GPlogo.jpg (240947 bytes)

Structural Insulated Panels used to replace stick frame

General Panel Corp is a leading supplier of Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) to the building industry.  Our Stick frame replacement structural insulated panels are all manufactured in Grenada, MS ( South of Memphis).  We make our enclosure panels for timber frames and cathedral ceilings at our Johnson City, TN Plant (NE corner or Tennessee).

SIPs are foam core sandwich panels utilizing a 1.0# density modified expanded polystyrene (MEPS) core which is pressure laminated (over one ton/sq ft of surface) to APA- rated oriented strand board (OSB) using Ashland Adhesives structural urethane two part adhesive (the same one used for most glulams and TJIs).  This produces an extremely strong panel which is used for construction.

SIPs are much stronger than the stick frame systems that they replace, so a SIP home is ALWAYS stronger than a stick frame home in the same thickness- if it can be built in sticks, it can be built in SIPs.  For example, a conventional stick frame two by four wall system (8') is rated for a truss (point) load of about 2,400 pounds/lineal foot with no redundancy (engineering room for error).  The same wall in SIPs is rated at over 5,000 pounds/ lineal foot with 3X redundancy (meaning anticipated failure is 15,000 pounds/lineal foot).  Similar numbers apply to wind shear, uplift, span loading, etc.   See our technical data page for specific span/load data.  For more information go to our new webpage at www.generalpanel.com .

Typically, we work from existing house plans which were originally designed for stick frame and convert the plans to panel shop drawings, which are reviewed by our engineer to verify loads and connections.  We then produce the blank panels for fabrication by our crew and the panels are sent out labelled per the panel plans.  If the builder does not have SIP installation experience we can provide a tech rep to organize, train and help supervise the project.  The vast majority of pre-cut SIP homes are erected in a week or less.

SIPs are usually about the same cost as stick frame in wall systems, less expensive for most floor applications, less expensive for all cathedral ceiling applications, and more expensive for drop ceiling (flat ceiling like in trusses) applications.  Homes designed for SIPs cost typically slightly less in SIPs than in stick frame. 

SIP homes generally use about half the energy to operate heating and cooling as stick frame homes.  This allows downsizing of HVAC systems, further reducing ownership cost.  Studies evaluating "payback", how long the energy savings take to payback the cost of SIPs over stick frame indicate that the range is zero to eight years, depending on the design.  Considering that the increased energy efficiency usually affects the sales price favorably, it is unlikely that the use of SIPs is ever financially inappropriate.  SIPs are the only wall and roof system that is automatically approved for EPAs Energy Star program- the current energy efficiency standard.

 

For specific questions, email to bjohnson@generalpanel.com or call 423 747-8710.