What are SIPs?

Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) are high performance building panels used in floors, walls and roofs for residential and light commercial buildings. SIPs are stronger, greener and more energy-efficient than traditional stick-frame construction.

History. In 1935 the Forest Products Laboratory in Madison, Wisconsin built the first prototype structural insulated panels and used them to construct test homes that were continually monitored for over thirty years, then disassembled and examined. Frank Lloyd Wright used structural insulated panels in some of his Usonian houses built during the 1930’s and 1940’s. In 1952, Alden Dow, one of Wright’s students and son of the founder of Dow Chemical Company, created the first foam core SIP. While SIPs have been around since the 1930’s, Today’s SIP manufacturers are continually improving upon the technology and, given the current focus on sustainability, SIP technology is gaining in acceptance from homeowners, builders, contractors, architects and specifiers.

About SIPs. SureTight SIPs are made with an expanded polystyrene (EPS) rigid foam core sandwiched between two structural skins of 7/16” oriented strandboard (OSB). Panels are manufactured in standard thickness of 4 ½”, 6 ½”, 8 ¼”, 10 ¼”, and 12 ¼”. Panels can be bought in standard dimensions from 4’ x 8’ to 8’ x 24’ or SureTight can provide a ready-to-assemble package. All SureTight panels have wire chases built into the panel at 16” and 44” from all factory edges.

SureTight also manufactures a 4’ x 8’ roof base nailer with a single OSB skin. These one-skin panels are typically used to insulate structural roof decks for log homes, timber frame structures or over commercial roof decks.

SureTight Ready-to-Assemble Packages. First, SureTight will complete panel shop drawings from your architectural plans, utilizing our state-of-the-art Dietrich’s D-CAM Premium CAD systems. Once you have approved those drawings, our design team will convert them into machine language and fabricate panels on our Hundegger 5-axis CNC panel cutting machine. After the panels are cut, SureTight will relieve the foam cores for spline connections, top and bottom plates, etc. We then install dimensional lumber around window cut outs, wall corners and roof perimeters. Once fabrication is complete, panels are stacked for shipping to your job site. Panels are shipped together with dimensional lumber for top and bottom plates, specialty SIP fasteners, splines and a foam-compatible adhesive.

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