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Thread: Structural Insulated Panels - SIPs

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    Default Structural Insulated Panels - SIPs

    I did a search on the above topic and assumed I'd find lots of reading about their use for remote cabins (where these panels could be transported, anyway)

    I thought they'd be the best combination of an efficient construction material for this purpose (with great insulation), but I've not found anything in the search yet.

    I'd have thought a sturdy timber or lumber frame with these panels on the outside would be pretty slick...

    Am I searching the wrong wording, or is there a reason why these panels are impractical/undesirable/unavailable in remote locations?

    Cheers
    Jim

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    Try this Jim. www.pbssips.com

    Not sure if this is what you are looking for or not.

    I believe that Uresco, and Spenards deal with these products here in Alaska.

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    Default SIPs in the backcountry

    Jim,

    Yes SIPs are an excellent building method for speed and super insulation. I work as a manufacturers rep. for Extreme Panel Technologies in MN. We specailize in custom building packages that are all pre-cut and ready to assemble. We have even sent panels to Alaska. The challenge of a back country cabin is just that... It's in the back country. If the site is hard to get to that means that getting the panels and supplies to the site would be the hardest part. When we ship panels over seas (mainly to Japan) we use the large steel shipping containers. This is how a cabin package would be delivered to Alaska as well. If the site has a road that a semi could get access then delivery wouldn't be a problem. but chances are that is not the case. That would mean that the panels would have to be unloaded and brought to the site in smaller loads, not a huge problem just not ideal. I have been working on some simple cabin packages that would work great for what you are discribing. I've even talked to a solar panel supplier to size an array that would make them off grid and self suffiecent. If you are ineterested in the panel packages that I offer go to www.extremepanel.com to learn about the panels or email me at andy@panelworksplus.com.

    I hope this helps.

    Andy

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    Thanks for this...
    Now that I've continued reading, I have seen some posts that mention SIPs, though not in the title.

    I have read that the OSB component can be unstable due to glue degridation...?

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    Keep them dry, and they are fine. If exposed to a damp enviorment they will sweel up on you, and cause problems.

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    You can also get the manufacturer to GLUE on all weather wood panels. They will not build the SIP itself out of it as it has not been tested for the seismic lateral loads that are faced in AK. The all weather wood panels will help with your moisture control, but you will still need to keep them dry. You do not need to have a timber frame to support it either, you can apply your rock directly to them and build several levels without worry. The manufacturers typically will work with the client (you) to coordinate the necessary spans, connections, etc...

    The links above are the ones that I would have posted as well. As an engineer, I typically deal with Premier Panels (http://www.pbssips.com/) and have had good results. Bush shipping is not too hard as it's currently being used on 2 schools that I'm aware of.

    HTH

    Bill

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    Bush shipping to where a barge can get them to..with the huge budget of most school projects..is easy. Bush shipping by airplane, boat or snowmobile is quite another matter.

    Am I searching the wrong wording, or is there a reason why these panels are impractical/undesirable/unavailable in remote locations?
    In general, if you are using them for a recreational cabin, the expense does not justify their use. You can build with a very similar R-value, with materials that are more easily moved by hand, for usually less money.

    A small cabin, built with 2x6 materials, insulated with R-21 in the walls and R-38 in the roof rafters (use 2x12's), with a super tight vapor barrier (tape and Tremco), good windows, good door, will be so easy to heat that you will have a tough time finding a wood stove small enough. Cost of a cabin like that, in our experience, is about 1/2 of what SIPs panels cost.

    SIPs haven't taken off in our market for one big reason, cost.
    Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem

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    That's a shame...thye're a really good idea, especially for timber-framed structures...

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    I used them on a cabin and had the ceiling side covered in beaded pine form the factory. We ended up saving close to $8k when you calculate the labor savings. We spanned the center beam to wall and by using SIPs we were done including all the finnish work on the eaves. Beaded pine ceiling and finished beaded pine under the eaves. It was quite a nice touch.

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    That's a helluva savings...

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    Quote Originally Posted by klickitat View Post
    We ended up saving close to $8k when you calculate the labor savings.

    I think thats the difference between a house in town, which is usually built by hired labor and a small remote cabin, which is usually built by the owner. SIPs go up faster, so if you are paying someone to build, you recoup much of the extra cost of the panels there. If you are doing it yourself, you save time with SIPs but you spend more money.

    Then there is handling panels by hand. Look at the manufacurers websites. How are they placing the panels? - with a crane! It can be done by hand if you limit the panel size but a lot of the speed comes from having a flatbed truck loaded with panels parked next to the house and a crane swinging them into place.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NRick View Post
    I think thats the difference between a house in town, which is usually built by hired labor and a small remote cabin, which is usually built by the owner. SIPs go up faster, so if you are paying someone to build, you recoup much of the extra cost of the panels there. If you are doing it yourself, you save time with SIPs but you spend more money.

