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Anyone Built With Structural Insulated Panels (Sips) ?

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Are they really much cheaper? I had a brief look last year for an extension and they only seemed about 10% less than a proper build and the suppliers I could find seemed to be selling the convenience and quick build rather than lower cost. I'd like to know as still planning to build extension.

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No direct experience but I like the concept of SIPS, and this is the best one I have found:


Insulshell is simple to construct and install and features multiple benefits over alternative construction methods, including:
  • Reduced construction time
  • Significant cost savings
  • Construction phase is not weather dependent
  • Less onsite waste
  • Predictable programme for follow-on trades
  • Improved dimensional accuracy of an engineered product
  • Better health and safety through reduced onsite activity
  • Minimum 60 minute fire rating carried out at the point of installation
  • Exceeds Part E Acoustic Requirements
  • Environmentally friendly construction method
  • Effectively insulated to reduce on-going energy costs
  • Fabric First approach to deliver cost-effective levels of energy efficiency
  • Improved ‘whole life’ building performance
  • Faster financial return on investment

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Yes I have a SIPs house - they are probably a little more expensive than a traditional build but they are much better at insulating and being air tight as you get rid of all the little gaps. You can achieve the same effect with a traditional timber frame build if you work to very fine tollerances and are really careful to chase down all the gaps.

If you go to one of the European package house people like Hanse Haus, they will throw you up a SIP house in weeks, its probably that which is being imagined when extolling the virtue of SIP - but you don't half pay for it. My build cost was £215kish - Hanse Haus were looking more like £260k for a house of roughly the same proportions.

There has been concern recently that SIP can give off a toxic gas from the insulation or the glue in the OSB which is in tiny quantities but that can build up. While nothing is proven I have MVHR to manange that risk.

Much of the advantages set out above are from a SIP manufacturer and in my experience are marginal outside of very large public buildings or large scale housing developments. I'd still rather have them than not but there are many great ways of building these days and using SIP is one of a range of techniques that can produce a fine house.

Edited by AndyAndy

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