SIPS versus Other Types of Insulation

SIPS versus Other Types of Insulation

29 August 2018 Wednesday 11:24
690 Reads
SIPS versus Other Types of Insulation

Insulation is an integral part of any construction system, especially in areas where the cold or heat can be severe. There are several types of insulation that you can use for different purposes, and each of them differs in many ways. Structural insulated panels are one such type of insulation that is being utilised by many building owners for their benefits and efficiency. But how do they differ with other types of insulation such as (a) concrete block insulation, (b) insulating concrete form or ICFs, (c) loose-fill and blown-in insulation and (d) reflective system insulation. Let’s take a more detailed look.

Materials used

Structured insulated panels also known as SIPs use an insulated foam core or straw core, and they use casings made of either metal, plywood or oriented strand board. Concrete block insulation makes use of foam board or foam beads mixed in concrete. With ICFs, they use foam boards and foam blocks, while in loose-fill and blown-in insulation the following are used: fibreglass, mineral wool or cellulose. Lastly, reflective system insulation uses a plastic film, cardboard, polyethylene bubbles or foil-faced craft paper.

Insulation technique

SIPs are fitted together to form floors, walls, and roofs. The first alternative insulation type employs a dry-stacking, where concrete blocks stacked on top of each other without the use of mortar. The second type acts as an element of a constructed building structure. The third type can either be poured in or blown into place by using specialised machinery. And the fourth type fits the insulation materials in between beams, joists, rafters and wood-frame studs.

Where it’s applicable

Roofs, walls and floors and ceilings of newly constructed structures use structural insulated panels. The first and second types of alternative insulation can be applied on unfinished or foundation walls as well as in new arrangements. Areas that can be hard to reach like those in existing enclosed walls and attic floors that are not finished using the third type. And the fourth one can be installed on ceilings, walls, and flooring.


SIPs are installed a lot quicker than other insulation types, and the insulation can be even. With concrete block insulation, it dramatically increases wall R-values. ICFs create high thermal resistance built into walls. Loose-fill and blown-in insulation are most suitable for additional insulation to existing structures. A reflective system type of insulation can be done even by untrained individuals and prevents downward heat flow, the effectiveness of which will depend on the spacing.

Now that we have compared structural insulated panels with four other insulation types, we can now say that overall, SIPs will give you the most benefit, albeit being a little more work than different types of insulation. They may require more effort to install, but still, they are finished way ahead of time than putting up other types of insulation. The saving that you will realise in using SIPs panels UK suppliers offer will be more than the savings from the different types of insulation.


Updated: 28.08.2018 13:27


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