SIPS are a relatively new method of construction but quite straightforward, and generally speaking a good concept.
They are very similar to timber frame construction in the sense that they are manufactured off-site and then delivered and assembled on-site. The key difference between a standard timber frame and SIPS is that SIPS are pre-insulated, meaning there’s no additional work to do on-site. However, we can pre-insulate our timber frames, if you want us to.
As a company we decided against the use of SIPS for a few reasons, namely:
- They are usually expensive compared to timber frame construction
- Our clients do not have a choice of the type of insulation that goes inside them
- The insulation that goes inside is not particularly ‘eco’
- Once SIPS are erected, additional site work is required in order to create the service cavity for your plumbing and wiring – not the case with our timber frames
Ultimately, we don’t offer a SIPS solution because we can provide our clients with equal or better levels of thermal performance at a lower cost and with a greater choice of materials to choose from (so you can be ’properly’ eco if you want).
In other words, we don’t really see the point of SIPS for the self-builder (but, for the record, we think it’s a great idea for larger developments where economies of scale will come into play).