SIPA in the News
ACC Contributions of Insulation to the U.S. Economy 2022
- The use of insulation in U.S. homes and businesses saves energy by reducing the heating and cooling loads of buildings, and therefore, reducing heating and cooling costs for home and business owners. In addition, by saving energy, the use of insulation helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions otherwise associated with the heating and cooling of buildings.
- Beyond the benefits of the use of insulation, the insulation industry—including the manufacture, distribution, and installation of insulation—supports more than 1.8 million jobs in the U.S. and nearly $97 billion in payrolls that support families and local communities around the country.
- Insulation materials manufacturing is a $24.9 billion business, and directly employs more than 40,000 people across 45 states. Further downstream, more than 6,000 jobs are supported through the manufacturing of accessories and fabricated insulation panels.
- Indirectly, through its purchases of supplies, raw materials, equipment, and services, insulation manufacturing supports an additional 73,000 jobs in supplychain industries. Through the household spending of the wages and salaries paid to workers in insulation manufacturing and its suppliers, an additional 74,800 payroll-induced jobs are supported.
- The combined direct and indirect economic activity from U.S. insulation materials manufacturing supports more than 188,000 jobs. These jobs generate payrolls of $13.9 billion. In addition, the combined economic activity supported by insulation materials manufacturing contributes $2.4 billion to state and local governments and $3.3 billion in federal tax revenues.
Architectural West Magazine, Forward-Thinking Construction
Architectural West Magazine has showcased this Berkeley, California, SIP residence and all it's high-performance features. Flexible in design, SIPs are used in floors, walls, and roofs to create low-embodied-carbon structures. A straightforward building system, the engineered panels are made by sandwiching the core of rigid foam insulation between two structural facings. The result is a nearly impermeable building system that architects use to meet high-performance standards, such as low carbon, energy-efficient, and all-electric, and rigorous building codes while prioritizing creativity and aesthetic appeal.
Project architect Denise Montgomery specified 6” SIP walls using EPS and 10” SIP floor and roof panels using EPS to create a nearly impermeable building envelope. According to Montgomery, SIP construction, executed by Shell Building Systems, also made it possible to exceed California’s Green Building Standards Code, known as CALGreen.
This contemporary Berkeley home was recognized with a 2023 Building Excellence Award from the Structural Insulated Panel Association (SIPA).
Green Builder Magazine, Clifton View Homes & Hillside Farm House
Green Builder Media's January/February 2023 Magazine is thrilled to feature an extraordinary publication showcasing a pioneering project that pushes the boundaries of eco-friendly construction. The remarkable building, a testament to sustainable living, is not only Net Zero and Energy Star certified but also sets a new standard in green building practices. At the heart of this revolutionary project are the Structural Insulated Panel (SIP) parts, which have proven to be a game-changer in the realm of sustainable construction. SIPs are prefabricated building components that boast exceptional insulation properties, resulting in a well-insulated, airtight structure that significantly reduces energy consumption.
The project was brought to life by the visionary builder, David Wallace, from Clifton View Homes. With a strong commitment to sustainability and a passion for eco-conscious construction, Wallace embraced the challenge of creating Hillside Farm House a truly green building. His expertise and dedication to environmentally responsible building practices were instrumental in the project's success.
David Wallace, Ted Clifton, and Zero-Energy Plans have not only constructed an exceptional building but also set a precedent for the industry to follow. By embracing SIPs and innovative design, they have shown that sustainable construction is not just a possibility but a necessary step towards a greener and more sustainable future. Together, we can build a greener and more sustainable future, one SIP at a time. Read more on pages 30-33.
Designing Green Multifamily Properties: Forward-Thinking Building Practices Hold the Key
Eco-conscious multifamily housing is not just a trending catchphrase—the appeal of “green” living only seems to be growing. Afterall, pressing issues such as climate change and climbing energy costs are high priorities for many people, particularly Millennials and Gen Z renters. Underlining the growing demand for more sustainable housing, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reports that 36 percent of multifamily developers are building environmentally responsible projects that will perform efficiently and effectively today and over time. There’s no sign of the market slowing down—the number of developers looking to build sustainable multifamily properties is predicted to steadily increase over the next decade. Read the full article...
"Properties: Forward-Thinking Building Practices Hold the Key" published 4 November 2022.
