Frequently asked questions

Below is a list If of frequently asked questions to provide you with more information and answers about SIPs. We strive to give you the best experience possible. Click or tap on a question below to view the answer.

SIPs (Structural Insulated Panels) are strong, pre-manufactured, highly insulated and high performance building components used to create floor panels, wall panels and roof panels. They’re specially engineered to fit tightly when assembled. A SIPs home or building is constructed by assembling the panels together.

As a strong, affordable and environmentally responsible solution, Structural Insulated Panels (SIPS) have been utilised successfully worldwide for more than 40 years. A SIPS building is constructed by assembling pre-manufactured panels which are heavily insulated, removing the need for additional insulation. The panels are very strong, and can be used for floors and roofs as well as external and internal walls, without the need for a traditional timber frame. Manufacturing equipment at our factory has ensured a consistently high quality of manufacture, fast response and high volume production.

SIPS Industries uses OSB3 board manufactured from sustainable harvested spruce thinning and managed plantations. The P.V.A. glue used is water based and solvent free. Expanded polystyrene is non-toxic and inert. Expanded polystyrene consists of up to 98% air.

  • Highly and continuously insulated panels, with no gaps for air to move or no chance of insulation sagging over time.
  • Strong, SIPS Industries Panels are load bearing and will support floor, roof and win loads without additional framing.
  • Once assembled, it’s easy to apply wall and roof claddings to any finish you desire.

Each panel contains two outer engineered timber facings and a central polystyrene foam insulation core. The panel is a laminated composite of these materials manufactured here in Western Australia.

The outer facings are Orientated Strand Board (OSB/3) and are engineered using timber from the routine thinning of managed plantations. The OSB we use is manufactured using a 100% formaldehyde free bonding method, and is rated E0.

The polystyrene central insulation core is safe, non-toxic and manufactured in a low-energy steam process using a fire retardant for use in the building industry.

When these products form a composite unit, they provide an exceptionally strong, lightweight, air-tight, highly insulated and energy efficient building component.

SIPS Industries Panels have a unique cassette joint and are glued together during assembly to form an airtight unit. The glue is a stable, long-lasting, water-based compound that is safe, non-toxic and will never break down.

The panels are manufactured here in Western Australia under rigorous regulation to ISO9001-2008 standards and our systems are stringently and continuously monitored. Our manufacturing systems are CodeMark approved and audited annually in accordance with the CodeMark scheme.

Due to the panel strength, SIPs Industries systems are used for construction in the residential, high-rise apartments, hotels and leisure, education, light industrial and commercial sectors.

The Panel system is primarily used for External Walls and Roofs due to the thermal performance with over 95% of our projects including Internal Panel Walls due to speed of construction and the acoustic properties of the panels. SIPs Industries Panels are also used for Floor construction where a building is required to be lifted above the ground on a post and beam (stump and bearer) system. The panel’s strength can reduce the floor structure required whilst providing a very high thermal performance floor system that can be installed within hours.

Any range of finished can be applied, both inside and out; to the panel system which allows for unique architectural detailing that can set the design apart from traditional limiting building styles.

Only timber from routine thinning of managed plantations is used in SIPs Industries panels.

A chain of custody process (ISO9001.2008) enables the timber to be traced to a certified, responsibly managed forest through all stages of processing and production.

The complete scheme (panels and ancillaries) comes from one source, meaning fewer truck deliveries to site and less impact on the environment from congestion, noise and traffic pollution.

The manufacturing process for SIPs panels consumes very little energy.

Pre-cut panel systems for a building result in less site wastage which is most often taken to landfill. By preparing building components in our factory, there essentially is no waste, reducing the building’s impact on the environment. The limited amount of waste from panel production is fully recyclable.

By building with SIPS Industries panel systems, the energy consumption of the building is largely lower that a traditionally build. Lowering energy consumption is first and foremost in reducing carbon emissions from non-renewable sourced energy.

Reducing energy consumption reduces CO2 emissions 3-fold. From each unit of energy consumed in a building it takes 3 units of energy to be created, due to losses during production. For every one unit of energy reduced in consumption, the CO2 emissions from 3 units are not released into the atmosphere.

A typical traditionally built Australian home leaks up to 15.0 air-changes per hour. This means constant heating or cooling when outdoor temperatures are under or over a comfortable level. SIPS built homes have been tested to be as air-tight as a home can be, in our best case scenario the air change rate was tested to be 0.25 air changes per hour, better than German Passivhaus standards.

