What are SIPs?

SIPs or Structurally Insulated Panels consist of two outer layers of Oriented Strand Board (OSB) sandwiched around an Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) foam core. Each composite panel is robust, lightweight and extremely strong – up to seven times stronger than a timber frame. SIPs are incredibly well insulated and airtight, resulting in a structure that required less energy to heat and one that provides better air quality for the user.

SIP panels have been used in the USA, Canada, Japan and Europe since the 1950s where they have become a mainstream building material for constructing homes. Now, SIPs are becoming increasingly popular here in the UK.

Building with SIPs as the structural element for property walls, roofs and suspended floors is quick, easy and cost-effective. Timber splines between the panels ensure a structurally-sound framed system with panels fixed to the footings via a timber sole plate and to the ceiling via a timber ring beam. There’s no risk of the compression shrinkage or cold bridging that is normally associated with stud walls and other traditional methods.

Design Flexibility

SIPs building systems offer enormous versatility. Walls can be externally clad with brick, render, weatherboarding or metal and roofing possibilities include slate, tile or metal for example. Internally, SIPs can simply be finished with plasterboard and a skim coating with service cavities as required.

The thicknesses and sizes of SIPs can be tailormade to your individual project requirements at our own New Forest SIPs workshop. You read more about the specifics and sizing of our SIPs on our technical page.

To find out about the advantages of using SIPs, please see our project benefits and environmental benefits pages.