Why build with SIPs?
According to the Zillow Group’s Consumer Housing Trends Report 2017, 50 percent of new construction home buyers are looking for energy efficiency. The survey asked more than 13,000 households what they wanted most in their new homes, and energy efficiency ranked number 10 behind basic features such as number of bedrooms and the right price range.
If you’re a builder looking to grow your business, start with the shell. Thermocore structural insulated panels not only provide energy efficiency with the best R-values and zero thermal gaps, they also make home building quicker and easier. Contact us for more information or a free quote.
Many SIPs industry innovations started at Thermocore, including:
- First to offer 8-foot by 24-foot polyurethane core structural insulated panels
- First to cut structural insulated panels with precise Computerized Numerical Control (CNC)
- First to offer pre-cut and pre-bucked SIPs
- First and only SIPs company to offer custom electrical boxes and conduit as a standard feature
- Highest R-value in a standard jamb wall (4 9/16 inches) with the patented 4-inch, R-24 structural insulated wall panel
- First to offer an optional plumb eve
You save significant time, labor, and – most importantly – money with these industry advances. Build with the leader in SIPs innovation. Build with Thermocore.
Picking a structural insulated panel and picking a cooler…not two things you’d normally connect. But they actually share a lot in common. Let’s start with coolers. They generally use either expanded polystyrene (EPS) or polyurethane foam. EPS models are the common “throw-away” coolers found in grocery stores – plain white and not very sturdy.
Top-of-the-line coolers from brands like Igloo or YETI use polyurethane foam. These coolers are sturdier and can keep items cold for up to seven days. They work better because the polyurethane foam allows for better construction and, most importantly, better performance.
Now here’s the connection between coolers and structural insulated panels: There are two types of SIPs, as well – EPS and polyurethane. They differ significantly when it comes to R-value and their response to fire. The R-value of EPS foam is just 3.8 per inch; polyurethane foam has an R-value of 6.9 per inch. While EPS softens at around 180 degrees and completely melts when exposed to flame, Thermocore SIPs made with polyurethane NEVER melt. In fact, we add a fire-retardant to make the foam self-extinguishing.
When choosing your structural insulated panels, think about how you’d choose a cooler. Do you want the option that won’t last as long or work as well? Or do you want to invest in something that makes a big difference in performance and your long-term return?
You might expect that if you sell your energy-efficient SIPs home, prospective buyers will appreciate the monthly savings on their utility bills. In fact, according to a recent report from the North Carolina Building Performance Association (NCBPA), high-performance homes garnered an average 9.5% premium. Using the Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index (a way to quantify how much energy you save), the study showed a strong correlation between lower HERS scores and higher total sale prices and prices per square foot.
Guess what? Homes built with Thermocore structural insulated panels consistently score lower on the HERS Index – which means a higher expected return if you ever choose to leave your comfortable, energy-efficient SIPs home. The NCBPA’s report studied three North Carolina metro areas, but experience shows the same results across the country. A higher sale price is just one more payback from your Thermocore SIPs investment.
When Jamie and Simon Sangar decided to build a modern, energy-efficient home in Indianapolis, they carefully considered options to meet their dreams for design and functionality, while staying within their budget. The resulting three-story home turned out so well that Indianapolis Monthly magazine featured it as Home of the Month in their January 2018 issue.
In choosing what to cut and what to keep in their budget, the Sangars included Thermocore structural insulated wall and roof panels. “Choosing Thermocore SIPs meant that our walls were built indoors in a factory, unexposed to the weather elements, and then delivered on two semis to the job site,” Jamie said. “A crane and a framing crew set the walls, which drastically cut down on framing labor and time.”
In her Mod Abode blog, Jamie added, “All of our electrical and window/door rough opens were cut by computers, taking the human error factor out of the equation. Conduit is run through the foam wall panels where electrical is needed, structural headers are placed inside the wall panels where needed above windows and doors, and extra support can be planned within the walls if you know that you’re going to have something heavy to hang (for example, our bathroom floating cabinets).”
The Sangar’s SIPs decision means lasting payback. “In the coldest of winter months, our heating bill is $40 to heat our entire 3,600 square foot home!” Jamie said. “We’re very happy customers and would highly recommend Thermocore SIPs for future projects!”