The significance of this means that the building does not need to be heated or cooled constantly and due to the high levels of insulation the building will be thermally comfortable year round. A building that does not need heating or cooling constantly has many advantages to the bill payer as energy bills are significantly lower, the environment as the energy requirement is lower, and also the energy requirement is so low that the options to run the home from solar or alternative renewable resources become a reality to meeting zero energy, or Net Zero building.

Yes. SIPs are a product and a technology that has long enjoyed worldwide success with its clearly demonstrated standards. Globally and in Australia, SIPs panels and the SIPs system have been through rigorous structural and engineering testing.

SIPs Industries panels comply fully with Australian building standards and with Building Codes of Australia (BCA).

Click here to view our CodeMark certificate and Australian Standards compliance.

OSB is described as “The environmentally friendly board for wood construction and interior design”

OSB is a flat hardboard with a three-layer structure of oriented distributed strands (micro-veneers) according to DIN EN 300. The special strand geometry (length up to 160mm) has a high degree of strand orientation in the grain direction of the outer layer which assures outstanding technical characteristics and very good inherent stability.

The trees used to make OSB are the routine thinning of managed plantations. The manufacturing process utilises virtually 100% of the wood with very little waste. The bark is removed and used as either fuel or for horticulture.

OSB uses in Sips Industries panel production is made for use in humid conditions with 100% formaldehyde-free adhesives.

Expanded Polystyrene EPS is manufactured from styrene which is a monomer that has been manufactured on an industrial scale for more than 60 years. It is used in the manufacture of a wide variety of plastics and rubber products.
Styrene occurs naturally and can be found in many foods including strawberries, beans, nuts, beer, wine, coffee beans and cinnamon.

During the manufacturing process of EPS a non CFC blowing agent called pentane is used to expand the polystyrene granules into its familiar expanded form.

Pentane is a volatile liquid which is formed by natural processes such as the anaerobic decomposition of plant matter by micro organisms and by the digestive systems of animals. It belongs to the same family as butane, methane etc. which are commonly used as heating fuels.

During the manufacturing process any pentane released is quickly converted in the atmosphere via a photochemical reaction into carbon and water. As it does not contain chlorine, pentane does not damage the ozone layer, unlike CFC (chlorofluorocarbons) and HCFC (hydro chlorofluorocarbons). However the pentane gas emitted during the manufacturing process does contribute to man made emissions of volatile organic compounds, in the region of 0.2%. To put this into perspective, a far larger quantity is released by the decomposition of household waste.

The amount of CO2 gas emitted during the manufacturing process is insignificant. In the case of Sips Industries Panels the CO2 emitted in the EPS manufacture is offset in around one week by the reduced energy requirements of the building.
Pentane as a gas is not regarded as a hazard to health.

Expanded polystyrene is non-toxic and inert. Expanded polystyrene consists of up to 98% air.

Expanded polystyrene boards can be recycled and ground into packing cases etc. Processes are being researched which will allow EPS to be recycled back into its original chemical form helping to reduce consumption of natural resources, however this has not been achieved to date.

Sips Industries Panels are fire rated for almost all building applications. Our panels are rated to Material Group 3 allowing them to be exposed as a finished surface in many residential and commercial applications. Panels are generally plasterboard lined internally.

The panel system is rated for use as separating walls and boundary walls to FRL 60/60/60 and FRL 90/90/90

BAL – Bushfire Attack Level

SIPs can be used as the structural wall, roof and floor components in all BAL zones. BAL requirement are based on the cladding systems proposed. We do recommend that our technical team are contacted prior to design, particularly with relation to BAL 40 and FZ.

It is likely SIPS Industries Panels may comply with the ABCB’s new Australian Standard AS 5113 – External Wall Assemblies which is due to be introduced into a new NCC Volume One Verification Method in a future edition of the NCC

Simplicity

  • Pre-engineered to construction standards and requirements.
  • Panels pre-cut to fit standard size doors and windows.
  • Range of roof pitches is offered for architectural flair.
  • Variety of set sizes allows practically unlimited design flexibility.

Speed

  • Faster construction on site with pre-cut panels.
  • Faster delivery as panels are held in stock (an off-the-shelf solution).
  • Easier delivery to site as panels are flat packed.

