SIPs vs Stick

Make the Switch to SIPs Before You Have To

The comparison of SIPs to traditional stick-framing methods is simple, and the state of California has recognized it in a state wide law. Their Title 24 legislation, requires all new construction (residential and non-residential) must be zero energy by 2013. Since California is an innovator in energy efficiency, it is very likely that other states will soon follow their lead.

Since government agencies recognize the significant difference in high performance framing methods like SIPs, shouldn’t you? Here is a summary of why SIPs are superior to standard 2×6 R19 construction.

Fact: Material costs of SIPs over 2×6 stick framed lumber construction is 0-20% higher (depending on region).

Fact: Overall project cost of SIPs over 2×6 stick framed lumber construction is up to 30% less!

Breaking it Down

A proven higher efficiency product (SIPs) may cost more, but they help the overall project cost less in most cases. A superior project for the same or less total project cost? Why wouldn’t you give it a try? Read on, and we’re sure you’ll agree its worth the switch. Our Field Representatives and large Distributor Network are ready to help you on your jobsite so you can see why SIPs really are the future of high performance framing.

Overall SIPS Project Costs

How does a building cost less to build if SIPs can cost slightly higher than traditional stick frame?

  • Pre-insulated! No need to purchase additional insulation
  • Pre-fabricated & precut when delivered to the jobsite: save 20-30% on framing labor
  • Electrical is installed 20-30% faster
  • Jobsite waste reduced with pre-cut panels — saves approximately 30% on waste sent to the landfills
  • Tighter house means smaller HVAC systems — up to 40% savings
  • Predictable STRAIGHT engineered product is plumb & square every time = faster install for finish work. Doors/windows/millwork: no bowed lumber = straight walls for faster doors/window/millwork install. Floors: level floors and walls = no need to shim
  • House is dried in faster, subs can start sooner — fewer wasted “crew” days
  • No roof venting required in low slope roofing
  • Better indoor air quality, smaller or no air purification systems required in many climates
  • Buildings & houses are FINISHED faster.  Less interest paid.
  • Qualify for $2000 federal tax incentive to the builder and an additional $1500 to the homeowner
  • Warranty.  Does your lumber manufacturer offer any warranty? No. SIPs do.

SIPS vs Sticks in Real Life

With all of these project factors considered SIPs are regularly less expensive than 2×6 framed construction:

Benefit 2×6 R19 Construction SIPS Construction
Energy Efficiency Baseline Up to 48% more efficient
Fire Resistance Sticks require one layer of 5/8″ drywall to meet an hourly wall. A one hour fire wall is achieved with a minimum 2 layers of 5/8″ drywall each side of the wall. 4 layers on each side will achieve a 2 hour wall.
R-Value The Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory has studied and tested the performance of entire wall assemblies in large sections. The resulting whole-wall R-value data reveals that a 4.5″ SIP wall rated at R-14 outperformed a 2″x6″ wall with R-19 fiberglass insulation.  Premier SIPs have a 20 year R-Value warranty:

  • 4″ wall 15.0 – 16.0 R-Value
  • 6″ wall 23.0 – 24.0 R-Value
  • 8″ wall 30.0 – 31.0 R-Value
  • 10″ wall 38.0 – 39.0 R-Value
  • 12″ wall 46.0 – 47.0 R-Value
Strength Baseline 20-30% Stronger – The structural characteristics of SIPs are similar to that of a steel I-Beam. The OSB skins act as the flange of the I-beam, while the rigid foam core provides the web. This design gives SIPs an advantage at handling in plane compressive loads. View Premier SIPS Load Charts. SIPs can be engineered for most applications.
Seismic Yes, tie downs and additional material/ labor costs required Yes, additional tie downs may be required depending on design methods
Waste Created Baseline 30% less salvageable structural lumber sent to landfills over stick. The EPA estimates that every year we send to landfills a BILLION board feet of “salvageable, structural” lumber. Enough to build more than 62,000 average size new American homes. Premier SIPS are also recyclable and made with a significant amount of recycled content.
Labor Costs Baseline Up to 55% labor savings. Proven! Read SIPA News Release
IAQ – Indoor Air Quality Baseline The tightness of the SIP building envelope prevents air from gaining access to the interior of the home except in controlled amounts. A controlled indoor environment is both healthy and comfortable. Humidity can be controlled more easily in a SIP home resulting in a home that is more comfortable for occupants and less prone to mold growth and dust mites.

The EPA says that 19% of all American households have at least one member with asthma. They go on to say that four out of ten (40%) of children born in America today will develop some type of respiratory ailment. SIPs build healthier homes and buildings.

Proven Performance

For more than 30 years SIPs have the proven performance over stick framing. Offering a sound warranty is one thing you’ll see with SIPs, that you most often won’t find with 2×6 construction.

As the nation’s largest and one of the oldest manufacturers, Premier has the track record and experience to manufacture you a superior product. Our vision and our 20 year warranty is backed by the largest parent company in the industry (Carlisle Construction Materials) so you can be sure your SIPs structure is ready to stand the test of time.