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Re: SIP spec

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Excellent state-of-the-art summary!

And, as you point out, that's just for wood.

The situation is not much different with steel based insulated panels. These
also come in different flavours and are given different class names by their
respective manufacturers. A recent project claim centered around the
architect's use, in a post-tender addendum, of the phrase "insulated metal
panel wall system"  which leaves the gates open unless there is a detail
(there wasn't) or a manufacturer's specific product identified (there was
but it didn't exist). Unfortunately, much to the chagrin of the owner and
GC, the rest of the project spec was not much better. This only became clear
after contracts were signed and samples or final product started to arrive.

Tread carefully in the minefield.

Paul Ransom, P.Eng.
ph 905 639-9628
fax 905 639-3866

> From: Scott Maxwell <smaxwell(--nospam--at)>
> Subject: Re: SIP spec
> To:  <seaint(--nospam--at)>

> Ah, SIPs!  Nothing like discussing the dysfunctional world of SIPs.
> The first thing you are going to have to do is narrow down what you wan =
> to consider as SIPs for your projects.  I would first assume that we are =
> talking about wood based SIPs (i.e. wood skin - insulation - wood skin). =
> There are concrete based SIPs as well as metal based SIPs (either might =
> also be called a sandwich panel as Harold mentioned).  Some SIPs will =
> also have drywall skins, but they are usually not truly considered SIPs =
> as they are basically typically non-structural.
> Assuming we are talking about wood based SIPs, you next need to decide =
> if you are only interest in EPS based SIPs or if you will also consider =
> XPS and/or foam in place (aka polyurethane) SIPs.  You will find that =
> the "big boys" in the SIP industry will generally be EPS based SIPs with =
> OSB skins.
> As far as a sample contract specifications, you can usually find the =
> "big boys" will have a sample specification that you can start with.  Of =
> course, they will be tailored to THEIR product.  Since most of the "big =
> boys" use EPS, such sample specs will only typically be written to =
> permit EPS.  So, if you want XPS or polyurethane, then you will need to =
> add those in.
> Here are some samples:
> General PBS Roofs, Walls & Floors Specification (PDF) (Premier)
> General PBS Roofs, Walls & Floors Specification (Word Document) =
> (Premier)
> Insulspan Master Guide Specification (PDF)
> Insulspan Master Guide Specification (Word)=20
> SIP Specification (R-Control in Word format)
> There are likely others that might have something.
> As to "code reports", the "big boys" (Insulspan, R-Control, & Premier) =
> will all have ICC-ES reports.  Not too many beyond them will.  SIPA has =
> gone about getting a "generic" "code report" that members of SIPA can =
> get listed on, but it is not a ICC-ES report, but rather an NTA report.  =
> You can find information about it here: =
> All of the "big boys" should now have shearwall values that exceed 335 =
> plf in their ICC-ES reports I believe.  I will note, however, that =
> technically any current ICC-ES report that has been done under the =
> current Acceptance Criteria for SIPs (AC04) will only permit those =
> shearwalls to be used for wind and for Seismic Design Categories A, B, =
> and C.  If you have a Seismic Design Category D, E, or F, then current =
> ICC-ES reports will not apply.  Some of the manufacturer's might have =
> "legacy reports" that supposedly would permit use in high seismic zones, =
> but those older ICC-ES, ICBO, NER, etc reports are not technically valid =
> for the most recent editions of the IBC codes.  So, if your jurisdiction =
> is using more recent IBC code (i.e. 2006 or 2009...and maybe even =
> would have to check what the specific reports are valid for), =
> then you might be SOL for high seismic as far as code report goes.  Most =
> of the "big boys" will have a technical bulletin, however, that reports =
> on some testing that you could potentially use to try to convince a code =
> official to allow for high seismic use., but that will force you to try =
> to convince the code official.
> As Gary noted, there is also the prescriptive SIP provisions in the IRC. =
> It should be noted that they are only for walls made of either 4" or 6" =
> SIPs and of a certain height.  So from a design point of view for =
> engineers, those provisions are kind of useless.  He is correct in that =
> it might help provide some guidance for creating a specification.
> The link that Harold linked to is the APA effort to create a SIP =
> standards.  I am a member of that committee, but that committee is kind =
> of "in a coma" at the moment.  The efforts of that committee are =
> basically turning out to be fleshing out the prescriptive provisions =
> from the IRC.  As such, it is debatable how useful that standard would =
> be to engineers if it ever comes to be.  Once again, however, it might =
> be a good source of some "guidance" for a specification.
> If you have further questions, feel free to ask...either here on the =
> list or privately.  Since I have been "living" in the messy world of =
> SIPs for the last five years or so, I should be able to help.
> Regards,
> Scott

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