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RE: SIPS panels - Structural Insulated Panel System

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John:

Yep...was typing a response to your direct email when this message
arrived.

Regards,

Scott
Adrian, MI


On Wed, 8 Dec 2004, John C. Jones wrote:

> Scott, I sent an email to you direct with a follow up.
>
> Thank you to everyone for all of the help on this.
>
> John C. Jones, PE
> Barnett Associates
> Pell City, AL
> 205-884-5334
> 205-884-0099 (fax)
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Scott Maxwell [mailto:smaxwell(--nospam--at)engin.umich.edu]
> Sent: Wednesday, December 08, 2004 5:35 PM
> To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
> Subject: Re: SIPS panels - Structural Insulated Panel System
>
>
> 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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