Rationale for Building your own SIP Panels if you are in construction, especially internationally!
For over 70 years there has been a tremendous amount of SIP construction totalling many hundreds of millions of square feet of SIP buildings having been built. All of this has been backed by science and research demonstrating the strength and durability of the panels (as well as weaknesses). They are indisputably a strong product that offers a faster 1 way to build a buildings compared to wood framing.
In short the research has “illustrated that SIPs perform as an effective composite material possessing considerable strength and stiffness necessary to sustain required design loads.” 1, and experience has demonstrated their viability. In addition they are the undisputed king of eco construction enabling the construction of high energy efficient LEED certified and “net zero” buildings.
But they have problems: especially when it comes to getting them into wide scale use on an international basis. The reason for this is that SIP Panels are made in factories and the factories are regional, and expensive. Further, the nature of the product (SIP Panels) and how they are built leads to the following obstacles.
Expensive To Ship:
The cost to ship SIP Panels is one of, if not the primary reason SIP Panels have not been used on an international level. Simply put, nobody can afford to ship SIP’s! They simply are too large to be shipped too far.
Along with the cost of transporting panels to the jobsite, most manufacturers service only a limited geographical region. The manufacturer then builds a factory that can efficiently service their prospective market. Building too large of a factory means inefficient utilization of resources and too small of a factory limits capacity. Both constrain or limit supply.
SIP Panel Manufacturers invest and specialize in a limited number of machines that produce certain panel types. Their machine and process limits hamper flexibly and although there are many suitable materials that can be used as the skins most SIP Panel manufacturers ONLY use OSB.
Restricted Replacement Panels:
SIP Panel manufacturers require the entire building be designed and every panel pre made and pre cut before sending them to the jobsite. This works well until a change in the design occurs after the panels are on the job site or a panel somehow gets damaged and needs to be replaced. The process of replacing a small numbers of insulated panels can take weeks and in some cases months.
Because of the outstanding capabilities, superior energy savings, and limited supply globally, manufacturers have opted to price the panels as a premium product.
We believe these limitations are overcome by simply changing where SIP Panels are manufactured. At IADDIC, we understand SIP Panel manufacturing and have developed the tools and equipment needed to build high quality panels on or near the construction site. We believe the problems with SIP Panels is simply where they are made. We have decoupled SIP Panel manufacturing from the factory and have made SIP Panel production available to almost anyone, almost anywhere. Instead of being impacted by the limitations of the traditional SIP Panel manufacturing process you are now able to produce high quality panels with the flexibility you need to construct strong and energy efficient structures.
By choosing to take control of the SIP manufacturing process and build them on the job site or near the construction location the limitations of manufacturing in a regional factory disappear or better still it is turned to your advantage.
Was Expensive To Ship – Now some of the least expensive to ship:
Shipping containers loaded with SIPS is outrageous. It takes two, three, or more containers to ship a single building (small house). Now, using IADDIC, the raw material to make the foam core takes 1/20th to 1/40 of the space. Unheard of savings because the structural foam core is a liquid and expands 20-40 times when used to make SIP’s. Now just one container can ship from tens to hundreds of structures.
Was Limited Supply – Now you control the supply according to your needs:
You can not afford to ship the panel but even if you could you need to wait on the manufacturer. Instead, using IADDIC Field operated SIP Panel systems (small modular systems) you select the number of machines that makes sense for your operation starting with single modules that can produce hundreds of panels a year.
Was Limited Options – Now you control what skins to use:
SIP panel manufacturers have limitations as to what can go into their machines. Now, using IADDIC you put whatever you want in the SIP Panel system (small modular systems). Whether you want to stick with traditional OSB, use MgO (which we recommend) use corrugated tin, or whatever else is available, you have that flexibility. And you can adjust thicknesses, length, and width on the fly. And the measurements can be either metric or imperial.
Was Restricted Replacement Panels – Now make what you need when you need it:
If something happens to one or more of your panels you will need to have them replaced however, you MUST go back to the manufacturer who may (or may not) be able to make your panel right away. Then the panel needs to be shipped. These delays could cost a project tremendously. With an IADDIC SIP panel system simply make or remake the panels you need on the jobsite.
Was Premium pricing – Now you control the cost:
Since the limitations driving up the prices of the SIP Panels has been removed your cost to produce are then based on the following three things:
- The costs of the raw material you select for the skins
- The labor costs
- The cost of the equipment.
Raw Material Selection:
As you may know, we recommend MgO as the skin because it offers many technical advantages over OSB. The downside is it is initially more expensive than OSD. However, we contend there are overriding reasons to produce panels with MgO for a total lower cost of construction as well as long term benefits for building longevity. (this subject is covered separately under the article titled: MGO vs OSB – old school vs new school).
