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Re: SIPS panels - Structural Insulated Panel System

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Jordan:

An interesting thread on SIPs.

When there is a problem, it is usually as the original poster in that
thread said that R-Control contented was the problem...i.e. moisture
penetrates up from inside the house through the SIP joints.  I have not
heard of issues with moisture developing from the upper side in the middle
of the panel.

The moisture through the joints due to humidity in the house is why we
recommend panel seal tape PLUS foaming the joint AND proper mechanical
systems.  If not done properly, then moist, warm air from the interior of
the house can try to escape through the panel joint, but then the moisture
will condense when it "gets past" the insulation and reaches the colder
exterior air.  This usually indicated by swelling at the panel joints of
the OSB and discoloration due to the moisture damage.

I have not encountered any situations where there is moisture problems
originating from the exterior and in the middle of a panel.  An
interesting thread.

Regards,

Scott
Adrian, MI


On Wed, 8 Dec 2004, Jordan Truesdell, PE wrote:

> Yup, I just missed it.  It's one of those little things that seem dog all
> alternative matierials.  My memory id pretty fuzzy, but I think there was a
> company by the name of Eagle which allowed a hot roof installation.
>
> A quick google found this discussion (from 2 years ago) on a SIP roof with
> problems...
>
> http://www.lhoti.com/forums/showthread.php3?threadid=3263
>
> As with most of these things, it's just anecdotal, but it does brings some
> light to what can happen.
>
> At 10:02 AM 12/8/2004 -0500, you wrote:
> >Jordan:
> >
> >Actually, I did mention the issue about roof shingles and warranty...you
> >likely did not see it buried in my long ramble/dissertation (see the
> >second paragraph in my response to John's first question).
> >
> >You are correct...shingles (if that is what he is using) can be an issue.
> >There are still not too many manufacturers that make shingle that they
> >will warrant on SIPs.  They are usually "premium" shingles.
> >
> >Regards,
> >
> >Scott
> >Adrian, MI
> >
> >
> >On Wed, 8 Dec 2004, Jordan Truesdell, PE wrote:
> >
> > > Scott gave you some great info. I've not done paid-for design work with
> > > SIPs, but investigated them thoroughly about five years ago for my own
> > > house.  At the time, I was convinced they were neck-and-neck with sliced
> > > bread.  In the end I was faced with the reality of no local installers,
> > > and I was looking at a 2x-5x cost premium, and opted for stick instead.
> > > (I was pretty sure that Insulspan was planning on chartering a 747 and
> > > putting the crew - paid at lawyer rates - up in a 5 star resort during
> > > the installation, as they managed a $110,000 quote on a 3000 SF plan)
> > >
> > > One think Scott didn't mention (though this will be the Architect's
> > > problem) is roofing materials.  As of three or four years ago there was
> > > only one, possibly two, asphalt shingle manufacturers who would honor
> > > their warranty on products installed directly to the SIP OSB surface.
> > > Additionally, I have some minor reservations about what is going to
> > > happen to the OSB during the (inevitable) roof tear-off for the second
> > > re-shingle.
> > >
> > > Another supplier is FisherSIPS, out of Kentucky, iirc.  At least one of
> > > the manufacturers uses 3/8" OSB skins.  There is a whole class of product
> > > which uses steel skins with EPS or Urethane/Polyisocyanurate cores. I had
> > > a manufacturer in about two months ago who needed local engineering, but
> > > can't remember the name or find his card.
> > >
> > > Recently, I've been doing some work with a similar product - Thermasteel
> > > panels (www.thermasteelcorp.com). The panels look like light-gauge steel
> > > I studs with EPS between them, but are fabricated with 24ga Cs on each
> > > face, and EPS foamed-in-place to form a single unit:
> > >
> > >      _____
> > > [EPS]   ^
> > >  EPS    |
> > >  EPS    |
> > > [EPS]   |
> > >  EPS    4'
> > >  EPS    |
> > > [EPS]   |
> > >  EPS    |
> > >  EPS    |
> > > [EPS]   v
> > >
> > > The end channels can be changed out for CSJ/CSW shapes in heavier
> > > gauges.  The shapes have a heat-activated adhesive sprayed on the foam
> > > side, which bonds to the EPS during the foaming process.  The tensile
> > > bond is fairly strong, and the EPS - being continuous - provides a very
> > > good resistance to buckling. A 12' tall x 4' w x 7.5" thick test panel
> > > (run last Monday) with CSJ studs @ 16" o/c failed at over 40,000lbs, with
> > > the load applied at the 1/3 point of the top plate. The failure was a
> > > local buckling at the top of the stud, only about 2" at the top was
> > > affected.  All this was just to say - the foamed-in-place process really
> > > does prevent buckling of thin skins.  That's not to say they are perfect,
> > > and I've had several "discussions" with them about their racking shear
> > > performance. ICBO values (test/2.5FS) is about as good as drywall on
> > > studs if the panel doesn't get diagonal straps. The arguments come
> > > because the real life stiffness is deceptively large, as there's no
> > > "play" due to fastener/hole slop.
> > >
> > > Sorry for rambling on...hope this gives you a little confidence that
> > > there are lots of these out in "the wild".  Each has it's own gotcha's,
> > > but once you know where the tricks are, the overall performance can be
> > > very good.
> > >
> > > Jordan
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > At 04:47 PM 12/7/2004 -0600, you wrote:
> > >       I have a project that's a private high school dormitory.  The
> > >       Architect is very interested in using products that can
> > >       fulfill multiple tasks.  He has suggested using a SIPS panel
> > >       as both the roof decking and the load bearing wall.  A SIPS
> > >       panel is basically 2 pieces of plywood separated by
> > >       insulation.  The panels are 48" wide and at each joint have
> > >       actual studs or joist members.  The project is in central
> > >       Alabama and is IBC Seismic Cat B.  Seismic will be relatively
> > >       light for this project.  Wind will likely control.  The
> > >       Architect wants this to be his structural deck (14' span or
> > >       so), finish ceiling (yes, it's rough), insulation, and
> > >       shingle nailer.  The walls would be the same except it would
> > >       receive sheet rock on the interior and hardi-plank on the
> > >       exterior.
> > >
> > >       My main concerns are:
> > >       1.  With a conventional plywood roof on H-clips there is
> > >       movement available in the roof.  This product doesn't have
> > >       this option.  How is this accommodated for this system so
> > >       that temperature doesn't cause visible roof bulges?
> > >       2.  What issues are there with load bearing?  It appears that
> > >       the plywood is actually taking the load.  It really doesn't
> > >       give me a warm fuzzy feeling.  What happens if there is a
> > >       leak that causes plywood failure?  It doesn't seem like it
> > >       would take much termite infestation to cause a problem.
> > >       Bulkier studs are more resistant to both of these.
> > >       3.  Bolting a plate down and then installing the panel and
> > >       then nailing through the panel into the pre bolted sill plate
> > >       just seems like a crap shoot.
> > >
> > >       Has anyone out there used this product and can offer advice?
> > >       My gut feel is that it's probably pretty good as a roof
> > >       deck/insulation/ceiling, but I'm not as comfortable with it
> > >       as my load bearing wall.  It just seems that you're relying
> > >       on the insulation to do a whole lot of bracing of the two,
> > >       thin load bearing wythes.
> > >
> > >       John C. Jones, PE
> > >       Barnett Associates
> > >       Pell City, AL
> > >       205-884-5334
> > >       205-884-0099 (fax)
> > >
> > >
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