Category: 8. Canterbury Rebuild Innovation
Most effective use of timber in architectural and engineering terms, as a response to the Canterbury rebuild – this award is open to both built and unbuilt.
Premier Modular Ltd, Rod Yeoman Architect, Richardson Stevens Consulting Engineers - www.premiersips.co.nz
Structurally Insulated Panel systems (SIPs) are the ideal solution for sustainable construction in New Zealand, a country prone to earthquakes, high wind and extreme weather conditions; one with a relatively unskilled construction labour force and a desire for more sustainable housing.
A simple system of monolithic interlocking insulated panels, SIPs are composed of a sandwich assembly of wood and plastic, most typically engineered wood for the facing panels with a polyfoam core. This composition is structurally analogous to a wide I-beam, providing structural strength and enabling load-bearing construction, so there is no need for conventional framing. While traditional panels have used oriented strand board, other facing materials such as fibre cement board, metal and treated plywoods have been used as are most suited to the local conditions and climate. Using computer aided design and manufacturing technologies, SIPs panels are cut to size for individually designed buildings with high levels of accuracy in the manufacturing plant, then most commonly are shipped to site for assembly.
The fabrication process decreases the reliance on skilled builders for quality construction and reducing the overall construction period.
The use of SiPS on a building significantly increases R-Value of Walls and roofs and reduces air leakage and therefore saves energy, reducing greenhouse gas emissions over the useful life of the building. There is general agreement that SIPS provide better overall air tightness and practical thermal performance than conventionally framed walls and roofs.