Preliminary SIP Manufacturer Evaluation

One of my taks from the last design meeting was to research local SIP manufacturers and get quotes to pass on to our builder to formulate into his calculations for the rough estimates of the construction costs. We do not have a detailed builder spec package for quote so I can not get official quotes yet from the manufacturers but I did start my preliminary investigation. I started at www.sips.org which has a lot of valuable information about SIPs and a convenient search function for local manufacturers, dealers and contractors.

Super Efficient Windows for the Passive Project

I did a search for all manufacturers within a 500 mile radius of our project in order to conform with LEED guidelines that encourages us to source as many local materials as possible. I’ve created a google spreadsheet which can be viewed at this link:

Super Efficient Windows for the Passive Project

http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=p4D0y9XxZM0uv-VUAuI2TeQ

Marker Time – Indoor Air Quality (Health)

This spreadsheet will be updated continually as I get more specific quotes and information from the various companies. A couple of the companies are shaded gray as they have been eliminated during the preliminary eval, which leaves us with six companies to choose from. All the remaining companies had very helpful sales reps that were intersted in the project and very willing to spend a lot of time on the phone educating me on their product and services. I learned a couple new things about SIPs I had not heard of before while taking to the various reps:

  • Venting the roof is recommended on top of the SIP roof panels to keep them dry
  • Siding should not be applied directly to SIPs even with a house wrap product installed. A secondary drainage plain or vented rain screen should be installed first.
  • A single SIP wall does not have a 2 hour fire rating which is required by code in Philadelphia for all shared party walls.

The venting requirements caught me a bit off guard as I have often heard that less protection is required with SIPs due to their tight seal and robust construction. In the last design meeting we had discussed trying to eliminate the excess cost associated with siding options that required a rain screen. There is a nice product called Home Slicker that was recommended by one of the manufacturers to create an economic rain screen on the home. It looks like a good product, especially the type that includes Typar on the back to wrap the home in one step.

If anyone has personal experience with SIPs feel free to comment and the next update will probably come in a week or two when specs go out for quote.