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.