The following article gives an introduction to SIP panel construction as well as the types of windows that are advised to be used with this type of construction.

This type of energy efficient construction that has been around since the 1930’s: Structural Insulated Panels, knows as SIP walls, or SIP panels are used for energy efficient light commercial construction and energy efficient residential construction.

SIP panels are made of two sandwich layers of OSB (oriented strand board) or better known as plywood with a middle layer of carbon treated foam core insulation. The layers of wood are used for durability while the middle layer of insulation adds thermal comfort to the home. SIP walls cost approximately the same as wood frame construction, however is much more thermal efficient and allow for financial savings overtime. They also minimize the amount of jobsite waste that is left behind to prevent consuming the forest. The benefit of SIP walls is that it can be used with almost any external type of cladding including brick, stucco, aluminum cladding and more. SIP panels are also very flexible to change. As a result, architects may be attracted to this type of construction due to the ability to make easy changes in structural planning.

When choosing a window style for a SIP panel home, do take into consideration the window style you choose. If you are already building an energy efficient home, don’t slack on choosing a window that won’t be a good fit for your home. Fiberglass windows and doors are sturdy and energy efficient, being the best fit for SIP Homes. Fiberglass windows offer U-values that cannot be achieved with other frame materials such as vinyl or aluminum. Fiberglass casement, fixed and awning windows are styles that are usually more energy efficient windows than others such as the traditional fiberglass double hung window or fiberglass sliding windows. In addition, making insulation changes such as adding LoE glass, or using a triple pane fiberglass window rather than a double pane fiberglass window can make the difference. The opening envelope left for windows in your home are the largest structural openings in your home, therefore having the biggest impact on achieving energy efficiency throughout the entire building.