Want to see what Thermocore SIPs can do for you? Need tips to make your timber frame or log home more efficient and easier to build? Visit us at one of these Johnson’s Log Home and Timber Frame Consumer Expos:
Grand Rapids, MI
November 10 – November 12, 2017
Deltaplex Conference Center
West River Hall
January 5 – January 7, 2018
January 26 – January 28, 2018
Ohio State Fairgrounds
Rhodes Center Building
Visit Johnson’s Log Home and Timber Frame Shows for tickets.
Don’t let anyone tell you that building with SIPs puts any limits on architecture. With Thermocore’s customized structural insulated panels, Indianapolis design firm One 10 Studio has won numerous awards for both residential and commercial projects.
A 3,300 square-foot home they designed in Bloomington, Indiana, won the 2015 American Institute of Architects (AIA) Indiana Merit Award. The SIPs also helped minimize irritations for neighbors. “That was a relatively tight lot, and Thermocore’s SIPs installers were able to come in very quickly and efficiently and get the shell up in just a couple days, as opposed to having framers out there banging wood together for weeks,” said Patrick Kestner, project manager and associate at One 10 Studio.
On the commercial side, the firm designed a $1.2 million, two-story office building for Reliant Partners in Indianapolis. That project won the 2016 Indy Chamber Monumental Merit Award for Architecture and the 2016 AIA Indiana Citation Award. “Reliant Partners wanted something well-designed, but they were also looking to keep operating expenses to a minimum,” Patrick said. “With Thermocore structural insulated wall and roof panels, they saw the value and the payoff of using more sustainable systems.”
One 10 Studio’s design for Irvington Lofts—two three-story buildings with 50 affordable housing units near downtown Indianapolis—won the 2017 AIA Indianapolis Citation Award, 2015 AIA Indiana Honor Award, 2015 Lt. Governor’s Award for Excellence in Affordable Housing–Urban, and 2014 Indy Chamber Monumental Merit Awards for Neighborhood Revitalization and for Real Estate Development. “Constructability and the economics of SIPs definitely played a part, especially for the Lt. Governor’s and Indy Chamber awards,” Patrick said.
Building with SIPs not only reduces energy costs and provides a more comfortable environment—it also supports some of the best architecture around. (See One 10 Studio’s case study.)
When a “microburst” (massive, sudden winds during a thunderstorm) hit Evanston, Illinois, trees crashed down, sidewalks buckled, and part of a hospital roof flew off. But the Thermocore home almost finished with installation of R-40, 6 1/2” structural insulated wall panels and R-50, 8 1/4” structural insulated roof panels suffered zero damage. As crews worked to clear the city’s streets, the builder lost no time completing this home. I think that’s a testament to the strength of Thermocore SIPs, great SIPs installation, and effective planning by the structural engineer. After the fire that destroyed this homeowner’s previous residence, they sure were happy that this home stood strong!
For photos of this SIPs home right after the storm, check out Thermocore’s Recent Projects.
Or maybe it’s unseasonably warm today. If there’s anything you can count on, it’s unpredictable weather. You can also count on super insulated Thermocore SIPs to maintain your ideal indoor temperature no matter how much ice, cold, or surprising weather Old Man Winter throws at you. With the holidays behind us, the next couple months typically bring some of the coldest weather. When it comes to fighting back against chilly temperatures and high utility bills, Thermocore’s structural insulated wall panel system provides a powerful weapon. If you’re entering into the building process, start with the environmentally friendly building envelope that brings savings as well as the fastest way to frame and insulate. The process is simple. Just email your plans for a free, no obligation quote on Thermocore SIPs. You’ve got nothing to lose and lots of warmth and savings to gain.
Thermocore Panel Systems recently completed a fifth SIPs home on the island of Martha’s Vineyard. Though not our highest concentration of SIPs homes, for an island it’s tops! As crews completed installation of Thermocore insulated wall and roof panels in less than a week, I was struck by the difference between building on mainland vs. an island. Consider that all the materials for this home had to be moved to the island by ferry. That makes efficiency extremely important. With Thermocore insulated roof and wall panels, the builder ferried the framing and insulation in one product—precut so there’s no waste. How much less waste might be generated if you knew you’d have to ferry it away? Maybe the laid-back island lifestyle isn’t the only thing worthy of dreams. Couldn’t the efficient island “buildstyle” benefit the environment and all homeowners’ wallets?