A structural insulated panel, also known as a structural insulating panel, is a type of sandwich panel used in the construction market. It is made up of insulating layers of rigid cores sandwiched between two structural board layers. The boards can either be made of sheet metal, cement, or magnesium oxide, among other materials. On the other hand, the core can be manufactured from polystyrene or extruded polystyrene foam. These are called PU structural insulated panels. These panels share the same characteristics as L-beams or I-columns.
Advantages of structural insulated panels
There are several reasons why structural insulated panels are popular. Below are some:
1. They are energy efficient
In addition to providing superior thermal insulation, structured insulated panels also offer a high level of energy efficiency. They do this in the following ways;
- Minimizing thermal bridging– this is the process through which heat moves across an object that is more conductive than its surrounding materials. In this process, the conductive material provides a route for traveling heat despite its insulated surroundings. Structural insulated panels help conserve energy by reducing thermal bridging by up to ten percent. This is because of their unique material composition.
- Minimizing R-value– these insulated panels also promote energy efficiency through their minimized R-value. Insulated structured panels with a minimum R-value of 15 or less can go a long way in reducing the amount of energy significantly.
2. Ease and fast to install
Installing structural insulated panels is also quite effortless. This means that using these panels can help reduce the timeline of your project substantially. This is one of the top reasons construction industry practitioners prefer these panels over traditional stick framing or conventional paneling. Their ease of installation also guarantees fast completion of projects, and it also helps reduce the cost of the operation.
3. Pest prevention
Structured insulated panels are also known to prevent the invasion of insects and rodents. This is because they are resistant to pests and rodents. This can be attributed to their overall paneling composition. Their closed-cell design minimizes the number of cavities in their structures, impacting the feasibility of the panels to rodents and insects. In simpler terms, it means that insects and rodents cannot easily enter their system.
4. Enhanced structural integrity
Another significant benefit of structural insulated panels is that they offer enhanced structural integrity. This is the reason why they are built in areas with high snow loads. This is especially the case when the panels are manufactured using high-quality materials.
5. Aesthetic appeal
Structural insulated panels are typically hidden within building components. This means that they cannot influence the aesthetics of the building. This gives architects the freedom to explore various designs during construction.
Note that the benefits listed above may differ from one type of structural insulated panel to the next. It may also be influenced by the material, design, and brand. For instance, PU structured insulated panels offer more advantages than the latter. The most common materials for these panels are expanded polystyrene, oriented strand boards, and polyethylene.