SIPs Allow Design Flexibility in a Missouri Home

Insulspan SIPs help a timber frame residence meet unique needs in design and acoustics

The owners of this energy efficient home had a unique list of needs when looking for partners to make their Missouri dream home a reality. In addition to wanting a timber frame residence, the couple intended to host a concert series in the home. The functional design aspects of their home, therefore, needed to incorporate key elements. Including wide spans of timber frame, a large and open layout with vaulted ceilings, and sound absorption were important. Of course, the residence needed to be highly energy efficient as well. Using Insulspan® Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) in the home’s construction allowed necessary design flexibility and helped meet other items on the couple’s checklist.

Insulspan SIPs substitute for 2” x 6” framing and inefficient fiberglass insulation typically used in residential construction. The SIPs consist of expanded polystyrene (EPS) insulation laminated between two pieces of performance-rated strand board (OSB). Ranging in total thickness from 4 ½” to over 12”, the company has manufactured SIPs for use in building construction since the 1970s. But exactly how do these energy efficient panels work in a timber frame home?

“Our team starts with the client’s design and customizes the SIPs to match.” – Steven Munn, Insulspan general manager

“Building with SIPs bring a lot of flexibility to a home’s design,” explains Insulspan general manager, Stephen Munn. Munn says every house is different, making Insulspan’s on-staff designers an important client benefit. “Our team starts with the client’s design,” says Munn, “and customizes the SIPs to match. Using SIPs with a timber frame structure is a natural complement because it strengthens and adds rigidity to the timber framing. In addition, with a maximum panel size of up to 8’ x 24’, SIPs easily create the large open spaces often found in timber frame homes.”

Panel manufacturing took place at Insulspan’s Blissfield, Michigan facility, including the pre-installed lumber. This meant the panels arrived at the couple’s Rollo, Missouri building site ready-to-assemble (RTA), ensuring a streamlined process.

You may be wondering what ready-to-assemble means at Insulspan. To start, ready-to-assemble indicates each individual panel was already cut to the exact specifications needed. This includes window and door openings and electrical wiring chases. And, it means connection splines and framing lumber are already installed. All other needed lumber is pre-cut and delivered with the SIPs. Finally, Insulspan provides everything needed for installation including sealant, tape, foam, screws, and house wrap.

“…SIPs really dampen and absorb noise increasing owner comfort. The home becomes almost a sanctuary.” – Munn

“Owners and builders are typically impressed with how Insulspan SIPs fit together,” says Munn. “Once they realize how easy the installation is for them or their crew, they tend to become advocates for our panels.” Munn says a building process incorporating SIPs adds efficiency (and speed) during construction because everything needed arrives in an RTA package. “The ready-to-assemble package,” he explains, “makes installation of the SIPs easy. There are no last-minute trips to the store for missing items and very little, if any, cutting on the jobsite.”

With hosting a concert series as part of this home’s future, building with SIPs added another advantage: noise suppression. Munn says building with SIPs means there is a noticeable noise dampening. “Buildings constructed using our SIPs really dampen and absorb noise increasing owner comfort. The home becomes almost a sanctuary.”


Want to learn how you can reduce energy costs and gain the structural
strength of the Insulspan SIP system for your residential or commercial project?

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