FWPA Building Innovations

Structural Insulated Panels (SIPS)

SIP panels consist of an insulating foam core, sandwiched between two structural facings typically made from oriented strand board (OSB). The panels come in standard sizes commonly ranging from 2400 x 1200 up to 3600 x 1200 and can be used for wall and roof applications. Thermal properties are very good and the panels can be made to accommodate services and offer a relatively high degree of prefabrication. The modules contain windows and doors and can have exterior siding added. Installation guidelines and tables are available. Standard details have been developed (refer “Structural Insulated Panels Association for further details).

Benefits

Fast construction times onsite and defined thermal insulation properties. Efficient use of materials in a sandwich panel. Relatively lightweight to handle using manual site labour.

Limitations

Relatively new technology to Australia - may require special tools on-site, performance testing, skills development and product development within Australia. SIPs panels are relatively difficult to connect, attention must be paid to the connection details, penetrations and manipulation of panels. Any structural movement could create water ingress through joints unless continuous sealants can be relied upon. Requires pre-planning of service loactions. Onsite, there is extra work involved in modifying the panels. There is no ability to discharge any moisture buildup within the panels.

Comments

This type of component would require a philosophical change in delivery of housing in Australia. In addition, use of SIPs could potentially displace the amount of solid timber used. Construction details concerning SIPs can be found at http://www.sips.org/technical-information-2

Website

www.sips.org

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About FWPA

Forest and Wood Products Australia Limited (FWPA), a not for profit company, is the Australian forestry and wood  products industry’s service provider, investing in research and development, and providing research results and generic promotions to the Australoian industry. FWPA aims to improve the competitiveness and sustainability of the Australian forest and wood products industry through innovation, investment in effective and relevant R&D and communication of the results to stakeholders. Read more about FWPA at www.fwpa.com.au

Contact FWPA

Forest and Wood Products Australia
Level 11, 10-16 Queen Street
Melbourne VIC 3000 Australia

Phone: +61 3 9927 3200
Fax: +61 3 9927 3288
Email: info@fwpa.com.au