19 August 2022 | Article, Insights

Our Grey EPS is available in sheet form, cut to size on one of our state-of-the-art cutting lines. Using a grey graphite injected EPS material offers a 20% reduction in sheet thickness when compared to white EPS.

As energy bills increase and building regulations tighten, the demand for high performance, energy efficient materials and construction methods is at an all-time high. SIPs panels fit the bill perfectly, utilising grey EPS insulation to provide a fast, cost-effective construction method, perfect for new housing developments and smaller commercial buildings.

What is a SIPs Panel?

SIPs, or structurally insulated panels, refers to a method of construction where insulating materials such as EPS (Expanded Polystyrene) foam, are sandwiched between two panel boards, typically OSB (Oriented Strand Board) to create a strong but lightweight building material with high thermal resistance.

The main ingredient in a SIPs sandwich is, of course, grey EPS foam. Widely used in construction for its strength, lightweight nature and thermal properties, EPS comes with plenty of benefits making it one of the preferred choices for insulation throughout the construction industry.

Building with SIPs Panels offer the following benefits:

  • Speed – Structure is typically assembled in around two weeks
  • Passive house – SIPs offer a passive house fabric ready solution
  • Grey EPS – Impregnated with graphite to improve thermal performance
  • Cost Effective – Cheaper in comparison to alternative sandwich materials like PIR or PU
  • Ease of use – EPS is lightweight and easy to glue to adhere OSB

EPS Insulation – Grey VS White

Whilst their role in SIPs panels is more or less the same, there are differences between white and grey EPS which may determine which one is opted for.

Grey EPS is an advanced EPS insulation material that contains graphite. Graphite brings additional thermal properties to EPS making it more effective and offering a higher thermal performance than white EPS. Grey EPS can achieve up to 30% better insulation value (K value) than white EPS.

To compare, a grey EPS board with a thickness of 90mm offers the same performance as 120mm of white EPS (dependant on the grade chosen). So, although grey EPS is slightly more expensive, less material is required and higher thermal insulation is achieved resulting in slimmer SIPs panelling.

How Quickly Can You Build With SIPs Panels?

On average, building with SIPs panels is 55% faster than traditional construction methods, just one reason why they are fast becoming a favoured method in construction. Depending on the size of the build, exact installation time can vary, but it roughly takes up to 2 weeks to engineer the panels and another 2 weeks to install them at the site location.

Unlike traditional methods of construction like brick and block, the construction of the SIPs structure is weather independent and not slowed or affected by low temperatures or rainfall.

As well as construction workers and property developers, fast installation time is also hugely appealing to those embarking on a self-build project. Building your own home can be extremely disruptive and often requires a on-site mobile home or offsite rental accommodation. Using SIPs to create the initial structure of a home significantly reduces costs and long term relocation upheaval.

What U-Values Can Be Achieved With Grey EPS SIPs Construction?

U-values refer to the rate of heat loss from a wall or roof in a building, used to measure the thermal performance of a material used for insulation. This is especially important following an update to the Part L building regulations, published by The Future Homes Standard which targets a reduction of  carbon emissions by at least 75% by 2050. EPS insulation plays an important role in meeting these standards and is becoming an increasingly popular construction method for developers of new homes.

The typical U-value of an insulated wall using traditional construction methods is around 0.18 W/(m²K) in contrast to the U-value of a SIPs panel wall with EPS insulation which can drive efficiency as low as 0.13 W/(m²K).

Does SIPs Construction Save On Labour?

Typically, SIPs panels are pre-fabricated in a factory then craned directly onto the building site once ready. As they arrive cut to size, labour is reduced and panels can be erected quickly and easily to form the structure of the new building, something perfectly suited to new builds or large housing developments where fast lead times and cost-effective construction methods are essential.

Engineered Foam Products supply grey EPS to several businesses for use in SIPs panels. The high thermal efficiency of our cost-effective material makes this method of construction a logical development in the future of new buildings.

For further information or to discuss an upcoming project, please get in touch.


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