Structural insulated panels, or SIPs, are not a newly developed building technology, but they are getting a fresh look as builders and homeowners explore ways to build houses that are tight and help to conserve energy. Fine Homebuilding assistant editor John Ross takes a look at SIPs: how they are made, what they’re made of, and how they are assembled quickly to make walls for a house. Contemporary SIPs are sandwich-like materials, with a pair of boards on each side of a foam core. Ross attended a weeklong program at SIP school in West Virginia to learn more about how SIPs work. This article includes sidebars on tools for working with SIPs and construction details for building with SIPs.
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