“We are enjoying a $200 power bill in the middle of summer cooling 5,400 SQFT to 74 degrees!”

Praise from a recent customer:

“I just wanted to reach out and publicly thank SIPS Team USA. They delivered a very wonderful and amazing product. We built a 7,200 SQFT home, as an owner builder with little experience. It took us 18 months to complete this project with no injuries and no big issues. And now we are enjoying a $200 power bill… in the middle of summer cooling 5,400 SQFT to 74 degrees…. Amazing! Thank you again for all your support, hard work and sage advice.”

I just wanted to reach out and publicly thank SIPS Team USA. They delivered a very wonderful and amazing product. We built a 7,200 SQFT home, as an owner builder with little experience. It took us 18 months to complete this project with no injuries and no big issues. And now we are enjoying a $200 power bill... in the middle of summer cooling 5,400 SQFT to 74 degrees.... Amazing! Thank you again for all your support, hard work and sage advice.

We’re attending a Home and Garden Show Near You!

We will be attending the following Home and Garden Shows over the next few months. Stop by and See us!

  • Tallahassee, FL Home and Garden Show:  2-8 thru 2-10,
  • Birmingham, AL Home and Garden Show: 2-14 thru 2-17,
  • Chattanooga, TN Home and Garden Show: 2-22 thru 2-24,
  • Jacksonville, FL Home and Patio Show: 2-28 thru 3-3,
  • Huntsville, AL Home and Garden Show: 3-1 thru 3-3, and
  • Atlanta, GA  Cobb Galleria, Spring Home and Garden Show: 3-22 thru 3-24

Video: Encap Seal

Homeowner Saves 80% on Utility Bills!

Praise from a recent customer:

“You guys provided SIPs for my new home in Louisiana. I’ve been more than pleased with my house and my utility bills are 1/5 of what they were in my old home. My house has been selected for the Young Leadership Council’s Le Vert Home Tour on the 29th of this month!”

-Shawn P.

Structural Insulated Panels SIPS

View more photographs from the project.

Huntsville Building Home and Garden Show: Sep. 7-9

Structural insulated panel manufacturer SIPS Team USA will be at the Building Home and Garden Show in Huntsville, Alabama from September 7 – 9. Stop by and see us at booths 313 and 314, and don’t forget to ask about our special website offer!

Sustainable, Frank Gehry-Designed Two-Family Home in New Orleans

This home used SIPS panels manufactured and installed by SIPS Team USA.

In New Orleans’ Lower 9th Ward, Brad Pitt’s Make it Right Foundation has been hard at work constructing innovative sustainable housing since 2007, and their latest green home is designed by none other than legendary architect Frank Gehry. The vibrant pink and purple home is a contemporary twist on a long-standing New Orleans architectural tradition; the double-shotgun. Gehry’s two-story update provides separate entrances at opposite sides of the building, with 1,000 square foot of usable balcony space for each unit, including rooftop decks topped off with solar panel shading. We stopped by for the unveiling of this groundbreaking home—which is expected to attain LEED Platinum certification—and checked out its extraordinary array of energy-saving and sustainable features.

In 2007, Brad Pitt founded the Make it Right Foundation with an ambitious plan to construct 150 new, green homes for returning residents in New Orleans’ Lower 9th Ward, a largely working-class neighborhood which had been devastated two years earlier by Hurricane Katrina. The Frank Gehry-designed home is the 86th project that Make it Right has completed in the area.

With 1,780 square feet of indoor space, the home’s original design includes two two-bedroom, two-bathroom units arranged so that neither of the two units have rooms placed above living spaces for the opposing unit. Linda Santi—the Lower 9th Ward resident who will soon call the unique house ‘home’—needed a little more space, so the floor plan was rearranged so as to provide her with a 3 bedroom unit, and a modest secondary residence which she will rent out to a neighbor.

The house is constructed with SIP panels and durable fiber cement board siding – Santi herself picked out the colors for the vibrant home. A soft rose denotes her side of the residence, and a bolder violet covers the rental side. All walls – exterior and interior – were painted with zero VOC paints.

The entrance to each of the homes opens into an eat-in kitchen and living space equipped with Energy Star appliances and fitted with cabinets made from sustainably harvested wood and countertops composed of 75% recycled materials. The hardwood floors (which help to provide a traditional, historic feel throughout one of the units) also utilize post-industrial waste – they contain “50 percent less newly harvested wood than conventional alternatives.”

