Architecture with SIP panels: prefabricated houses with rapid construction and high performance

Architecture with SIP panels: prefabricated houses with rapid construction and high performance

SIP panels (Structural Insulated Panels) are self-supporting panels composed of a rigid foam core located between two structural coatings, usually OSB panels. Resistant and light, the panels are manufactured in a controlled manner in the factory and then transferred to the site, allowing the rapid assembly of floors, walls and ceilings, and generating a hermetic thermal and acoustic envelope. The thickness of the panel will correspond to the sum of the thickness of each of its components, and its weight should not exceed 20 kg per square meter.

Although designers most often use SIP panels with two coatings and an insulating core, withstanding dead loads of up to 5 kg / m2 and live loads above 30 kg / m2, there are options that include frames. additional wood to increase rigidity. This high mechanical resistance is obtained by bonding the various components of the panel with a polyurethane emulsion. In addition, each panel may include cavities for the passage of installations and other conduits. Through prefabrication, it is estimated that the use of SIP panels can reduce construction times by more than 50% compared to traditional methods, also eliminating a large amount of waste typical of on-site construction.

© Brizmaker / Shutterstock
© Brizmaker / Shutterstock
© SV Production / Shutterstock
© SV Production / Shutterstock

However, each project is different and it is important that the composition and dimensions of the SIP panels used are adapted to these particularities, from the requirements of the inhabitant to the climatic conditions with which he will have to face. In terms of fire resistance, both the outer coverings and the insulating core must comply with local regulations, incorporating materials and / or additives that retard the generation of flames. Regarding the installation process, the easiest method is to mount the modules on wooden thresholds, joining the different panels with glued slats of smaller dimension.

Let’s review the successful application of SIP panels in real-life residential architecture cases.

In the case of the Shotgun House, designed by Alejandro Soffia in Cachagua, Chile, the SIP panels embody the architect’s intention to adopt a repeatable building system that provides the benefits of high-quality architecture to a massive level. According to the architect, “to take advantage of prefabricated systems, in this case, the racks respond strictly to the multiplication of the module as it leaves the factory. In this way, materials and processes are reduced, resulting in costs and delays. savings. “In its width, the house is composed of 33 panels of 4.88 meters, totaling up to 40 meters in length and a total area of ​​426 m2.” The basic ‘bay’ optimizes the measures of the panels, and it has been modified according to the different programmatic requirements, ”he adds.

House of the shotgun / Alejandro Soffia.  Image © Juan Durán Sierralta
House of the shotgun / Alejandro Soffia. Image © Juan Durán Sierralta
Casalarga / Alejandro Soffia.  Image Cortesia by Alejandro Soffia
Casalarga / Alejandro Soffia. Image Cortesia by Alejandro Soffia
Casalarga / Alejandro Soffia.  Courtesy of Alejandro Soffia
Casalarga / Alejandro Soffia. Courtesy of Alejandro Soffia
Casalarga / Alejandro Soffia.  Courtesy of Alejandro Soffia
Casalarga / Alejandro Soffia. Courtesy of Alejandro Soffia
Casalarga / Alejandro Soffia.  Courtesy of Alejandro Soffia
Casalarga / Alejandro Soffia. Courtesy of Alejandro Soffia

Also in Chile, La Dacha Mountain Hut builds its entire perimeter with 21cm thick SIP panels, offering a lightweight solution for remote construction, but ensuring optimal thermal insulation. The panels form continuous walls around much of the volume and are clad in burnt pine planks (shou sugi ban) out.

La Dacha / DRAA mountain hut.  Image © Nico Saieh
La Dacha / DRAA mountain hut. Image © Nico Saieh
REFUGIO LA DACHA / DRAA.  Courtesy of DRAA
REFUGIO LA DACHA / DRAA. Courtesy of DRAA

SIP panels can also be merged with other building solutions. In the El Tume house of abarca + palma, the panels were integrated into the wooden carpentry which allowed the construction of the foundation pillars, beams, interior and exterior partitions, cladding and flooring. In this case, the SIP panels are coated on the outside with untreated Oregon pine, which will turn gray over time.

El Tume / abarca + palma house.  Image © Andrés Maturana
El Tume / abarca + palma house. Image © Andrés Maturana
Casa El Tume / abarca + palma.  Courtesy of abarca + palma
Casa El Tume / abarca + palma. Courtesy of abarca + palma
Casa El Tume / abarca + palma.  Courtesy of abarca + palma
Casa El Tume / abarca + palma. Courtesy of abarca + palma

The architects of abarca + palma explored the same mixed solution in the Alto Grande house, joining the woodwork and SIP panels to “generate modular coordination between all its building elements”. The panels are covered in this project with zinc plates.

