down a wall to a window opening?

FAQ_Web_Working down a wall to a window opening
How do you turn a wall corner?

When building with structural insulated panels (SIPs), how do turn a wall corner? It's really simple as Enercept SIP expert Jon Golz illustrates. 

FAQ_Web_Turning a wall corner

 

How do you set the doorway panels?

When building with structural insulated panels (SIPs), how do you set the doorway panels? It's really very easy as Enercept SIP expert Jon Golz illustrates.

FAQ_Web_Setting doorway panels

 

How do you place the top plates and cap plates?

When building with structural insulated panels (SIPs), how do you place the top plates and cap plates? Enercept SIP expert Jon Golz explains how top plates and cap plates are used when building with Enercept SIPs.

FAQ_Web_Top plates and cap plates

 

How do you set the gable panel with a post to support the ridge beam?

When building with structural insulated panels (SIPs), how do you set the gable panel with a post to support the ridge beam?

FAQ_Web_Setting the gable panel with a post to support the ridge beam

 

Do you need a framework to build around when building with SIPs?

Do you need a framework to build around when building with SIPs?

FAQ_Web_Do you need a framework to build around when using SIPs?

 

Where is the sealant placed on structural insulated panels and how often does it get placed?

Where is the sealant placed on structural insulated panels and how often does it get placed?

FAQ_Web_Where is the sealant placed on each panel

 

How does mastic sealant affect the electrical chases?

When building with structural insulated panels (SIPs), how does the mastic sealant affect the electrical chase?

FAQ_Web_How does the sealant affect the electrical chases

 

What is the best way to protect roof panels once set?

When building with structural insulated panels (SIPs), what is the best way to protect roof panels once they are set? It's important and really very easy as Enercept SIP expert Jon Golz illustrates.

FAQ_Web_What is the best way to protect roof panels once set

 

Why would you use Vaseline on a tape measure?

When building with structural insulated panels (SIPs), why would you use Vaseline on your tape measures? Enercept SIP expert Jon Golz explains why Vaseline can help with clean-up of your tape measure if any mastic gets on it.

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Which corner is the best one to start with when setting wall panels?

When building with structural insulated panels (SIPs), which corner is best to with when setting wall panels?

FAQ_Web_Which corner is the best to start with when setting wall panels

 

How are wall panels attached to a concrete foundation like in a garage?

When building with structural insulated panels (SIPs), how are the wall panels attached to a concrete foundation like in a garage? It's really very easy as Enercept SIP expert Jon Golz illustrates.

FAQ_Web_How are th wall panels attached to a concrete foundation like in a garage