SIPA in the News

A Groundbreaking Venture with the Potential to Revolutionize Construction Practices

May 2024
In a groundbreaking collaboration, Citizen Robotics and Insulspan® have unveiled Detroit's first 3D printed house, a pioneering venture set to transform the construction industry. The project, located in Detroit, Michigan, marks a significant milestone in the evolution of construction technology. Using cutting-edge 3D printing techniques, Citizen Robotics and Insulspan have demonstrated the feasibility of constructing a home in a fraction of the time and cost associated with traditional methods.

At the heart of this innovation is 3D printing technology. Instead of traditional construction methods that involve assembling materials piece by piece, a large-scale 3D printer extrudes a specialized concrete mixture layer by layer, gradually building up the walls of the house. This method not only streamlines the construction process but also allows for intricate designs and customization.

Specializing in forward-thinking construction methods, Citizen Robotics sought out Insulspan® to partner with because of the versatility and superior energy efficiency of the company’s Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs). SIPs are quickly becoming the future of construction, with their ease and speed of installation catching the attention of builders worldwide.

Forward-Thinking SIPs Hold the Keys to Energy-Efficient Structures - Roofing Magazine

March/April 2024
High-performance, energy-efficient buildings are a critical component of the global transition plan to a lower-carbon future. This puts enormous responsibility on the shoulders of building industry professionals who are challenged to adopt advanced building materials and progressive building envelope construction methods.

Building teams can meet this challenge by turning to structural insulated panels (SIPs), which can be used in roofs and walls of residential, multifamily and light commercial projects. A straightforward building system, the engineered panels are made by sandwiching the core of rigid foam insulation between two structural facings. Manufactured under factory-controlled conditions, SIPs can be customized to meet exact project specifications. The result is a nearly air impermeable building system. In turn, project designers can optimize energy consumption to meet the criteria of a high-performance structure: energy-efficient, low carbon and airtight for healthier indoor air quality.

Read the Roofing Magazine feature here

Designing Energy Efficient Building Envelopes with SIPs - Building Enclosures e-magazine

Spring 2024
Building operations are responsible for 30 percent of global final energy consumption and 26 percent of global energy-related emissions, according to the latest findings from the International Energy Agency (IEA).

This puts responsibility on the shoulders of architects and designers to deliver high-performance, energy-efficient structures that can contribute to global sustainability targets. To meet this moment, project teams are carefully examining the building envelope, paying close attention to the selection of advanced materials and construction methods. As the physical and thermal barrier between the external environment and interior conditioned spaces, the building envelope has a very close relationship with a structure’s energy transfer and consumption. Consequently, the building envelope plays a critical role when it comes to designing an energy-efficient structure.  

One proven way that design teams can deliver a virtually airtight, low-embodied building envelope is by integrating structural insulated panels (SIPs) during the planning stages of a project. Read the full article here.

NAHB's 2024 Building Sustainably: Green & Resilient Single-Family Homes Study

Spring 2024
The National Association of Home Builders has teamed up with Dodge Data & Analytics to survey home builders on the level of their green building activity, the costs and benefits of building green, the drivers and obstacles influencing their decision to build green and the green practices and features that they most widely use and value. Visit the SmartMarket Brief - Green & Resilient Single-Family Homes Study.

The two companies last conducted research on the prevalence of green building in the single-family residential market in 2019, publishing the findings in 2020. There were 250 home builders and remodelers surveyed in this 2024 report and it revealed that commitment to green building remains strong and is growing among single-family builders and remodelers.

SIPs are specifically mentioned with regards to the prefabricated components incorporated into builder practices. These components include other panels, trusses, etc. As this graph depicts, the 2024 report shows a 14 percent increase in prefabricated component usage among builders from the data collected in 2019 (pages 14 & 15).

Green Builder Media Announces Green Home of the Year Awards with Three SIP Projects

February 2024
Green Builder Media's January/February 2024 Magazine was an extraordinary publication featuring pioneering projects that pushes the boundaries of eco-friendly construction. The remarkable buildings, a testament to sustainable living, are not only Net Zero and Energy Star certified but also set new standards in green building practices. SIPA is thrilled to see these three SIP projects recognized as 2024 Green Homes of the Year:

2024 Green Home of the Year Award – Alternative Building:
Energy Star SIP Home in Berkeley, CA by Premier SIPS and Shell Building Systems. Pages 50-53.

