How Standard Options Hurt Fuel Economy

February 5, 2013

We’ve all had the experience of buying a car, new or otherwise. Many of us search the web to find the best model for the best price. We look at features. We probably check fuel economy, too, because today’s global marketplace has taught us that we do not in any way control how much we pay for fuel.

Now imagine your research shows that the tires offered as standard in the car industry reduce fuel mileage by over 25%. Let’s say you also find a new, advanced tire that guarantees not to cost gas mileage like the old technology, and most likely increases fuel economy. Wouldn’t you wonder why car manufacturers haven’t made this new tire standard equipment?

That’s exactly what’s happening with traditional exterior wall framing. Using studs and other materials creates what’s commonly referred to as the “framing factor,” which can knock more than 25% off the R-value of whatever insulating materials you use. Who can afford to give up 25% in fuel economy, whether it’s your home or your car?

In the tire example, the alternative was hypothetical. In construction, SIPs provide a real alternative to traditional framing. SIPs not only eliminate the 25% framing-factor loss, but also increase R-value over a standard wall. Before you invest in a new home, make sure your builder or manufacturer knows about the options to “standard equipment.” Share with them and get your 25% back.