SIPs panels for entire house arrived on two trucks. the blue, three-wheeled fork lift hanging on the back of the trailer makes short-order of the off-loading process.

Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs).  these 12″ thick foam (EPS-Expanded Polystyrene) panels are sheathed on two sides with 1/2″ thick OSB (Oriented Strand Board) and represent the building shell for the house.  when assembled, these 48″ wide panels will form the walls and roof for the house (unheated garage is conventional framing).  the R-value for these panels is R48 (compared to R19 for a typical 2×6 wall with fiberglass insulation).  SIPs are structural.  in other words, they hold themselves up as well as the roof above with only additional structure required at point loads (i.e.: beams, etc.).

claimed SIPs benefits (from manufacturer’s literature) include:

  • wood facings are from rapidly renewable wood species.
  • EPS does not include CFCs, HFCs or HCFCs.
  • minimizes the use of traditional lumber.
  • EPS is fully recyclable.
  • waste is minimized by providing factory fabrication of complete building package.

once we’ve completed our assault on the learning curve, we expect the house will go up fast.  holes for windows and doors are pre-cut.  as mentioned in the last post, the windows and exterior doors have arrived, ready for installation when the SIPs have been erected and a roof is in place.  so, we expect (hope?) that in about a month we should have box that resembles a house!

this SIPs thing is a new method for myself and gary nichols (builder).  so, will be an interesting comparison to our more familiar territory of conventional framing with cavity insulation and rigid foam applied to the “exterior”.  installation commences on thursday.  so, keep an eye out for the next post – SIPs 2.  therein, i hope to be reporting on the efficiencies of SIPs erection!

all SIPs stored on-site awaiting arrival of boom truck and installation next week.

Kel House of House & Sun, Inc. from Brooksville, Maine is the supplier –  Branch River Plastics, Inc. of Smithfield R.I. is the manufacturer/fabricator –

foundation layers 2

Continuing a previous post concerning all the stuff that gets buried in and under the concrete floor slab (check out the “foundations layer” post from july 29)….

LOTS of tubing and cool colors!  first, a poly vapor barrier was installed on top of the 6″ of rigid insulation. then, 6×6 welded wire steel mesh to reinforce the slab and tie-off the radiant tubing (that orange and red tubing snaking its way around).  the orange painted lines indicate the location of future walls.

what a tangled-web we weave!  i am confident revision energy does indeed know what this rats-nest is doing.  if not, i’m in BIG trouble!!!!  basically, all the radiant tubes arrive at this point where they will be connected to a manifold to distribute the hot water throughout the slab.  and, i think its a pretty cool photo!

looks a lot better, huh?!  slab has been poured and now all we see are the red and orange tubes flapping in the breeze awaiting the arrival of a house.

overview of slab with various pipe penetrations.  the finished floor for the house will be stained concrete.  much care was taken during layout and the pour to provide crisp, clean surface.  this includes careful consideration of location of sawn control joints (to control slab cracking).  the goal is to locate the cj’s under walls, cabinets, etc. where possible. and, in spite of our best efforts, i have confidence that the concrete will crack in at least one undesirable location! of course, now the challenge is to protect and preserve the slab for the duration of construction.

SIPs arrive on Thursday and Friday of this week.  erection starts next week.  the slow boat from poland arrived with our windows and patiently await their installation.  so, in another month, we should have something that looks like a house!

thank you to daughter lindsey and dan leonard at revision energy for providing the above photos.

the days between

from august 1 to august 9, deadheads remember jerry garcia (the days between his birthday and the day he died in 1995).  363 house is experiencing a bit of its own “days between”.  foundation was completed last week.  now, we await the arrival of the SIPs (Structural Insulated Panels) – scheduled for the week of august 20.  in the meanwhile, LOTS of planning underway for the “street opening”….we have to make a deep excavation into the street to access water and sewer (sewer pipe is reported to be 12′ deep!).  let’s hope my masterful planning efforts can avoid the arrival of two truckloads of SIPs on the same day we’re digging a huge hole in the street!

RIP jer. ;-(