Results from the Structural Insulated Panel Association’s (SIPA) annual production survey show a five percent increase in structural insulated panel (SIP) production in 2013 among the association’s manufacturing membership, consisting of 28 manufacturing locations in the U.S. and Canada. Industry-wide statistics reveal no net gain or loss in total SIP industry production over 2012 figures for the 44 known SIP manufacturers surveyed, representing 53 manufacturing plants producing wood-faced SIPs.
SIPA member manufacturers continued a three-year trend of increasing their percentage of SIPs for nonresidential applications, helping boost production despite relatively slow growth in single family housing starts—traditionally a key market segment for SIPs.
“Energy efficiency and environmental sustainability are now key design objectives when it comes to new and existing buildings,” said Jack Armstrong, SIPA Executive Director. “SIPs deliver a high performance building envelope that enables designers to reach ENERGY STAR, LEED Platinum, Green Globes, Architecture 2030 Challenge and other aggressive green building goals like United Nations Environmental Program – Sustainable Building Climate Initiative for carbon reduction in buildings.”
Findings from the survey were announced on April 29 at the 2014 SIPA Annual Meeting & Conference in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The industry event drew near-record attendance, with a 30 percent increase in participants over last year’s conference. Over 60 builders and design professionals registered for one-day educational seminars presented in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Zero Energy Ready Home program, WoodWorks, and outreach support from the Southern Florida Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council.
The event also marked SIPA’s new inclusive approach to alternative panel skin systems for joint education, design and outreach. Representatives from SIP manufacturers producing panels with metal, cementitious, magnesium oxide, and phenolic fiberglass laminate skins spoke in a plenary session, discussing the benefits and applications of the different skin materials.
“SIPA’s mission is to help builders and design professionals find the best solution for high performance, sustainable buildings in their climate zone,” said Al Cobb, SIPA President and President of the SIPschool. “By representing a variety of skin materials, the SIP industry can provide an energy-efficient building envelope for virtually any building type or climate zone in the world.”
“In 2014 SIPA is welcoming all types of SIP manufacturers to join our association so we can grow our membership and present both builders and architects with a variety of SIP solutions to match the breadth of applications in the marketplace,” said Armstrong.
SIPA also announced an initiative to develop a comprehensive design guide during the conference. Produced by NTA, Inc., the new guide will present standard SIP design and engineering methodology for architects and engineers to streamline engineering on SIP projects.
All attendees received a draft copy of the Retrofit Insulated Wall and Roof Panel Installation Guide, which is under review for a final release in early 2015. The builder-focused training guide was prepared in conjunction with the Home Innovation Research Labs under a grant from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). Retrofit insulated panels (RIPs) are a simple way to perform deep energy retrofits on existing homes and commercial buildings.
Plenary speaker Bruce McCullen of McCullen Management Consultants discussed the role of SIPs in resilient construction meeting the FORTIFIED Home designation and the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes program goals. SIPs deliver superior strength over traditional wood frame construction and have been used in the construction of many FORTIFIED Homes throughout the Gulf Coast and Eastern seaboard.
Presentations from the SIPA Annual Meeting & Conference are available online, along with information on the 2015 SIPA Annual Meeting & Conference, scheduled for March 30 through April 1, 2015 in Tucson, Arizona.
The Structural Insulated Panel Association (SIPA) is a non-profit association dedicated to increasing the use and acceptance of structural insulated panels (SIPs) in green, high performance building by providing an industry forum for promotion, communication, education, quality assurance, and technical and marketing research. SIPs are a high performance, panelized building system that offers superior thermal performance, air tightness, and durability for energy-efficient homes and commercial buildings.
Builders and design professionals seeking to reduce energy use and minimize the carbon footprint of their buildings utilize SIPs as a cost-effective solution for exterior wall and roof systems that also cuts down on framing time, lessens construction waste, and ensures greater jobsite quality control through prefabrication. SIPs are an enabling technology to meet to the Architecture 2030 Challenge for net-zero carbon neutral buildings today. Learn more at www.sips.org.