Posted by JWmHarmon on October 17, 2002 at 21:44:53:
In Reply to: Re: Structural Insulated Panels - SIPs posted by Peter on October 16, 2002 at 16:08:02:
The SIP panels we used in the Habitat for Humanity house had a channel on the bottom that fit over the top of a 2X4 sole plate. The panels were made of OSB (oriented strand board) which was nailed to the sole plate. The initial cost was higher that the cost of traditional stick built components, but the labor saving made up for the difference. We did have some minor installation difficulties which required some extra heavy blows from a sledge hammer to get one or two of the panel seated properly.
The panel we used have channels built in to the foam core at sixteen inch intervals horizontally and vertically for electiracl wiring. One simply cuts a hole through the OSB and feeds 12-2 w/ground wire through the channels, bending the end of the wire over so that it doesn't dig into the foam core.
All of our plumbing was designed to go through interior partitions which were constructed of traditional stick built methods.
Cutting out window and door openings was no problem except for cutting out 1 1/2 inches of foam to create a channel for the 2X4 framing to be used as nailers for the windows. There is a special tool that is supposed to melt through the foam. Our tool did not do a good job so we had to improvise.
I'm still wondering about the long term stability of the foam core since the structural strength of the SIP's depends on the foam binding the two OSB surfaces to keep the OSB form bending. I'll let you know how well it performs in about thirty years. Stay tuned...
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