Building energy efficient housing is about saving the environment as well as saving some money. Structural Insulated Panels, or SIPS, are pre–fabricated insulated panels that install easily and keep the warm air in the house.
Randy Nilsson, the President of Great Lakes Carpentry told me, “It greatly reduces thermal bridging because every connection is broken with foam.”
The R–rating, or thermal resistance rating, of these walls is about 24, which is 3–5 more than conventional frame houses. Even the windows in this house are super insulated.
The secret in the window lies in the insulated fiberglass frame, along with the thin film technology that helps reduce the amount of heat lost out of the windows.
“There are two layers of thin film in the glazing unit right here. Which makes this on the order of quadruple pane glass” Nilsson explains.
For these retired homeowners, building an energy efficient house was a sustainable step for future generations.
Stu Whipple, the future owner of this home said, “From very early on, like when the mother earth news was coming out we got interested in it. And from boy scouts and stuff, conservation was important.” Pam Whipple adds, “What ever we can do to help make it better for the future.”
For the home owners it’s a way of life, for Nilsson its his opportunity to do more for the environment.
“We’ve made it our mission to do the right thing for our clients and for the environment.” said Nilsson.
Building a house using SIPS panels is about the same price as frame houses, but SIPS houses are two and a half times more durable.