Norman Piette EcoHomes

SIPs (Structural Insulated Panels) Q&A

02 July 2020

Are SIPs a new invention?

No, SIPs are not new! They have been used in the US and Northern Europe for around 50 years and in the UK for over 40 years.

If they are that good why haven’t we seen more of them before?

Like many technologies, unless there is a pressing need to move on, we tend to stick to what we know. Renewable energy is a prime example of this, we were all quite happy with coal or oil fired power supplied to us from the grid until it became apparent that we had a looming climate crisis. SIPs technology is similar. We have been happy with our masonry houses until we needed to meet higher insulation values to save us money and to help save our environment, so it’s only relatively recently on island that we are seeing more and more projects being built.

If there haven’t been that many built, how can I be sure they are strong enough? I don’t want my house to be a guinea pig.

Ecohomes has been manufacturing and building in Guernsey since the 1970s. As at July 2020 we have completed over 1,500 properties across the Channels Islands, with more going up every week. These include new builds, extensions, renovations and large commercial projects. The system is tried an tested and our company is part of a major Channels Island Group so you can be confident of our history and longevity.

Is our climate right for SIPs? It does get very windy here.

SIPs buildings are common in some of the harshest environments across the globe, including the far north of Scandinavia. They are strong, solid and built to last.

What style of house can I have, does it have to be super-modern?

SIPs only form the superstructure of the building, usually the walls, floors and roof, the building itself can be ultra modern or a traditional cottage or bungalow. The finish can be rendered, clad in wood or granite. From the outside no-one would know the difference between a SIPs or masonry property.

How does the cost compare, is it a lot more expensive?

Actually no. The SIPs panels alone are will cost more than a masonry equivalent but when you factor in all of the other costs there is very little between them, plus of course SIPs are a quicker build.

If there’s not much of a price difference on the build why choose SIPs?

The biggest benefit of a SIPs building comes when you move in. SIPs offers vastly superior insulation (40% better than current building regulation requirements) so your running costs would be lower than a traditional build and of course that adds up to big savings over time.

Another winning feature of SIPs is the flexibility for your living spaces. Because roof panels are structural, it means no rafters, crossing the ceiling. You can have wide open spaces and vaulted ceilings if you want, masses of light but cosy and comfortable. Ecohomes SIPs builds are great places to live.

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please contact us on 01481 245801 or email