    Then there is handling panels by hand. Look at the manufacurers websites. How are they placing the panels? - with a crane! It can be done by hand if you limit the panel size but a lot of the speed comes from having a flatbed truck loaded with panels parked next to the house and a crane swinging them into place.
    Very true, the savings we found was on the finishing of the ceiling and eves. If all was equal and the ceiling and eves were not finished then we would have broken even. We also installed ours with a crane. It took us 12 hours with 4 men to install.
    We used 24' panels on a 24x40 log cabin with 16' vaulted ceilings above the second floor.

    An interesting note: after our first heavy frost (cabin was closed in and heat on) you could see where the heat from the house was escaping only from where the 2x10' where inside by the melt lines on the roof. That foam was extremely efficient.

    You can also have walls pre-built with the electrical runs already built in. Basically you could have an entire cabin built from these and then just assemble them on sight. After we were done we decided that from now on we will use SIPs for all our dormers as well as the roof.

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    Where was this place built Klickitat? That has a HUGE bearing on the cost.
    Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKDoug View Post
    Where was this place built Klickitat? That has a HUGE bearing on the cost.
    It was built in Cinebar, WA. The center beam was a 6"x30" Glue-Lam, resting on 3- 6"x6" steel columns.

    The reason for the steal columns; was the fact that engineer required that we tie in all the way through to the floor of the daylight basement.

    The cost savings was the result of the finished vaulted ceiling and eves. The rental of equipment, scaffolding and the extra man needed to support the two of us and the actual time of fitting the beaded pine.

    Here is a link to the site for the company I was working for. The house in question is the woods house in the descriptions. The pictures look as though they have been narrowed and make the cabin look a little funny, but you will get the idea.
    http://pinecreekloghomes.net/

    Ron (the owner) has had a hard wood flooring business for 20+ years and is a freaky perfectionist. I was hired to help him because he had no building background. ( I have known Ron and been a friend for better than 14 years) One of the best things about this job was the fact that he was a perfectionist, the worst part of the job was that he was a perfectionist. When we got done with the shell it was out of square 1/2" and the back wall had a 1/4 bow in it. This almost drove him nuts and I had to keep from laughing. Because it was a log cabin, the entire job was a finish carpenters dream. This was absolutely my favorite project that I have ever been on. He has another one coming up here real soon and asked if I would come back and I would love too, but my heart is set on moving up north and am actively looking for work up there.

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    Default Thats NOT Good!

    An interesting note: after our first heavy frost (cabin was closed in and heat on) you could see where the heat from the house was escaping only from where the 2x10' where inside by the melt lines on the roof. That foam was extremely efficient.

    That is why the manufacturer I work with and I as a manufacturers rep. will not laminate finish materials to the bottom skin of the panels. By laminating the knotty pine to the bottom skin you can't get a good seal tape on that panel point. I hope the guys putting the panels together used plenty of panel mastic and spray foam when installing your roof. If not warm moisture laden air will get into that joint and condense when it hits the cold dry air. That equals moisture inside the joint that could cause degredation of the OSB. Plus I don't recommend using solid lumber in the panels. We use a special I-joist to get longer spans and minimize thermal bridging across that lumber. If you get a thermal imagining camera and a blower door test done you will be able to see the air leakage. This is why knowing how to install the panels is soo important!

    Andy

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    Hence, my question about where the building was built. You would have eaten that $8000 up pretty quick in shipping if the load came to Alaska.
    Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem

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    When we used them, we had to fur them out with 2x2s and, more insulation, vapor barrier, then your inside finish. I guess it all depends what part of the country you use them in. Just from my experiance.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by MN-KIDD View Post
    An interesting note: after our first heavy frost (cabin was closed in and heat on) you could see where the heat from the house was escaping only from where the 2x10' where inside by the melt lines on the roof. That foam was extremely efficient.

    That is why the manufacturer I work with and I as a manufacturers rep. will not laminate finish materials to the bottom skin of the panels. By laminating the knotty pine to the bottom skin you can't get a good seal tape on that panel point. I hope the guys putting the panels together used plenty of panel mastic and spray foam when installing your roof. If not warm moisture laden air will get into that joint and condense when it hits the cold dry air. That equals moisture inside the joint that could cause degredation of the OSB. Plus I don't recommend using solid lumber in the panels. We use a special I-joist to get longer spans and minimize thermal bridging across that lumber. If you get a thermal imagining camera and a blower door test done you will be able to see the air leakage. This is why knowing how to install the panels is soo important!

    Andy
    There was OSB under the pine. After the panels were set you go along with a supplied can of foam and fill the gap then you insert the spline from the bottom and push it all the way up along the glued edges. When done, it was sealed completely. The home has been through three winters in western Washington without any issues.

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