Green Builder Magazine, September/October 2022 - TC Legend Homes & Mariposa Meadows
Green Builder Media's September/October 2022 Magazine highlighted two SIP projects and busts the myth that green buildings are unattainable for average American families and only for the wealthy.
TC Legend Homes has developed a tried and true homebuilding recipe to continuously meet zero energy performance scores of 10 or 20 below HERS net zero. This project’s walls consist of 6.5-inch SIPs that use a graphite-enhanced expanded polystyrene core wrapped with OSB. The roof is constructed of 10.25-inch graphite-enhanced SIPs topped with underlayment and asphalt shingles. Clifton chose a thicker, stronger roof panel to allow for foam inter-panel connection splines saving money on the lumber of I-joists splines, which have inherent thermal bridging heat losses. Read more on pages 32-35.
Meet Mariposa Meadows in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado near Telluride. This three-structure project uses insulated concrete form (ICF) foundations and SIPs for the walls and roofs. Since the project’s location is almost 20 miles away from the nearest grid, self-sufficiency was key. The structures incorporate a photovoltaic solar system, battery storage and a generator. Read more on pages 42-46.
OFFSITE VS. ONSITE CONSTRUCTION — BENEFITS & VERSATILITY OF OFFSITE CONSTRUCTION
In Part II of a two-part series, industry pros focus on the multiple benefits offered by offsite construction with increased challenges from inflation, labor shortages, materials availability and a push to increase sustainability on construction projects.
While offsite construction methods encounter a share of hesitancy, it has decades of experience and proven benefits making it a preferred choice for many building professionals. The leader-driven panel has returned in Part II to explore these set of questions:
- What are the benefits of offsite construction relating to materials and labor availability and budget?
- What is the ideal environment/situation that benefits most from an offsite construction approach?
- What is the true value of offsite construction?
This two-part series was written and published by Tamarack Grove Engineering, a SIPA Design member.
OFFSITE VS. ONSITE CONSTRUCTION — ECONOMY, IMPACTS & FUTURE by Tamarack Grove
Offsite construction is the manufacturing, planning, design, fabrication, and assembly of building elements that are transported to a final construction site location. Offsite construction can be used for all building types including residential, educational, health care, and commercial, but offers distinct advantages. All construction methods and delivery systems are heavily impacted by current economic conditions. We’ll explore how offsite construction is becoming ever more viable given today’s economic outlook and challenges, and present why it’s coming into its own. We’ve assembled a team of experts representing the construction, engineering, and building systems industries to weigh in on what may make offsite construction the perfect option for your next project.
Architectural West Magazine, Progressive Building & Design Methods in Bozeman, Montana
Recent shifts in the global dialogue on sustainability and green building initiatives have put responsibility on the shoulders of architects and designers to create energy-efficient, high-performing structures without compromising on the design vision. This recasting of priorities, combined with a growing focus on promoting the well-being of occupants in the built space, has challenged professionals to seek creative, alternative building solutions.
One proven way that architects and designers can meet this moment is to look to forward-thinking building solutions such as structural insulated panels (SIPs). A modern approach to residential and commercial projects, SIPs are flexible in design and used in walls, roofs, and floors to create a nearly air-impermeable building envelope. In turn, architects and designers can optimize energy consumption and mitigate air leakage to meet stringent criteria of a high-performance structure while prioritizing architectural creativity and aesthetic appeal.
Check out the full May/June 2022 Architectural West publication here.
Insulation Industry Decarbonization Policy Statement
The energy efficiency requirements in today's building codes and standards are the cornerstones of building decarbonization.
Over the past 20 years, insulation manufacturers have innovated products that are safer for the ozone with lower global warming potential. Energy conservation is a core value proposition to building insulation and the Insulation Industry published a decarbonization statement this past spring. In effect, this industry delivers a product that cost-effectively optimizes the thermal performance of buildings with insulation materials that are safer to use and promote a cleaner environment.
Green Builder Magazine, March/April 2022 - SIPA Members in Top 10 Indexed Companies
SIPA is proud to see nine member companies highlighted as sustainable brand leaders in the 2022 March/April Green Builder Magazine.
Under the Structural Top 10, Simpson Strong Tie came in second, Premier Building Systems came in third (holding there since 2019) and R-Control came in fourth place (up from 10th place in 2019). R-Control is the umbrella SIP brand to four SIP manufacturers: Big Sky, Branch River, PremierSIPs, and ThermaFoam offering SIP services throughout North America. Also under Structural, the OSB manufacturer Ainsworth/Norbord/West Fraiser came in sixth. Mitsubishi Electric Trane came in first in the HVAC lineup, BASF came in second in Insulation, and DuPont came in first for Building Wrap.
