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SIPA Registered Master Builder: SIPsmart Building Systems

SIPA Registered Master Builder Michael Morley of SIPsmart Building Systems, Inc. draws on his diverse background in SIP design, building science, and construction to help clients construct quality structural insulated panel (SIP) buildings.

After a successful career as a general contractor specializing in SIP homes, Morley now works as a SIP design consultant and onsite installation advisor. Morley was in the first graduating class of the SIPschool SIPs 301 Installation for SIPs Professionals course. For homeowners looking to build a custom SIP home, SIPsmart offers a helping hand throughout the process, including design consultation, energy analysis, engineering, sales of the SIP package, and onsite training to ensure a quality installation.

“We work with clients to make their SIP house happen and fill in all the blanks between chicken scratch sketches and a delivered SIP package.” said Morley. “I am also a HERS rater and it adds another level of service to be able to help people with their heating and cooling strategies. If I can include HVAC installation savings as well as HVAC operational savings, I can be much more competitive in my pricing.”

Morley constructed his first SIP home in 1994. After six years of focusing on SIP construction, he wrote Building with Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs), published in 2000 by the Taunton Press. At the time it was the first published book on SIPs and is currently the only generic installation guide available.

Although already widely regarded as an expert on SIPs, Morley pursued the SIPA Registered Master Builder designation to add to his company’s visibility and professionalism.

“My long association with SIPA and numerous SIP manufacturers are an important part of marketing both myself and my business,” he said. “I think the SIPA Registered Master Builder certificate is a very valuable addition.”

Morley is currently involved in a collaboration with prominent architect and author Sarah Susanka, FAIA. This summer they plan to release the NotSoBigBungalow SIP Kit House®. This kit comes complete with SIP wall and roof panels, structural package including beams and floor systems, sealed shop drawings, and a below 50 HERS Index. The plans will be available for purchase at www.houseplans.com and the SIP package will be available through Extreme Panel Technologies, Inc.

Morley’s work has also been featured in a National Geographic article on energy conservation that pictured a home built by SIPsmart in Greensburg, Kansas after a devastating tornado destroyed 95 percent of the city. The home was constructed using SIPsmart’s proprietary Architecture Resistant to Climatic eXtremes (ARCX®), a concept that combines the inherent strength of the geodesic dome with the energy efficiency and automated production capabilities within the SIP industry. ARCX cutting geometries take advantage of the jumbo format SIP panels and produce very little waste.

The ARCX system is just one example of Morley’s attitude toward pushing the limits in SIP design and engineering.

“I try to introduce architects to the SIP system and let them know that this large design module is not just a substitute for 2x4s, but a whole different process of design,” he said. “I use the SIPA AIA Continuing Education presentation to offer architects learning units and I like to point out tall, straight walls and long roof spans. I tell them that designers have barely scratched the possibilities of good SIP design.”

Learn how to become a SIPA Registered Master Builder or find a list of Registered Master Builders in your area through the SIPA membership directory. See some work from SIPsmart Building Systems below:

Click on a photo to enlarge.

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