Alternative University

Architectural Design

Residential Homes

Energy-Efficient Home Design

Structural Insulated Panel (SIP)

A structural insulated panel (SIP) is thick rigid foam insulation, sandwiched between sheets of plywood or oriented strand board (OSB) or other plant-based construction sheeting boards.

Effective adherence of the foam insulation to the boards works like a tetrahedral truss structure, making SIPs very strong.

SIP walls do not require interior walls or trusses for support, allowing for open interiors.

Figure 1:  SIP home construction in Denver.

Figure 2:  SIP roof in Hood River, Oregon.

SIPs are sized at the factory:

Figure 3:  SIP manufacturing plant.

SIPs are carefully attached to each other at the construction site:

Figure 4:  Attaching SIP roof panels with foam adhesive. Clifton Homes, 2013.
(3.2 MB)

Figure 5:  A double bead of sealant seals the seams between the SIP panel and spline. TC Legend Homes, 2019.
(7.6 MB)

Figure 6:  SIP panels are stacked high, dry, and flat before installation. [BuildingAmerica]

Figure 7:  An all-terrain forklift is used to move and stage the panels. [BuildingAmerica]
(1.6 MB)