SIPs – How They Can Help Builders Meet New H1 Changes

Structural Insulated Panels Help Meet Stringent Building Standards

Structural insulated panels (SIPs) are becoming increasingly popular in the New Zealand construction industry as they have exceptional insulation properties and strength. Building standards are becoming more stringent due to the increasing need for more energy-efficient homes. SIPs provide an effective solution that helps meet the tough H1 building code changes. This blog will explore how SIPs work, the benefits they offer, and how they can help builders in New Zealand comply with the H1 code.
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What are structural insulated panels (SIPs)?

SIPs are building panels that can be used on floors, walls, and roofs for residential and commercial buildings. This building material consists of two layers of structural board, such as oriented strand board (OSB), sandwiched to a rigid foam core, typically made from expanded polystyrene (EPS). The foam core acts as an insulator, while the outer layer provides structural support.

SIPs get their strength and rigidity from the combination of the foam core and the two outer layers. SIPs are a great material as they can be customised to fit any building, and because of their high level of insulation, they provide superior energy efficiency.

The H1 building code and why SIPs are the perfect solution

The H1 code is a set of energy-efficient building standards in New Zealand that aim to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions in new buildings. Since 1 July 2021, new residential buildings in New Zealand must comply with H1 requirements, which include achieving a minimum thermal performance standard.

SIPs are an effective solution to help builders meet the H1 code changes. Their high level of insulation ensures that buildings remain warm in winter and cool in summer, reducing the need for artificial heating and cooling systems. In addition, SIPs provide airtight construction, which reduces heat loss through air leakage and prevents moisture from entering the building envelope.

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Four Key Advantages of Structural Insulated Panels:

1. Energy Efficiency

SIPs offer a high level of insulation, which lowers energy usage and cooling and heating costs. Compared to traditional construction techniques, the insulating capabilities of SIPs can cut heating and cooling energy consumption by up to 60%.

2. Structural Strength

The combination of the foam core and outer layers of SIPs creates a monolithic structure that is stronger than traditional construction methods. SIPs can withstand high winds and earthquakes, making them an excellent choice for buildings located in areas that experience cyclones, earthquakes, or high winds.

3. Cost and Time Savings

Due to the high level of insulation SIPs provide, they have a reduced need for artificial heating and cooling systems, which can result in exponential savings on energy bills. Also, SIPs can be prefabricated off-site, which reduces on-site construction time and costs.

4. Moisture and Mould Prevention

SIPs provide airtight construction, which prevents moisture from entering the building envelope. This reduces the risk of mould growth and condensation; conditions that can have detrimental effects on indoor air quality and your health.

SPIs and the New Zealand Building Industry

Structural insulated panels are an excellent choice for builders in New Zealand looking to meet H1 code changes. They provide a high level of insulation, energy efficiency and strength, making them an ideal building material for reducing energy consumption and carbon emissions. These qualities mean SIPs provide significant cost-saving on energy bills and prevent moisture and mould growth in the home.

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