Energy Efficient Building with High R-Values

Energy Efficiency made Simple

R-Value/SIPS Panels Information

The type of insulation you choose can result in thousands of dollars saved in utility bills over the life of your home.  Insulation is rated by R-Value, which measures a material’s thermal resistance.  Insulating materials with a higher R-Value correspond with increasingly better performance.  However, studies have shown that determined R-Values have little correlation with how an insulating material actually performs in a non-SIP home.  When taking into account factors such as cavity voids, wiring without compression, and paper facer stapled to studs, the actual R-Value decreases significantly.

SIPS homes avoid these familiar problems by distributing insulation uniformly among the entirety of the panels.  Without these negative effects, actual R-Value of insulation within a SIPS panel can actually exceed its determined R-Value.

R-Value Comparison to fiberglass:

Panel Thickness:Actual R-ValuePerformance Value
4 ½”R-17R-25
6 ½”R-25R-38
8 ¼”R-33R-50
10 ¼”R-41R-62

Consider this example.  In 1996, Fred Fischer built his home with SIPS panels.  Using 4.5 inch wall panels and 6.5 inch roof panels to construct his home, he set up meters on the house to separate his heating and cooling from lights, water heaters, and personal electric.  Louisville Gas and Electric and the Trane Company did energy audits on the home based on similar sized homes in the area with fiberglass insulation.  Their annual estimates are shown on the table below.

ENERGY TEST HOME: 3,000 SF 42 Windows 11 Skylights

WallsR-13R-26R-13R-19R-284 1/2″ SIP – (R-17)
RoofR-30R-40R-30R-30R-406 1/2″ SIP – (R-25)
Avg. Per Month$105.17 $99.42$94.17$91.92$90.50$44.79

Wood Frame & Fiberglass vs. SIP Whole Wall When measured as a “whole wall”, Oak Ridge National Laboratories found that a 4.5″ Sip Wall actually out-performs a 2×6 wall (studs 24″ o/c) with fiberglass batt. Lumber can represent up to 25% of a wall section, thus reducing your overall R-Value. In addition, the SIP wall was found to be 15X more airtight than the stick framed wall which in turn results in energy savings for you!!

Original Story by: FischerSIPS

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *