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How to get the best out of SIPs

Charley Ward outlines the most effective ways to use structural insulated panels in your project
SIPS@Clays created this sprawling modern build, which fully demonstrates the design potential of SIPs panels with its variety of jutting lines and angles.

Despite their popularity in Scandinavia and the fact they offer a number of benefits for home building projects, structural insulated panels (SIPs) have only recently been established as a mainstream option in the UK. The system comprises preinsulated panels, usually made from engineered woodbased sheets sandwiched together with a core of high quality rigid insulation – like polyurethane – in between.

A strong, lightweight system, SIPs can be manufactured to create large sections of wall, floor and roof, and are typically supplied in kit form to make a whole house. “It’s a strange thing to say, but homes constructed with SIPs have a very solid quality to them, because you’re reducing the number of elements needed for a build,” says Malcolm Thomson, managing director of SIPs Scotland. “It makes a big difference to the overall feel of the property.”

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About Build It

Build It is Britain’s longest running self build magazine. Each issue is packed full of inspirational and informative readers’ homes, as well as expert advice on issues from budgets and planning to project management and design. This month: - Installing underfloor heating - Flooring cost guide - New routes to self build - What are building surveys?