The home’s utilities are equally sustainable; a four kilowatt array of Lumos LSX frameless solar modules provides shade for the rooftop decks as it powers the home, while tankless water heaters help to reduce energy consumption. High-velocity, small-duct central air conditioning forces evenly placed jets of cool or warm air into rooms. The system requires fewer resources and less space than traditional systems.

One notable absence is the home’s lack of hurricane shutters. Instead small pegs protrude from the window frames, onto which custom-fitted Kevlar sheets (think bullet-proof vests) are attached in preparation for a storm. Used on all of Make it Right’s homes, the sheets help to defend against wind and airborne debris in the event of a hurricane, but require less resources and maintenance than traditional shutters, and generate less waste and damage to the home than the plywood boards often drilled onto window frames when a storm approaches.

The house is elevated two to three feet above the minimum requirements for its location, and Make it Right is additionally engaged in efforts to reduce the street-level flooding which New Orleanians are all too familiar with. The City, working in consultation with the Foundation has just laid its first permeable street in the Lower 9th Ward (also referred to as rice krispie roads). Several other streets are currently being resurfaced in the hopes that the new material will enable rain from heavy summer storms to drain through the streets.

The home is a unique and bold addition to a project which has dramatically changed the face of a neighborhood left devastated by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. As a canal levee breached less than three blocks from what is now the site of the Frank Gehry home, the neighborhood was inundated by a twenty-five-foot storm surge, which left the area standing in up to eighteen feet of flood water. Over 1,800 people died as a result of the storm, with thousands more left with homes badly damaged or destroyed. As levees and infrastructure have been rebuilt, Make it Right’s project has been a vital component in the rebuilding efforts in the area. Where just a few years ago empty lots remained, Make it Right’s sustainable housing has helped to enable many families return to the neighborhood.

The prototype home cost in the region of $300,000 to construct, but Make it Right hopes that any future versions of the Frank Gehry-designed two-family home can meet the Foundation’s budgetary aim of $200,000 for a duplex. Other non-prototype single-family home designs which have been constructed in the neighborhood by Make it Right have been built for around $150,000. At present there are no plans to build future versions of the home — that remains in the hands of returning Lower 9th Ward residents participating in the program. Homeowners have a number of plans to choose from, based on their own individual needs and budgets.

Source: Charley Cameron, INhabitat.com


SIPS Team USA Offers SIPS Structural OSB with Zinc Borate for Termite Protection

We are the first in the country to offer and have in stock SIPS structural OSB with Zinc Borate for termite protection.

Formosan subterranean termites pose a growing threat to all structural wood materials in residential construction. The species is one of the most aggressive and voracious insects in the world.  Now you can protect your home from termites with the very material you use to build it.

The material is not a topical coating; it is actually blended in the wood. This OSB carries a limited 25 yr warranty.  For more information about SIPS panels with Zinc Borate, contact us.

From Sticks to SIPS

This is an excerpt from the article “Build It Right: Lessons from New Orleans” featured in Fine Home Building.

In its search for the most cost-effective and high-performing building methods, Make It Right New Orleans (MIR) has made it a point to build its homes in several different ways: using advanced framing techniques, factory-built modules, and structural insulated panels (SIPs).

For its stick-framed houses, MIR used metal connectors, aligned framing elements, adhesive, and nails to make its 2×4, 24-in.-on-center framing stronger and more resource efficient than conventionally framed walls. Tested in the wind tunnel at the University of New Orleans, the panels were found to be five times stronger than required by code. The technique also left 7% more space for closed-cell spray-foam insulation, which added to structural strength and provided an air seal in addition to insulation values of about R-6 per in.

The modular approach proved less successful. “The concept makes sense, but there were problems with the particular designs not being realized, and the level of quality was not up to our standards,” explains Sarah Howell, project architect with MIR’s executive architect, John, C. Williams Architects. Designing to LEED Platinum criteria required materials and fixtures not standard for modular-home manufacturers, and difficulty in executing some of the more complicated designs required field modifications. In addition, Howell says, “a lot of modular houses were supposed to arrive 90% complete, and they’d hit the roads in Louisiana and incur a lot of damage.”

The winner? For MIR, it’s SIPs, which the organization plans to use for all homes going forward. After an initial experiment with steel-faced panels, which proved expensive and difficult to install, the organization turned to OSB-faced panels made by SIPS Team USA in Bainbridge, GA. Exterior-wall panels have a 16-in. custom extension on the outer piece of OSB that covers the floor system and eliminates the need for a rim board while providing lateral stability. The OSB sheathing is treated to resist moisture and mold. After factoring in local labor costs, material costs, and the availability of local contractors trained in SIP installation, Howell says, “we figured out that for our region at this time, SIPS are the best way to build.”

