In an earlier posting I talked about work we are doing for Marshall and Carla Hansen on Sixth Street in Northfield. The new house we are building for Hansen’s utilize structural insulated panels.

The structural insulated panels (SIP’s) are manufacturred off site in a controlled factory environment. They are shipped to the site according to established schedules, arriving and loaded in the sequence they are needed.

SIP’s are a great product to use in a home. They have a very high energy rating, great wind resistance for infiltration, and are easy to erect. If you have not seen SIP’s in the field, they essentially are two pieces of oriented strand board glued to each side of expanded polystyrene foam insualtion. The exterior of the SIP is covered with standard exterior finish materials….wood siding, stucco, burck, etc. The interior of the SIP is covered with drywall, wood paneling, or in many commercial applications, is simply painted.

Computers have allowed excellent coordination between designing a home and the fabrication of the SIP’s for a home. At the Hansen house we are using SIP’s for the wall fillers and for the roof system. There are many angles, openings and pieces to fit together in such a project….and the computers mainly get things correct.

While SIP’s still have only about a 3% market share of all wood construction, they are growing in popularity due to great energy features and computer assisted design and manufacturing.

Everyone at Northfield Construction Company has enjoyed learning about and working with SIP’s on the Hansen job. The roof is installed, windows are set and it is really looking like a fine home.