All that aside: IADDIC supplies the raw materials to make foam cores and you select the materials you want to use as the skins. What do you have available? What is acceptable for the structure being made? Are you making simple short term shelters and use OSB on one side and corrugated tin roofing on the other side? Or are you building high end housing using thick MgO skins which provide a well suited interior surface for almost any finish? Is your application for a commercial building and you want or need to use polished aluminium? With IADDIC the answer is always the same. Namely: you use what you need to use, have available to use, is available, or is priced right.
We make it convenient for you as well. We can supply the skins or you get your own. Either way is fine with us.
As far as costs go, the combination of the previously mentioned shipping costs along with material selection, are the two greatest opportunities for saving you get by using IADDIC. But we’re not done with the savings.
With SIP Panels being manufactured in factories you get everything that goes along with that. The cost of the building, the power usage, and the labor. Included in the pricing of the SIP Panel manufacturing, is labor that is predominantly US and Canadian based. You pay for skilled labor and extra labor as well. Included in the labor, is the costs for the management team, the marketing team, the cleaning crew, the laborers, etc…
Presuming you already construct buildings and are in the construction business, then all you will add is labor to build the SIP Panels. However, if you are building using brick and block or stick built housing you will reduce the construction crew required to lay bricks and frame the building by anywhere from 20-80 percent. All in all, there should be no net gain in labor costs, and you should see an actual decrease in labor costs.
The cost of the equipment: We believe the cost of the equipment is justified due in large part to all of the inherent savings that are realized when the IADDIC system is used. There are still practical limits to how much the machines should cost and obviously the less expensive the better the end savings will be. We feel our solutions are priced right for the business at hand. You will of course form your own justifications, but we demonstrate the economics of building you own SIPs on site below.
Economic Justification for Building SIP Panels
When evaluating building costs it is pretty common to look at two measures that are important to builders. The cost of material per square foot of building space and cost of material per sq foot of surface area.
In an attempt to provide the best answers, for both measures we have a summary chart below showing the cost per square foot of building area and the cost per square foot of surface area for projects we have worked on. In addition, if you need more detail for a specific structure, we will provide a quote for your project. We also have available an online calculator for you to use to help evaluate SIP Panel material pricing on a budgetary basis.
The bottom line is this: We guarantee you will not find SIP’s for less whether you buy finished SIPs from us or use our system to produce your own. We also believe the SIP’s you build will produce some of the best, environmentally friendly structures faster and more affordably than you can make today.
Online SIP Panel Pricing Calculator:
Since buildings are so varied in shape and size it is impossible to estimate your particular project needs without more information. To assist with this we we have an online calculator that helps you estimate the costs for any building. You will need to estimate the amount of building surface area that will be occupied by SIP Panels. Once you have the surface area you can divide that by the area of a single SIP Panel and determine the quantity of panels needed. Separate that list into roof panels and walls panels and calculate the prices for each group for each of five SIP Panel configurations; along with the estimated shipping requirements.
Five SIP Panel Price Groups:
To provide the most flexibility in understanding SIP Panels prices offered by IADDIC we have broken SIP Panels manufacturing into 5 categories:
- IADDIC built SIP Panels utilizing MgO skins
- IADDIC built SIP Panels utilizing OSB skins
- Customer built SIP Panels utilizing MgO skins supplied by IADDIC
- Customer built SIP Panels utilizing OSB skins supplied by IADDIC
- Customer built SIP Panels utilizing skins that the customer supplies.
This chart demonstrates SIP Panel prices and the price of materials using either IADDIC supplied SIP Panel raw materials or your own skins.
Note 1: Max pricing is derived from calculating the price of the smallest structure, using the least number of panels in each category. For example the Maximum shelter price is the price for material to build one 96 sq foot shelter (the smallest shelter available).
Note 2: The minimum price is derived from calculating the price of the largest structure using the highest number of panels in each category. For example the Minimum shelter price is the price for materials to build 10,000, 480 sq ft shelters (the largest available).
Please see our catalog for each structure type: (shelter, house shelters, and houses and more) and use the SIP Panel Calculator.
Our experience makes it clear to us: building with SIP Panels simply produces the best structures, offers the fastest way to build a structure, and provides the greenest building possible. And NOW, when you build your SIPs for your projects they are some of the least expensive buildings to construct.
If you need more information simply contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or submit a Request for Quote and we will demonstrate how to build the best affordable structures possible.
Performance of structural insulated panels: Publisher: American Society of Civil Engineers http://www.icevirtuallibrary.com/content/article/10.1680/stbu.2006.159.1.13
Additional reference information:
National Institute of Building Science