Housing currently accounts for around 40% of the UK’s total carbon footprint according to the UK Green Building Council. By reducing the amount of energy used in buildings, architects, builders, and homeowners can contribute to a cleaner environment and a greener future.
SIPs are built to last. The initial investment might be greater than traditional methods of construction but you’ll achieve high levels of insulation, low air leakage and minimal thermal bridging, all factory engineered and constructed in a fraction of the time of traditional methods.
Eco-friendly – the EPS insulation is 98% air and just 2% plastic. The OSB (Orientated Strand Board) is made from sustainably-harvested spruce, with 35% less timber used compared to traditional building methods. Timber uses just 20% of the energy needed for concrete to make a product with equal strength.
Improved energy efficiency – building with SIPs can reduce carbon dioxide emissions from homes. Currently, 27% of Britain’s carbon dioxide emissions is attributed to leakages from homes. This can be significantly reduced by lowering down domestic energy consumption and well-insulated SIPs panels are the ideal solution.
EPS Foam – the EPS insulation is 98% air and just 2% plastic and is one of the few building materials that can truly claim to be 100% recyclable. It can be reused in the manufacture of new EPS products, soil improvements and auxiliary compost material, as well as being added to other building materials. EPS does not, and has never, contained either CFCs or HCFCs gases, which diminish the ozone layer. EPS is fully recyclable and no waste is created in its manufacture.
Reduced heat loss – SIPs can outperform other building methods in virtually every environmental category because the insulation is a core component of the system rather than an add-on. Timber is naturally low in thermal conductivity and it’s 15 times better as an insulator than concrete, 400 times better than steel and 1770 times better than aluminium.
Sustainable timbers – the outer skins of SIPs panels are manufactured from Orientated Strand Board (OSB). This is made from young, fast-growing trees grown in plantations accredited by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). Young trees produce oxygen and remove more carbon dioxide from our atmosphere than mature trees and are renewable, recyclable, biodegradable and non-toxic.
Shorter supply chain – SIPs are produced from just four main ingredients. By reducing the number of suppliers and components, there are fewer deliveries. Reduced transport needs results in less congestion, noise pollution and air pollution, which ultimately helps minimise the project’s impact on the environment.
Less waste – specialist design and cutting systems ensure that waste is kept to an absolute minimum and where possible, any excess materials can be recycled or repurposed on smaller-scale projects.
Reduced foundations – a SIPs structure has a lightweight shell (approximately 25Kg/m2) and therefore does not need heavy foundation design – it also makes them easy to handle and quick to assemble on site. These weight-related factors create many environmental benefits, such as reduced plant and machinery usage, reduced concrete production for foundations, and fewer people required on site.
Reduced cold bridging – SIPs buildings can be extremely airtight so the amount of energy used to heat and cool a room can be cut by up to 50%. SIPs contribute to The Code for Sustainable Homes through excellent thermal performance, air tightness and limited cold bridging. Typically, SIPs panels will give U-values as low as 0.13 and significantly reduce cold bridging. We have had several of our standard details thermally modelled for PSI calculations and these can be viewed here.