SIPA’s sustainable construction mission is only accomplished by the entire ‘system’ of industry partners and the SIP building envelope is the starting place for a healthier, higher-performing structure.
DOE Awards $32 Million to Accelerate Next-Generation Building Upgrades
14 March 2022
Meet VacRIPs - a nailbased retrofit panel solution with vacuum insulated modules installed. The Department of Energy announced mid-March a huge investment in next-generation building retrofit projects that will dramatically improve affordable housing technologies. Seven awardees will test renovation techniques that reduce disruption to tenants while upgrading the energy and environmental performance of buildings more quickly, affordably and effectively.
The SIPA collaboration team led by NAHB’s Home Innovation Labs & Oak Ridge National Labs will test an innovative wall system with VacRIPs in three residential, multi-family public housing buildings in Albany, NY. VacRIPs are a new retrofit insulation technology that will improve the energy performance of older buildings via the thermal envelope without displacing tenants. Here are the project highlights:
- 3 multifamily 1980's apartment buildings with a total of 48 units will get a building envelope and mechanical retrofit to save about 70% energy from their current usage.
- Over 50% of the energy savings will come from the thermal envelope improvements of a new, approximately 3" nailbase retrofit insulated EPS panel with embedded Kingspan vacuum insulated modules to provide an R-40 performance.
- About $2M of the $4.5 M grant is directed to the direct retrofit construction costs of the structures (i.e. installation and purchase of materials & equipment). $900K goes to ORNL for all the testing and modeling and development of the updated SIP/RIP Installation Guide. Another retrofit installation guide will be published with the completion of the study. Download the current 2015 RIP Installation Guide.
- This project will include both the walls and roof of the building envelope enhancements with the new RIPs/nailbase.
- Phase II of the project will take about 3 years to plan, install, and monitor results (including the 1-year energy monitoring phase).
Read the official DOE press release here.
Green Builder Magazine, January/February 2022 - Green Home of the Year Award Winners
For well over a decade, Green Builder has inspired and informed the U.S. construction industry with ideas, building science and innovative approaches to shelter. The Green Home of the Year Awards are judged by a panel of three industry experts in terms of overall sustainability, resilience, synergy with the environment and surrounding neighborhood, affordability, creativity and the depth of science employed. Long-time SIPA manufacturing member Energy Panel Structures provided the SIPs for two of the winning projects.
2022 Most Innovative home goes to the Cuyuna, Minnesota SIP rental property on pages 35-37 of the Green Builder Magazine.
2022 Mainstream Green award goes to this Toft, Minnesota single-family SIP house on pages 50-52 of the Green Builder Magazine.
SIPs: A Panel that Meets the Needs of Homebuyers
Sustainable building practices have long been a focus of environmentalists, but recent shifts in the global dialogue have brought a wave of homebuyers who are ready to permanently adopt green building initiatives. This shift in priorities, combined with a growing focus on health and wellness features in the home, has put responsibility on the shoulders of building industry professionals to create energy-efficient, high-performing homes that enhance the occupant’s quality of life…
Armstrong, Jack. “SIPs: A Panel that Meets the Needs of Homebuyers.” Walls & Ceilings Magazine, Vol. 85, Issue 1, January 2022. https://digitaledition.wconline.com/january-2022/sips-a-panel-that-meets-the-needs-of-homebuyers/?oly_enc_id=1761F7087234F9F
Mitigate the Industry's Labor Shortage with Forward-Thinking Construction Practices
19 November 2021
To mitigate the labor shortage and capitalize on the heightened demand for construction, building and construction companies must carefully evaluate ways to retain the current workforce. One solution is to employ meaningful training and professional development programs. A necessary and beneficial investment, such opportunities will help employees feel more confident in their job performance, demonstrate increased productivity in the field and remain more committed to their company…
Armstrong, Jack. “Mitigate the Industry's Labor Shortage with Forward-Thinking Construction Practices.” Walls & Ceilings Magazine, 19 November 2021, https://www.wconline.com/articles/93968-mitigate-the-industrys-labor-shortage-with-forward-thinking-construction-practices