Work Green: New Technology

SIPS Panels

Article from Green Living AZ Magazine


Green building isn’t just about the design and collaboration, it is also about the products utilized to create the structure. Green Living AZ is on the search for the next greatest green building product, and we found one – Structural Insulated Panels (SIPS), developed by SIPS Team USA. Our Senior Advisor and LEED expert, William Janhonen, had a chance to talk with the SIPS team and share the innovation behind the walls.

If you could imagine anything that would make constructing a building or home easier, faster, energy-efficient and flexible enough to accommodate most designs, what would you think up? It has to be stronger than standard construction, meet both commercial and residential codes, be cost-effective and a “green product.”

A Structural Insulated Panel, or SIP, is the answer to all of the needs listed above. SIP systems are a design and construction method using engineered panels to build exterior walls and roofs. The traditional method is by frame construction, using two-by-four and truss construction. A SIP panel is specifically engineered with two skins of Oriented Strand Board (OSB) sandwiching a foam core that can achieve an R-factor of R-17 to R-41+ as a structural component. R-factor is resistance to temperature, and something with a higher R-factor provides more insulation from extremes.

SIPS Team USA has worked with Habitat for Humanity in Florida and with the Make It Right Foundation in Louisiana. They have supplied SIP systems to 48 states and to Habiquad in South America. Jessica Biel, business development coordinator for SIPS Team USA, indicated that one of the things that impressed her most about working with SIPS Team USA is the reaction people have to the building process.

“We had a job for a woman named Sally, and I remember her house was at the end of a long driveway,” Biel said. “Sally went to work one morning and when she came home that evening, as she started down the driveway, she saw her home envelope had been erected in the span of one day. She was amazed to see a home where there was nothing but foundation before, and that is a typical reaction.”

Since the panels are pre-engineered and set into place and connected immediately, they can be dried much faster than a stud-built home. There is a savings on labor costs at the site, less exposure to the elements, and a reduction in fossil fuel usage from the decreased contractor traffic to and from the site.

Other benefits to the SIPS panel system include integrity and strength of the finished building. It is air-tight, preventing leakage points normally found in frame construction. The outside and inside layers of OSB provide nailing surfaces throughout, so there is no need to find studs, adding to layout flexibility. The foam core of Expanded Polystyrene (EPS), which is pressure bonded between the OSB, is recyclable; and construction scrap that normally averages 2.4 tons for a standard home is enormously reduced.

The biggest advantage is the superior insulating qualities. A SIP panel provides a much higher R-value in less space than a frame and fiberglass fill or cellulose insulation wall and maintains the performance indefinitely. If 1/8 inch of foam in a cup will allow a person to hold hot coffee at 210 degrees, how effective will a 3 ½ inch to 12-inch panel of foam core benefit a home’s heating and cooling costs?

Ron Harrigan, president of SIPS Team USA, has worked many years in this industry because he believes in the process. The company is located in a HubZone (Historically Underutilized Building Zone) approved by the government. SIPS Team USA worked on 92 jobs in 2010 and looks to expand that number. Ridge Laboratories, the Department of Energy’s largest science laboratory, performed an extensive, closely monitored test in a controlled environment and concluded that SIPS have 15 times less air infiltration and have “R” values significantly higher than conventional construction. Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system requirements approximate one ton for 400 to 600 square feet of living area in a conventional structure, while in a SIPS home, the rating is one ton per 1,000 to 1,200 square feet of living area, saving money on equipment and for the home owner.

“I would love to find an architect who would design military housing using SIP panel construction and then be able to build with the panel design already established,” Biel said. “We also have a goal to incorporate the use of SIP in the New Hanover County housing authority through the use of the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) approved voucher program, although this is still in the planning stages.”

SIPS are one example of how innovation meets needs. Read more about these panels at sipsteamusa.com.


SIPS Team USA helped rebuild church

Trinity Episcopal Church in Pass Christian, Miss., celebrated Christmas this year in their newly restored church, thanks to help from the innovative SIPS Team USA of Bainbridge.

An article that appeared in the October 2010 issue of the Journal of Light Construction tells the story of how the historic church was nearly destroyed by Hurricane Katrina, then rebuilt to be more resistant to the hurricane force winds that pound the Gulf Coast.

Keep reading on The Post-Searchlight.com