Insulated Panel Systems for Passive House

Insulated Panel Systems and Passive House… a perfect combination!  So just what is Passive House?  Simply put, it is a building construction standard based on design, materials and methods that reduce the energy consumption by up to 90% through “passive” means.    Designers and builders work together to attain these remarkable results through the implementation the Passive House system:

  1. Proper Passive-Solar Orientation
  2. Super Insulated, Thermal Bridge Free, Airtight Envelope
  3. High-Performance Windows and Doors
  4. Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery
  5. Utilization of Passive House Planning Software (PHPP)
Insulated Panel Systems Passive House RAY-CORE
RAY-CORE’s Insulated Panel System – Super-insulating and Air-tight Construction – Perfect for Passive House!

Planning with a Purpose!

Let’s start with the proper design and orientation of the home.  Designers consider ways to minimize energy loss and utilize energy gain in the design of the home.  Orientation of the building on the lot is a strong consideration.  Other important considerations include positioning of windows and the associated heat gain, maximizing heat gain in the winter and minimizing in the summer.  Existing land features such as buildings or trees that will cast shadows may or may not be of benefit and must also be considered.   In the design process, roof overhangs of appropriate length, awnings and adding deciduous trees can be of great benefit.  With heat loss designed to a minimum, internal heat gain from appliances, electronic equipment, lighting and even people and pets can make a significant difference.

It’s All in the Packaging!

It’s simple… super insulate and seal up tight!  The entire envelope of the house including walls, roof, floor and basement must be well insulated and sealed to eliminate air infiltration.  Conventional framing just isn’t sufficient.  Numerous and varied alternative framing methods used in Passive House construction are on the rise.  One popular and proven effective method is the use of Insulated Panel Systems.  Use of advanced framing systems such as the use of insulated panel systems is a fast, easy and dependable way to fulfill the stringent requirements.  We will talk more about this in a moment.

A Window to a World of Savings!

It’s amazing how much you can save with good window!  Windows appropriate for your location, take advantage of the free passive solar energy that comes from the sun while eliminating cold transmission during periods of extreme weather.   Installing high performance windows meeting the super R-value standards of Passive House can, from an energy perspective, perform better than an insulated wall.

In With the Good and Out with the Bad

In the tight construction of Passive House, proper ventilation is a must.  Through the use of energy recovery (ERV) or heat recovery (HRV) ventilators, fresh outside air is drawn into the home, while stale inside air is exhausted to the outside.  The two airs pass one-another, exchanging energy but never mixing, keeping the interior of the home a healthy and clean environment.

The Math Tells It All

Special planning software takes into consideration design, materials and methods of the home and puts them all together to calculate the energy-load and balance of the design.  With building science behind the process, specific performance characteristics that must be met to earn the Passive House designation.  The result is a functional energy-efficient building concept that reduces heating and cooling energy consumption up to 90%!

Let’s Discuss Insulated Panel Systems One More Time…

There is an easy way to achieve the Passive House super-insulated, virtually air-tight construction without breaking the bank.  RAY-CORE Structural Insulated Panels SIPs, insulated panel system is the answer to affordably meeting Passive House standards.   RAY-CORE’s unique patented staggered stud design eliminates thermal bridging, incorporates integrated stud framing with injection molded, super-insulating closed cell polyurethane foam and a foil radiant vapor barrier.  Molded into modular 4’ wide panels, RAY-CORE’s structural insulated panels SIPs form a lightweight, easy to use, super-insulating and air-tight envelope that far outperforms other forms of advanced framing methods.  Be certain to consider RAY-CORE Insulated Panel Systems for your next home.  Call 1-877-552-2440 and ask about RAY-CORE’s affordable staggered-stud insulated panel systems and the Passive House discount!

Structurally Insulated Panels SIP Home Wins at the EnergyValue Housing Awards

Structurally Insulated Panels SIPs Make the Difference – February 2012 – NAHB Research Center Press Release reported that 17 builders and remodelers from 12 states were awarded top honors at this year’s International Builder’s Show 2012 EnergyValue Housing Awards (EVHA).  Selections for the EVHA were made from projects in three different climate regions, from cold, to moderate, to hot and five different categories including Affordable, Custom/Demonstration, Multifamily, Production, and Existing Homes.)

