R-Control SIPs Basics

What are Structural Insulated Panels?

Structural insulated panels (SIPs) are a superior alternative to traditional framing in walls, roofs and floors. They consist of two facings of engineered oriented strand board (OSB) that are glued, under controlled factory conditions, to a core of expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam.

SIPs are structural, eliminating the need for studs in walls and trusses in roofs.

SIPs are insulating, forming a high-performance, continuous shield against cold and heat.

Finally, SIPs are framing, sheathing, insulation and air barrier in a single component. They're custom-manufactured offsite, and assembled at the job location.

How SIPs are Made

SIPs manufacturing has four basic steps.

First, beads of polystyrene plastic are heated and infused with steam in a chamber. The beads expand to fill the chamber, and their outer membranes fuse together. When they cool, they exit the chamber as a large block of white foam.

The block of foam is then cut into rigid foam "cores" of different thicknesses, each of which has a different insulating R value.

OSB is laminated to each side of the core with a structural construction adhesive. Finally, the finished panels are held at constant pressure and heated to form a permanent bond.

The SIPs are carefully inspected to ensure the integrity of the panel, including the foam core, OSB skin and the laminating bond.

A Perfect Fit for Your Home or Building

Every home and building is a little different, with a unique shape and set of features that meet the unique needs of its owner.

That's why we fabricate R-Control SIPs to fit the design needs and expectations of each customer project.  

First, we create 3D shop drawings of the panels in our state-of-the-art computer-aided design (CAD) software.

Then we digitally transfer the final drawings and specifications to our computer-numerically controlled (CNC) fabrication facility, where the SIPs are precisely cut so that every joint, every window, and every doorway is a perfect fit.

Assembled (Not Built) Onsite

Building with SIPs is a little like assembling a big jigsaw puzzle.

Every panel is precisely manufactured and numbered to indicate its spot in a wall, roof or floor.

Your builder connects, fastens and seals the components, following a set of detailed plans provided by our drafting team.

The process generally takes hours or days, rather than the days or weeks required to build walls and roofs using traditional construction methods.

A Superior Building Envelope

A building's roof, walls, floors and foundation are referred to as its "envelope" by construction and design professionals.

Together these four components enclose the building, shielding its interior environment from cold, heat and contamination.

R-Control SIPs can be used in any combination of roof, walls and floor, and with any type of foundation. They're critical parts of a high-performance envelope, forming a continuous barrier that keeps cold, heat and drafts from invading your home or building.

For the best performance, R-Control SIPs can be combined with Big Sky's Premier ICFs™ insulated concrete forms, a highly insulating foundation system made from the same EPS as R-Control's foam core.

The combination of R-Control and Premier ICFs assures a truly superior envelope that will keep your home or building comfortable, and save you money on heating and cooling for many years.

Get Creative

Using SIPs allows you to think creatively. What you can build is only limited by your imagination.

Slanted walls? We can do that. Curvy roofs? No problem.

Did we mention that building with SIPs can also boost your home's living area? SIP roofs often require only minimal framing, freeing up the attic as usable floor space.

Want an extra bedroom, an office, more storage? Whatever you dream up, SIPs are a great way to build it.