SIPs get the job done right

When fire broke out in the studios of Grand Junction, Colo., station KREX-TV in January 2008, things were just about as bad as they could get.

The local fire department and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives investigated. It was apparent where the fire started, but investigators could not identify the other details of its origin. The final consensus was that a natural gas heater hanging from the studio ceiling was most likely the source.

The unfortunate occurrence was exacerbated by timing; the fire had broken out on the day of  a National Football League championship game. Needless to say, football fans on the western slope of the Rockies and Grand Junction area were not pleased to miss the game.

Worse, the KREX building was damaged beyond repair.

Ron Tillery, studio manager, saw the opportunity to build a new studio that would be more energy-efficient and correct a long-standing problem with noise coming from a helicopter pad on the roof of the neighboring St. Mary’s Hospital, the largest hospital in the KREX area.

“Our studio was right in the line of flight for the hospital helicopter pad, and the noise was a problem for us for years,” said Tillery. “We set out to build an entirely new studio for the television station that would improve our facility in every aspect.”
Tillery was interested in insulating the studio for heat as well as acoustics.

“We told the architect, Design Specialists, that we wanted to have the best possible acoustics and energy efficiency in our new building. They suggested we use SIPs (structural insulated panels) for the roof. The panels are already sandwiched with R-38 EPS insulation and ready to put in place, and our architects felt the SIPs would give us the best thermal and acoustical insulation available,” Tillery explains.

Although none of the construction crew had worked with SIPs before, there were no problems with the installation.
The studio’s builders broke ground in late November of 2008, and the station gradually moved in to parts of the building throughout the winter. In spring, they  installed the new set and technical equipment. On August 10, 2009, KREX was back on the air with its first high-definition broadcast.

“What is remarkable about the new KREX building is that everything is new. We went from analog broadcasting equipment that was 25 years old — maybe older — to the most current technology available today, all digital. So not only is our building new, but our equipment is entirely state-of-the-art. Everyone working with it had to re-learn their jobs because of the new technology,” Tillery says, still amazed.

ACH provides SIPs
SIPs for the project came from ACH Foam Technologies, headquartered in Denver. ACH manufactures R-Control SIPs which are distributed through construction channels nationwide.

SIPs are manufactured per specifications, so there is zero waste on the jobsite. Additionally, they are placed very quickly, saving labor costs.

R-Control Structural Insulated Panels have been used for over 30 years in residential and commercial projects for their high R-value, superior strength and quick and easy installation, according to ACH.

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