House in Alto Grande / abarca + palma.  Image © Andrés Maturana
House in Alto Grande / abarca + palma. Image © Andrés Maturana
Casa en Alto Grande / abarca + palma.  Courtesy of abarca + palma
Casa en Alto Grande / abarca + palma. Courtesy of abarca + palma
Casa en Alto Grande / abarca + palma.  Courtesy of abarca + palma
Casa en Alto Grande / abarca + palma. Courtesy of abarca + palma

Systematizing the construction process according to the assembly process of prefabricated materials, the Maison des Chapeaux took 5 months to be built. The SAA + architecture territory The team incorporated SIP panels into the envelope of the floors, walls and ceilings, covering them on their visible face with rustic-looking native wood.

Hats House / SAA arquitectura + territorio.  Image © Nico Saieh
Hats House / SAA arquitectura + territorio. Image © Nico Saieh
Casa sombreros / SAA arquitectura + territorio.  Courtesy of SAA arquitectura + territorio
Casa sombreros / SAA arquitectura + territorio. Courtesy of SAA arquitectura + territorio

For the Origami House, the Mas Fernandez Arquitectos + OR Arquitectos team used SIP panels covered with treated pine wood to ensure adequate thermal insulation of the envelope. This constructive system was mixed with a metal structure for the larger spans of the project.

Origami House / Mas Fernandez Arquitectos + OR Arquitectos.  Image © Nico Saieh
Origami House / Mas Fernandez Arquitectos + OR Arquitectos. Image © Nico Saieh
Casa origami / Mas Fernandez Arquitectos + OR Arquitectos.  Courtesy of Mas Fernandez Arquitectos + OR Arquitectos
Casa origami / Mas Fernandez Arquitectos + OR Arquitectos. Courtesy of Mas Fernandez Arquitectos + OR Arquitectos

Oller Caracas House mixes exposed concrete with walls, partitions and ceilings in SIP panels, coated on the outside with tin and inside with wood.

Casa Oller Caracas / Yáñez Hormazábal Arquitectos.  Image Cortesía de Yáñez Hormazábal Arquitectos
Casa Oller Caracas / Yáñez Hormazábal Arquitectos. Image Cortesía de Yáñez Hormazábal Arquitectos
Casa Oller Caracas / Yáñez Hormazábal Arquitectos.  Courtesy of Yáñez Hormazábal Arquitectos
Casa Oller Caracas / Yáñez Hormazábal Arquitectos. Courtesy of Yáñez Hormazábal Arquitectos

The team of Benjamin Goñi Arquitectos and Claro + Westendarp Arquitectos chose SIP panels as the main construction system of two twin houses in southern Chile due to their good thermal insulation. The modular system allowed them to add traditional elements of the architecture of the area, and “instead of making eaves as a roof finish, frames are built in the window openings, in order to keep the rain out. away from windows “.

Lago Colico / Benjamin Goñi Arquitectos + Claro + Westendarp Arquitectos houses.  Image © Andrés Goñi H
Lago Colico / Benjamin Goñi Arquitectos + Claro + Westendarp Arquitectos houses. Image © Andrés Goñi H
Casas Lago Colico / Benjamin Goñi Arquitectos + Claro + Westendarp Arquitectos.  Courtesy of Benjamin Goñi Arquitectos + Claro + Westendarp Arquitectos
Casas Lago Colico / Benjamin Goñi Arquitectos + Claro + Westendarp Arquitectos. Courtesy of Benjamin Goñi Arquitectos + Claro + Westendarp Arquitectos

In their design of the Lerida house, architects Cristian Yazigi and Crescente Böhme Alemparte used SIP panels to extend and renovate a 1970 house. “For the intervention on the first floor, it was chosen to build from existing materials of the house, comprising reinforced concrete and masonry walls, while the second level is constructed from SIP panels and a ventilated wooden facade. “

Maison Lerida / Cristian Yazigi + Crescente Böhme Alemparte.  Image © Alesón del Villar
Maison Lerida / Cristian Yazigi + Crescente Böhme Alemparte. Image © Alesón del Villar
Casa Lerida / Cristian Yazigi + Crescente Böhme Alemparte.  Courtesy of Casa Lerida / Cristian Yazigi + Crescente Böhme Alemparte
Casa Lerida / Cristian Yazigi + Crescente Böhme Alemparte. Courtesy of Casa Lerida / Cristian Yazigi + Crescente Böhme Alemparte

Externally wrapped in black quadriline metal panels, Cristián Romero Valente’s WV house is made up of a metal structure that shapes its walls and ceilings. To insulate them thermally, an interior skin and SIP panels have been added to the exterior, eliminating thermal bridges and integrating an efficient heat recovery ventilation system.

House WV / Cristián Romero Valente.  Image © Nico Saieh
House WV / Cristián Romero Valente. Image © Nico Saieh
Casa WV / Cristián Romero Valente.  Courtesy of Cristián Romero Valente
Casa WV / Cristián Romero Valente. Courtesy of Cristián Romero Valente

Find more projects built with SIP panels here.



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