Builder’s Notes

SIPS

SIPS

The house we are building currently was framed using Structural Insulated Panels (SIPS).  We have worked with SIPS on multiple projects now, and I am a huge fan.

While traditional, stick-built, homes are framed with studs (2×4, 2×6, etc.) every 16 or 24 inches, SIPS have an outer and inner skin of OSB (sheathing material) and are filled with foam.  There are different types of foam,  but all SIPS share the main feature of eliminating the vast majority of framing members in the walls, each of which represents a thermal bridge or uninsulated space in the wall.  Furthermore, every variety of foam used in SIPS (Polyurethane, XPS, EPS) have higher R-values than traditional fiberglass or even cellulose insulation.  On top of that, SIPS homes are sealed much more tightly than stick-built homes, causing the insulation and housing envelope to perform even better.

Thermally Modified Siding

Thermally Modified Siding

On this house, we installed a board-on-board siding in a random pattern.  The material that we are using here is a Thermally Modified Poplar.  The thermal modification process heats the wood to near-burning temperatures, causing changes in the  chemical structure of the wood.  These changes render the wood more dimensionally stable (less prone to warping) and give it insect and rot resistance similar to that of a pressure treated wood.  The treatment process causes the wood to turn a deep brown color, similar to Walnut.