Of the 69.4% of respondents who don’t sell SIPs at all, the top reasons given are lack of demand, the fact that SIPs are an unfamiliar product and that they prefer to sell traditional building materials. (Chart 2.) Another major challenge is that SIPs aren’t easily stocked in inventory. Instead, like trusses and structural steel beams, they are most often custom fabricated per project.
Despite the challenges, some SIP manufacturers view the LBM distribution channel as the key to getting SIPs in more homes. “This is the future of homebuilding,” says licensed engineer Joe Pasma, technical director for Premier SIPs. “SIPs provide homebuilders a simple and affordable way to meet evolving energy code requirements, while building better homes that people enjoy living in.”
Scott Bergford, a DOE Energy Value Housing Award Builder of the Year in Olympia, Washington concurs. “It only costs an average of $200 to $300 a year to heat one of my homes. That’s anywhere from one-fifth to one-sixth the typical costs for this region, so the savings are pretty significant, and the homeowners love that.”
To learn more about SIPs, visit the Structural Insulated Panel Association at www.sips.org.