Savings

  • A more streamlined, efficient building system requiring less labour and site hours, saving on the labour cost component of the project. (Labour accounts for around 50% of conventional build cost).
  • Reduces wastage and excess with pre-cut panels.
  • A lesser range of trades is required on site, build time is faster and site clearing is minimal.
  • Less hidden costs such as scaffold and equipment hire and rubbish removal.
  • Minimises engineering costs with pre-engineered components.

SIPs' excellent insulation properties make them perfect for the hot Australian climate, as it takes three times as much energy to cool a home than to heat it.  New legislation is ensuring that Australian homes are energy efficient increasing the importance of insulation. SIPs Ready Cut™ provides a simple, fast, cost effective solution for builders and home owners.

Bespoke designed builds will cost on average the same as a traditional build. There are many savings to be had which are dependent on time management as you can really squeeze the building schedule. For example, the waste on site should be reduced to one skip, the time scaffold is on site should be reduced significantly, slow wet trades are eliminated and multiple trades can easily work on site at the same time.

Ready/Cu standard size panels will save you money as standard size panels are not subject to multiple handling by our factory team. Your designer can utilize standard panels to ensure you get the best value for your dollar and there is no wastage.

The above does not consider the energy savings you will make for many years to come.

SIPs Industries offers you the option of either supply only or supply and install.

We can work alongside your preferred builder and advise them on the appropriate way to install the panels on site or alternatively, we can send our own team of SIPs installers.

Please register to download out install documentation

We can also be contacted at the office regarding any installation queries.

Sips Industries only use termite treated timber in the construction.

OSB Sheets forming the inner and outer layer of the panel are fully treated right through to H2 level.

Timber used for panel end closers and studs are treated to H2 levels, timber used at sole plate level are all H3 treated. Every timber in a build north of the tropic will be H3.

The EPS (expanded polystyrene) core of the panel provides no nutritional value to termites. SIPs panels north of the tropic will include Perform Guard® EPS which is termite treated, this is also available upon request.

It is advised that every building, whether the build is SIPS or Traditional, has a termite management plan in place and is monitored.

SIPS Industries can supply to anywhere in Australia. Our certification is Australia Wide.

Transportation fees apply.

SIPS Industries have gone through stringent testing and have engineering data available for use in Regions D areas of Australia. We have delivered numerous homes as well as government projects in Cyclone regions.

Once an order is placed and all drawings and engineering are in place, SIPS Industries aim to deliver within 6 weeks.

Yes, you will need to provide us with detailed drawings, shire approved is necessary, prior to scheduling the project for manufacture. We may provide an indicative quotation based on preliminary drawings.

In the majority of cases you will need engineering drawings. Please contact us for assistance if you wish.

We will prepare a full set of approved drawings for manufacture and install, our drawings are derived from the building design drawings and co-ordinated with the engineering to ensure everything is catered for. You will receive a full set of detailed engineering drawings.

If you need a draftsperson for your project, please contact us for assistance.

INTERNALLY

Generally SIPS panels are lined with plasterboard, fixed direct to the panels; the panels are straight and accurate making the install job easy for your plasterboard installer.

SIPS can be left exposed, if you require a neat exposed wall/building, let us know at quotation stage as this comes as an additional cost as SIPS are predominantly a first fix item.

EXTENALLY

SIPS Industries will provide a breathable membrane outside the panels, this allows the building components to ‘breath’ and allow moisture out but not in. This prohibits interstitial condensation build-up which can lead to mould. Outside the membrane is a batten system, either timber battens or metal, depending on the cladding selection. ANY cladding will work over a SIPS build; the designer can really get the most out of their design without being hindered by pre-determined finishes.

SIPS Industries guarantee that there will be someone to assist you after your project has been completed, we are always happy to speak with our customers and assist where we can.

We always hold current public liability and product liability insurance.

Each component of our SIPS Panel holds a 50 year + guarantee.

SIPS Industries panels are manufactured with 3 components, OSB(Orientated Strand Board), EPS(Expanded Polystyrene) and Glue.

Each component has been tested in full and have their own MSDS sheets which state their formaldehyde toxin levels.

Formaldehyde is a toxin that enters the environment mainly through combustion processes and can be found in many building, household materials and naturally in some foods. The levels are rated E0-E3 with E0 representing the least formaldehyde emissions from a product. SIPS OSB is E0 and therefore not hazardous to health. EPS is an inert material which is not hazardous to health. SIPS Glue has a working life between 16-48 hours and is then hardened and not hazardous to health.