Why Build with R-Control SIPs?

Save Energy

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, heating and cooling account for about half the energy use in an average home. For most of us, it's easily our largest energy expense.

Much of that energy is wasted, and the culprit is the way our homes and buildings are constructed. Traditional building and insulating methods allow cold and warm air to move through walls and roofs, and escape or infiltrate through gaps.

Even the wood in studs and rafters themselves causes energy loss. Through a process called thermal bridging, the wood frame of a building conducts heat, from the inside out during winter, and from the outside in during the summer months.

SIPs solve air infiltration and leakage problems by eliminating the cavities in walls and roofs. Air simply cannot move through the solid EPS core that's adhered tight to the OSB in a SIP.

And, because they contain no studs, SIPs conduct little heat.  The result is a continuous insulation and air barrier that drastically reduces energy loss. SIPs can reduce energy consumption for heating and cooling by 50 to 70% compared with conventional wood framing.

Build Faster

There are numerous steps to constructing a wall or roof using traditional framing methods. It takes several crews, each specialized in certain components like framing, sheathing, or insulation.

As each crew comes in to complete its tasks, and then hands off to the next, the construction schedule gets longer and the potential for miscommunication and error grows.

Because SIPs are, essentially, the complete wall or roof there's only one component, one crew and one major step: assemble.

A key benefit is labor savings. A third-party time and motion study has shown that it takes about 55% less labor to build with SIPs.

Another benefit, according to our contractor partners, is schedule reduction. Less labor means less calendar time, but also less unproductive time between one crew finishing and the next starting.

Build Better

The choice of materials has a big impact on the quality and durability of a building.

Poor lumber can result in walls and roofs that aren’t quite straight. Even the best quality lumber can warp and buckle over time, due to the combination of temperature change, humidity and load.

R-Control SIPs don't have these issues. They're made of rigid, precisely cut Foam-Control® EPS and engineered OSB, and quality-controlled at the source.

SIPs are typically stronger and straighter than traditionally built frames. They maintain their shape and rigidity over time.

As a building system, SIPs can bear enormous loads, withstand high levels of wind shear, and even resist the forces of major seismic events.

Save Money

SIPs cost a little more than traditional building materials. But much of that additional cost is made up in construction labor savings.

Once you account for labor, the incremental premium for SIPs is only about 1% of total construction cost. And, if you're building to the latest international energy efficiency standards, SIPs actually cost a little less than traditional framing and materials.

The real payback from SIPs, though, is in lower heating and cooling bills. Multiple industry studies, and real-life comparisons made by our customers, consistently show up to 50% savings. 

The utility bill pictured in this section is from an actual Big Sky R-Control SIPs customer. Amazingly, these classroom buildings in Missoula, MT, had December heating bills of around $8 a day!

Every home and building is different, but if you net it all out the return on the extra investment in SIPS can be 38 to 100% over the life of a home or building.

R-Control SIPs on Bob Vila's EnergyWise

We had a chance to talk about R-Control SIPs on Bob Vila's EnergyWise a few years back. This informative video not only covers the major benefits of R-Control SIPs, it provides an overview of the SIP manufacturing process and SIP onsite assembly. 

Protect Your Investment

Infestation by termites, mold or fungi can lead to costly repairs, and may even render your home or building uninhabitable.

That's why we treat the foam core of every R-Control SIP with Perform Guard® termite-resistant protection.

Perform Guard deters termites from burrowing through the SIP foam core to get to the wood in your building. It's thoroughly tested, EPA registered, safe for handling and non-corrosive.

The OSB skins of R-Control SIPs can also be protected, against mold, termites and fungi, with FrameGuard® factory-applied coating. FrameGuard is an option when you order your SIPs, and is immediately recognizable by its distinctive green color.

Reduce Your Environmental Footprint

The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that 40% of the country’s energy usage is in homes and commercial buildings. In residences, an estimated 48% of that is for heating and cooling.

SIPs can cut that energy use in half, significantly reducing the carbon emissions and other negative effects of burning fossil fuels. A study on the subject concluded that the average single-family home would produce about 1 ton less carbon dioxide annually if it were built with SIPs.

SIPs are also a highly efficient use of resources. The EPS core of a SIP is only about 2% plastic (the rest is air), and about 85-90% of a log is usable to make a SIP's OSB skin.

Live in Comfort

Living is just better in a SIP building. There are fewer drafts. The temperature is consistent from room to room.

That's because SIPs create a continuous, sealed barrier that keeps the inside air in, and the outside air out. A study by a U.S. government lab found SIPs reduce air leakage by 90%, compared with traditional construction using 2x6 studs and fiberglass batts.

And, because SIPs reduce the amount of air exchanged through your walls, fewer air-borne pollutants and allergens can invade through cracks and crevices.

One of the nicest perks of SIP homes and buildings, though, is their sound-muffling effect. The rigid, continuous foam cores in SIPs deaden ambient outside noise, creating a peaceful, comfortable interior environment.

Rest Easy

A new home or building is a big investment, and it's reassuring to know it's going to stand the test of time.

That's why we warrant the structural and thermal performance of R-Control SIPs for 20 years.

R-Control SIPs coated with FrameGuard also come with a 20-year warranty against mold and structural damage from fungi and termites.