A building system for the 21st century
Structural Insulated Panel Systems (SIPs) are prefabricated building systems with many advantages - they are energy efficient, quick to construct, robust, versatile and manufactured to high quality standards.
SIPs are lightweight building panels that combine two high-density facings bonded to either side of a low density polymeric core. Typical materials include Oriented Strand board (OSB) or Cement Bonded Particleboard (CPB) for the facings, and foamed polyurethane (PUR) or Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) for the core. In the UK these panels are predominantly used as internal and external walls in dwelling and light-industrial construction of up to three storeys. In some applications the panels are also used for the roofing structure. The building system was first introduced in the US in the 1950s, and today SIPs are established in housing construction as main loadbearing members throughout the building, i.e. as floors, roofs and walls (internal and external). Structural Insulated Panels are enabling technology to meet the Architecture 2030 Challenge for 100 percent energy efficient buildings. Many chain hotels and restaurants are now only building with SIPs due to energy-efficiency and speed of construction, with an overall lower cost and unskilled labour market. Also, many states and cities are starting to require homes and builders to get closer to net zero energy buildings. This is good news for SIP building envelopes, since they are about 50 per cent more energy-efficient.
Kit home facts
The growing popularity of prefabricated housing, especially among thirtysomethings, demonstrates that prefab housing could be a future alternative to bricks and mortar.
Three out of 10 people in the UK would consider buying a prefabricated or selfbuild home with, young people aged 34 and under the most likely age group to do so.
People living in rented accommodation see prefab or self-build as a way onto the property ladder, with 33% saying they would consider it.
The UK continues to have one of the lowest rates of self building - around 10 per cent of new private sector house-building, compared to countries such as Austria, Belgium, Italy and Sweden where self build rates are above 65 per cent. However, the last few years have seen a great deal of activity in the self-build sector through Government incentives and greater media exposure, and an improvement in the general economy has also helped the market increase in value. Product systems in the self-build market are a mix of timber frame and traditional methods, with kits continuing to represent a significant share of the self-build sector.
Let’s go to the Homebuilding & Renovating Show
The Scottish Homebuilding & Renovating Show in Edinburgh at RHC October 21-22 is the go-to exhibition for self builders and renovators. No matter what stage your project is at, there will be sessions, experts and exhibitors at the show to help bring your project to life. From tailored advice from homebuilding and renovating experts to displays of thousands of the latest innovations, technologies and products, this is a great place to start your self build journey. Visit http://edinburgh.homebuildingshow.co.uk/ for tickets and more information.