Did You Know?

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 SIPs Is Like Picking a Cooler

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.

EPS coolerEPS cooler

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.

polyurethane coolerPolyurethane cooler

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?

Come See Us

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

Allentown, PA
January 5 – January 7, 2018
Allentown Fairgrounds
Agri-Plex Annex

Columbus, OH
January 26 – January 28, 2018
Ohio State Fairgrounds
Rhodes Center Building

Visit Johnson’s Log Home and Timber Frame Shows for tickets.

SIPs Construction Survives Massive Winds

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.

A Cut Above

What makes Thermocore structural insulated wall and roof panels “a cut above”?  Figuratively, we could give you many reasons. But quite literally, it’s the CNC cutting process used in the manufacturing of our SIPs. CNC stands for “Computer Numeric Controlled,” and it’s simply the most accurate way to cut materials. Thermocore began utilizing CNC cutting 14 years ago. Prior to that we hand-measured and hand-cut panels, as many SIPs manufacturers still do. But our CNC machine is always accurate to 1/32nd of an inch across an entire 24-foot insulated panel. We even double-check accuracy by reviewing CNC files. For each project, we customize the CNC settings to meet the specifications of your building plans. That precision makes Thermocore SIPs installation faster, easier, and less expensive, with no extra time or labor trying to get the pieces to fit right at the jobsite.

Our CNC machine doesn’t just cut the outline of structural insulated panels. Thermocore also incorporates electrical boxes and conduits standard with every insulated panel system, and our CNC machine precisely cuts the location of each electrical box and draws with a marking pen all the conduit runs. Your electrician will have an easier job and the envelope of your home will remain true to your exact requirements.

Not all structural insulated panel companies utilize CNC cutting, so it pays to ask. For better home construction, hand-cut your stakes; CNC cut your SIPs.

“Framesulate”

“Framesulate”- that is what you get when you use Thermocore Panel Systems to frame and insulate your exterior walls and roof all in one quick step. Simply put, Thermocore Structural Insulated panels frame and insulate in one step rather than the two step process of conventional building methods. One quick step vs. two. Why is one step better than the old two step method? A couple of reasons. First and perhaps most obvious is time is money in the building process. Literally. The majority of construction projects are financed through a construction loan. You are paying interest on this loan during your building process and the faster you can get a certificate of occupancy, the faster your construction loan becomes a traditional mortgage. Thermocore panels not only is the fastest method to frame exterior walls and roofs but it also turns your framer into your insulator eliminating your insulation sub and all of the time associated with scheduling and completing the work. The fact is traditional framing/insulating methods are the slowest and “oldest” method to use in new construction. Old and slow equals a modern built house? Old and slow equals wasted time and wasted money. Move your next construction project to the fast lane by choosing Thermocore Panel Systems. Save the time and put the money in your pocket.

Continuous SIPs Improvement

Continuous improvement requires many steps, always moving forward. Over the 16 years that Thermocore Panel Systems has manufactured structural insulated panels, we covered a lot of ground with our steps. Before I tell you about our latest development, let me share a recap of what’s made Thermocore the SIPs innovation leader.

Years ago, we were the first company to introduce pre-cut/pre-bucked structural insulated panels that speed construction. Thermocore also was the first to integrate electrical boxes and conduit in SIPs based on your custom building plan, making the electrician’s job faster and easier. In 2010, Thermocore patented four-inch R-24 insulated wall panels, the highest R-value to work seamlessly with standard 4 9/16-inch window jambs. Thermocore then pushed the insulation envelope further in introducing 8 1/4-inch R-50 insulated roof panels that maximize energy efficiency without adding bulk to roof structures.

But there’s always more ground to cover with SIPs improvements. Thermocore recently incorporated second-generation polyurethane foam from BASF that’s even more environmentally friendly. This innovative insulating foam allows for flatter, more stable wall and roof panels that make construction easier, quicker, and sturdier. Sure, the new foam is a little more expensive in our custom manufacturing process—but you won’t see any price increases. It’s our investment in customer satisfaction, the environment, and continuous SIPs improvement.

We’ll continue working hard to be good stewards of the environment while bringing the best innovations to the building community.

How to Get Meaningful SIPs Cost Information

Every day we get calls from folks asking how much it costs to build with Thermocore SIPs. The answer: Much less than what you save on heating and cooling costs over the lifetime of your home or building project.

But in order to provide an accurate number for Thermocore’s customized structural insulated panels, we need to see some sort of building plan with dimensions. Without that, we can give the often-requested “rough ballpark price” for Thermocore SIPs, but it won’t supply the meaningful information you need.

Every journey begins with a map, and the map for your project is the building plan. Once we see your working drawing, we get a clear understanding of what’s involved and can identify any areas of concern. Your price quote will show dollar amounts broken out for structural insulated wall panels, structural insulated roof panels, delivery, and installation, then you choose the options that work best for your design goals and budget.

We never charge for quotes and usually get back to you within a day. All you need to provide is:

  • Footprint
  • Wall heights
  • Roof plan

We don’t need window and door sizes or other interior details. Even the roughest sketch with dimensions marked will save you time and provide the specific information you need for an accurate SIPs cost analysis.

SIPs on Video

Seeing is believing, so click on the links below to explore the Thermocore difference:

  • Click here to watch Thermocore’s manufacturing process, including the electronic equipment and human care that prepares the SIPs to your specifications, and the infrared testing that ensures each insulated panel performs as promised.
  • Click here to see a time-lapse video of Thermocore SIPs installed on a net-zero project in Indiana.

A Story of SIPs and Construction Efficiency

There’s so much to consider when you design a building. So many opportunities to be efficient–or not.

Here’s what one customer shared about using structural insulated panels: “Thermocore gives us the best thermal resistance values for the square footage and thicknesses we use, which in construction means other efficiencies–the wall thicknesses translate into foundation thicknesses and jam extensions for windows,” said Marty Serena, AIA, principal with Chicago-based Serena Sturm Architects. “The bigger and thicker you get, the more parts and pieces you need from the other trades to compensate. With Thermocore SIPS, we can build a better box quicker and more efficiently.”

Read more about Marty’s experience with Thermocore structural insulated panels here.