The future of UK construction: Part 2 – What are SIPs?

Welcome to part 2 of an 8 part series, looking in to ‘Why Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) are vital to the future of UK construction’.
Check out Part 1: Introduction and follow us to keep up to date on the series.

Part 2 – So, What are SIPs?

Developed by a student of the world-renowned architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, structural insulated panels, or SIPs, are engineered building panels that have been used in construction for almost eighty years. SIPs have evolved over time and have become increasingly adopted by construction companies worldwide due to their strength, durability and environment-friendly qualities.  They consist of two outer skins and an inner core – an insulating material – to form a monolithic unit. Due to their phenomenal strength, SIPs are especially used in parts of the world where buildings need to be earthquake and monsoon resistant.

What does a SIP look like?

Structurally, it is shaped like an I-beam.  Its foam core acts as the web, and in tension, resists shear and buckling.  The facings are similar to the I-beam’s flanges which, under load, act as slender columns, with the core providing the unit’s stability.  When engineered and correctly assembled, a structure built with these panels needs no frame for support.

Hemsec SIPs Timber Faced structural insulated panel with mini sip spline
A Hemsec SIPs panel illustration showing a mini-SIP spline joint.

What are SIPs made from?

The facings are usually made of either plywood or oriented strand board (OSB). The core of SIPs can be made from various materials, including moulded, expanded polystyrene, extruded polystyrene and urethane foam.  This and the two skins of the unit are non-structured and, on their own, they are insubstantial components but when pressure-laminated together they form a component much stronger than the sum of the individual parts.

About Hemsec SIPs in particular

Here at Hemsec we use the highest quality OSB and core, and the most technically advanced manufacturing methods to ensure Hemsec SIPs are amongst the very best in the world

For more information visit the SIPs section on this website

SIPs panels forming the first floor on a residential property


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