Structurally Insulated Panels Nexus
Structurally Insulated Panels SIPs make the difference in Nexus Award Winning Home

This year’s Builder of the Year award winner was Nexus EnergyHomes of Frederick,Md.  Nexus took home a gold award in three other categories, including New, Production Homes, and Moderate Climate categories. New to high-performance homes, Nexus caught the eye of the judges because of the careful materials research and strategic planning.  Striving for ongoing improvement, Nexus performs careful reviews and testing upon the completion of their projects, revisiting design features, practices, materials and equipment used.

With savings a key concern, Nexus continually looks for ways to reduce costs and improve time efficiency.   The press release reports that “Nexus EnergyHomes’ award-winning 2,710-square-foot duplex home was described by one EVHA judge as ‘the epitome of value-engineering’ ”, for the use of products that are sustainable and energy efficient both during the building process and as the end product.  Nexus chose Structurally Insulated Panels or SIPs “to help construction to go quickly while maintaining a tight building envelope.  In addition to their insulative benefits, the SIPS also contributed to a quite interior, despite the home’s busy city location.”  Another EVHA judge stated that the winning home contains “high-quality materials, outstanding energy-efficient features, and incredible marketing.”

Builder Magazine expanded upon the article, reporting that Structurally Insulated Panels will keep your energy bills at a minimum while providing a far superior construction product and process than conventional stick-framing methods.  Structurally Insulated Panels, or SIPs are reportedly “66% more energy efficient than conventional construction and they are stronger and quieter too!”  The post continues that “SIPs or Structurally Insulated Panels are becoming more and more popular in home construction…. They’re built in a factory and shipped to the construction site”.  There the construction crew can quickly and efficiently install them as the frame of the house.  “This yields higher construction quality as everything (all the framing and insulation materials that make up the panel) is handled in a factory instead of on the jobsite.”   For these reasons and more, Structurally Insulated Panels are a “no-brainer” for forward thinking companies such as Nexus who are making an effort to build the superiorly-energy-efficient home.

If you wish for your next home to be an award-winning home, be sure to include structurally insulated panels or SIPs.  RAY-CORE’s unique, patented Structural Insulated Panels SIPs is the Smart SIP.  Visit our website and see why you will settle for nothing less, at www.raycore.com.   Call now and ask about special discount pricing at 1.877.552.2440.

To read in entirity about the 2012 EnergyValue Housing Awards visit Builder online.

Structural Insulated Panels SIPs for the Do-It-Yourselfer

Are Structural Insulated Panels SIPs for the Do-It-Yourselfer?  The best answer would be “It depends.”

With the new DIY boom, many homeowners are jumping in with both when building a new home.  Contrary to common belief, saving money is not the only reason why secretaries, computer programmers, store clerks, school teachers, mechanics and even soccer moms choose to “Do-It-Yourself” their own home.  Wishing to immerse themselves in the process, take control of the decision making process and enjoy the satisfaction of creating the most intimate and personal space of their home is often the primary motivational force.  Future DIY-ers are inspired by channels such as HGTV and DIY Network, featuring shows such as Home Crashers and Run My Renovation.  Endless internet sites and blogs cite the process, its ease and successes.  Free step-by-step how-to’s post on product manufacturer’s websites and YouTube.  Weekend how-to classes offer hand’s on experience at Home Depot and Lowes.  For-cost, week-long encampments are offered under the instruction of experienced professionals.  All this propels the DIY homeowner forward with a strong sense of confidence.

So, can or should a homeowners install Structural Insulated Panels SIPs themselves?  This question can’t be simply answered without gathering more information.  Which Structural Insulated Panel is being referred to?  Does the DIY-er have any real construction experience?  Will the DIY-er own or have access to the necessary equipment required for the installation of the insulation panel?  What type of installation support is offered by the SIP panel manufacturer?

Structural Insulated Panels SIPs most commonly known are the “sandwich panel” type of SIPs.  These consist of a solid foam insulation core, generally a Styrofoam product, with Oriented Strand Board (OSB) glued on either side as a nail base and making up the structural part of the panel.  Panels are available in varying thicknesses and insulation values, and in modular format in 4 foot widths and varying lengths.  Also available in “whole wall” prefabricated format, making up to the entire length of a home’s exterior wall or roof section.  Either format is quite large, very heavy generally requiring the use of an onsite crane for installation.   Critical proper installation methods of Structural Insulated Panels SIPs, known as “sandwich panels” does not make them a good product for Do-It-Yourselfers.

So… Is there a Structural Insulated Panel out there for the Do-It-Yourselfer?  The answer to this question is YES!

Structural Insulated Panels SIPs DIY

Structural Insulated Panels SIPs for the Do-It-Yourselfer by RAY-CORE

RAY-CORE Structural Insulated Panels SIPs are the perfect product for the DIY-er.  Not a “sandwich panel”, RAY-CORE’s patented panels are different.  RAY-CORE takes the tried and true methods of conventional construction including the structural integrity of studs, foamed in place super insulating polyurethane foam between the studs and wraps the 4 foot wide modular panels in a radiant foil vapor barrier.  This produces a super lightweight (as little as 48 lbs), easy to handle (no cranes required), superiorly insulating (up to R-52) and labor saving Structural Insulated Panel SIPs that requires no more knowledge from a Do-It-Yourselfer than simple conventional framing practices.When starting your new home project you can Do-It-Yourself with RAY-CORE Structural Insulated Panels SIPS.  Learn how easy it is by calling now 1.877.552.2440 to speak to one of our knowledgeable associates.  Be sure to ask about special DIY discounts!

Passive Solar SIP Home Receives US Green Building Council (USGBC) Project of the Year Award

SIP Home Green Building Award - Go Logic

SIP Home Received US Green Building Council Project of the Year Award – Go Logic

SIP Home Receives Green Building Award – In October, 2011 the US Green Building Council (USGBC) announced the winner of the 2011 LEED for Homes awards.  For the second consecutive year a SIP home received the 2011 Project of the Year award.  This year’s recipient was GO Logic’s Go Home for its super energy efficient 1500 sf, three-bedroom certified Passive House built in Belfast, Maine.  This was only the 12th home in the United States to be certified under the strict performance based energy efficient Passive House building standard.  It is reported that Passive house homeowners can see up to a 90% reduction in heating costs compared to a conventionally built home.  These amazingly low levels of energy consumption are the result of a super insulated exterior shell with an airtight envelope, proper orientation to take advantage of passive solar, mechanical ventilation and reuse of heat.

Go Logic achieved these goals through the use of insulated concrete forms (ICF’s) and the benefits of highly-insulating SIPs, preventing heat loss through the exterior walls and meeting the Passive House required air leakage maximum of .06 ACH50.  The SIP home further fulfilled the Passive House requirement through proper passive solar design and placement and use of a 2.8kW photovoltaic system, cutting heating loads by 86 percent over a code-built home and reaching net zero.  Benefits to this SIP home owners over the next 25 years include freedom from energy bills and anticipated energy cost savings of over $140,000.  What more could they ask?

With affordability at the top of their list, according to a press release from the USGBC, GO Logic was able to build this high performance SIP home for approximately the same cost as a conventional home of the same size.  The press release further states that GO Logic plans to replicate this design in a planned 36-home development in Maine.

Whether your Green Building goals include reaching Net Zero, or if you simply are looking to build a comfortable, well-insulated and airtight home with low utility bills that won’t break the bank, you must consider a SIP home using RAY-CORE structurally insulated panels.  RAY-CORE’s unique patented Structural Insulated Panels SIPs with integrated studs, super-insulating polyurethane foam and radiant vapor barrier are The Smart SIP.  Available in 3-1/2”- R-26, 5-1/2”- R-42 and 7-1/4” – R-52 for your walls, roof or floors.  Call now for a free estimate of your next SIP home – 1.877.552.2440 or to find out more about energy savings with RAY-CORE SIPs, visit our website www.raycore.com/energysavings.com.

To read more about GO Home, visit the GO Logic website, EcoHome Magazine or visit the Structural Insulated Panel Association’s website at www.sipa.org.

Why RAYCORE SIPs? They’re The Smart SIP!

SIPs … So what about RAY-CORE Structural Insulated Panels?  They’re different…

Conventional SIPs otherwise known as stress/stressed-skin or more commonly sandwich panels are a great product, but they don’t come without their problems.  With sandwich panel SIPs, the structural integrity of your home depends solely on the oriented strand board (OSB) skins and their bond to the foam insulation.  Should the OSB become wet or damaged by moisture or the lamination to the foam or glue fail, your walls or roof will lose its structural element and could possibly collapse.  Moisture can lead to the growth of mold and mildew in polystyrene foam products.  EPS foam is not fire-friendly and starts to lose its form and melt at around 180 degrees.  With an increase in temperature the foam will burn, supporting a flame and fueling the fire, spreading it throughout the structure.  There is a smarter choice…

What Makes RAY-CORE the Smart Choice?             