2024 Green Home of the Year Award – Above and Beyond Extreme Heat
Net Positive Solar SIP House, Bellingham, WA by TC Legend Homes & Powerhouse Designs, Insulspan and BASF Corporation. Pages 40-43.

2024 Green Home of the Year Award – General Category:
Solar SIP House ADU in Seattle, WA by Premier SIPS. Pages 60-61.

Elemental Green Highlights SIPs in Latest Blog as a Preferred Green Building Technology

January 2024
Elemental Green published the SIPs for High-Performance Homes: Faster, Better and Greater Value blog highlighting the well-known and lesser known benefits to SIPs. Readers will learn about sealed attics and disaster resistance data while also understanding how SIPs navigate supply chain concerns, trim build times and are less vulnerable to labor shortages. SIPs result in a better quality home and a better building experience.

Visit Elemental Green to learn more about building products that are sustainable, accessible and easy to integrate!

DOE ZERH Housing Innovation Awards go to Clifton View Homes and TC Legend Homes

October 2023
Since 2013, the DOE Housing Innovation Awards have honored the very best in innovation on the path to zero energy ready homes by recognizing forward-thinking builders delivering American homebuyers with a better homeowner experience. The 2023 Housing Innovation Award winners were honored at the EEBA High Performance Home Summit in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Clifton View Homes - Custom Homes for Buyer over 3,000 sq. ft. 
Coupeville, Washington

TC Legend Homes - Custom Homes for Buyer under 2,500 sq. ft.
Bellingham, Washington

NAHB's 2023 BCS Jerry Rouleau Award Recognizes Two SIP Projects

October 2023
The National Association of Home Builders held their annual Building Systems Housing Summit in DC, attracting hundreds of attendees. SIPA was thrilled to have SIPs included in the 3-day Systems-Built Construction 101 track introducing attendees to offsite construction methods. Furthermore, two SIP projects were later awarded the BSC Jerry Rouleau Award for Excellence in Home Design. Similar to SIPA’s Building Excellence Award, this NAHB accolade has several project types with SIPs winning the panelized construction awards for 3,001-4,000 square feet and the multifamily categories.

Multifamily Winner - PrairiE Lofts Apartments in Luverne, Minnesota by Extreme Panel Technologies.

3,001-4,000 Sq. Ft. Winner - Lakeside SIP Residence in Marion, Illinois by Energy Panel Structures.

TC Legend Homes Receives 2023 Built Green Hammer Award

September 2023
TC Legend Homes, owned and operated by Ted Clifton Jr., is a well-known builder in Washington State. This company routinely churns out high-performance, distinguishing homes based on their trusty formula incorporating SIPs and other high-performance building technology. Most recently, TC Legend was awarded the 2023 Built Green Hammer Award as a builder constructing less than 10 homes annually. 

This year’s recognized project was their Net-Zero Cascade SIP House in Bellingham, Washington.

Architectural West Magazine - An Award-Winning Lake House

September 2023

Architectural West Magazine has showcased a second SIP home this year. Check out this gorgeous lakeside residence incorporating SIPs manufactured by Enercept.

A scenic 1,500-acre lake, Lake Metigoshe straddles the United States-Canadian border, covering ground from the rural municipality of Winchester, Manitoba, down to Bottineau County, North Dakota.  Just a few minutes south of the international divide, a modern contemporary vacation home sits on the edge of the lake.  Its flat-faced exterior is clad with a combination of wood-emulating planks and natural stone, and large expanses of glass blur the line between the outdoor and indoor living spaces.  A horizontal metal railing, which complements the black trim around the windows and doors, defines the perimeter of the upper-level deck.  Each of the design elements contributes to the straight lines, geometrical shapes, and 90º angles that are synonymous with the home’s modern contemporary aesthetic. 

This home was awarded the 2023 Building Excellence Award for homes over 3,000 sq. ft. You can see all the 2023 award-winning projects here. Also, read the full Architectural West Magazine feature here or click on the photo to the right.

ACC Contributions of Insulation to the U.S. Economy 2022

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

  • 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.

                                                                                 Click here to download the report.

Architectural West Magazine, Forward-Thinking Construction

August 2023

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

February 2023

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

November 2022
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

October 2022
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

September 2022
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

August 2022
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

May 2022
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

April 2022
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

April 2022
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

February 2022
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

January 2022
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

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