WHY SIPs by RAYCORE - The Smart SIP

RAYCORE SIPs – The Smart SIP!

Taking into consideration the inherent problems associated with conventional SIPs, RAY-CORE developed a better structural insulated panel, far superior to other insulated panels on the market.  Using the century old tried and true process of building with wooden studs, RAY-CORE took the process into the controlled environment of a factory, molding the studs into a strong and dependable modular Structural Insulated Panels SIPs.  Adding to the studs superiorly insulating solid polyurethane foam, the cavities between the studs are sealed tight, leaving no gaps or voids and preventing air infiltration.  To top things off, RAY-CORE insulation panels are wrapped in a foil radiant vapor barrier!  As a result, RAY-CORE SIPs are a fortress against the elements.

Up to 4x the Benefits… Without the Problems

RAY-CORE panels are superiorly strong – 4x stronger than a conventional stick-framed wall and 2x as strong as conventional sandwich SIPs panels.  RAY-CORE’s structurally insulated panels, made with polyurethane foam, boast over 7 R-values per inch of wall thickness.  RAY-CORE’s unique blend of super high R-value polyurethane foam is virtually impervious to moisture, does not support the growth of molds and mildew and with a class-1 fire rating, will not melt or support a flame.

All in all, RAY-CORE Structural Insulated Wall Panels and Insulated Roof Panels are far superior to the competitor’s SIP panel… RAY-CORE – The Smart Choice.  Make RAY-CORE a part of your next home for a lifetime of savings.  Call now for a free estimate!1.877.552.2440.

What Are Structural Insulated Panels ?

Structural Insulated Panels, otherwise known as SIPs are prefabricated structural and loadbearing construction panels that include insulation.  These panels are most commonly used for the construction of the exterior walls of a building.  Conventional Structural insulated Panels SIPs, otherwise known as stress/stressed-skin more commonly Sandwich Panels, consist of an insulating layer of rigid foam, usually expanded polystyrene (EPS) and occasionally more highly insulating polyurethane foam, sandwiched between two layers of oriented strand board (OSB) which is adhered to the foam with a glue.

Why Structural Insulated Panels?

Structural Insulated Panels Info RAYCORE

Structural Insulated Panels by RAYCORE

In conventional framing, wooden framing or “studs” provide the structural element of the walls and roof system while insulation materials such as fiberglass, cellulose or other insulating materials is placed between those studs, in an effort to keep the inside of the home warm in the winter and cool in the summer.  In reality, these insulation materials are poor insulators, providing only a minimal R-value per inch of insulation.  Furthermore, the performance of these insulation materials relies completely on the quality and care of its installation.  It is virtually impossible to install fiberglass insulation without leaving some gaps or voids, allowing air leakage and infiltration.  Cellulose insulation generally settles with time leaving gaps at the top of the wall, letting your winter heating escape to the outside or the outside summer temperatures enter your home.

SIP panels are extremely energy-efficient due to the high R-values afforded them by superiorly insulating rigid foam insulation.  The solid nature of structural insulated panels produces a tight envelope, sealing out the elements and directly affecting a home’s heating and cooling requirements.  The added benefits are made available with varying thicknesses and their corresponding R-values.  Insulation panel energy-efficient design means smaller, less expensive HVAC units and reduced energy usage, all adding up to money savings to the homeowner and energy savings for our environment.

Speaking of savings, due to SIPs panelized or semi-prefabricated form, building with structurally insulated panels is quick and efficient, saving construction time and labor costs during the construction of your home.

RAY-CORE SIPs (The Smart SIP)

RAY-CORE’s patented Structural Insulated Panel is different than the competitor’s product.  Not, a Sandwich Panel, RAY-CORE Structural Insulated Panels with their superior qualities far outperform the competitor’s panels.  Spend some time on our website, www.raycore.com, and see why RAY-CORE Structural Insulated Panels SIPs are a “must have” in your next construction project!  Ask about discounts by calling 1.877.552.2440.

Green Home Construction Advantages with SIPs

Green Home Construction has been defined as the practice of minimizing the impact a building has on the natural environment.  This reduction is accomplished through Reduced Energy Consumption, Material and Resource Conservation, Indoor Environment Quality, Water Conservation and Efficiency, and Sustainable Site Planning.

So why is Green Home Construction so important?

According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, buildings account for 39% of the total energy consumed in the US and 38% of carbon dioxide emissions.  Taking into consideration the various ways a home might be classified as “green”, the reality is that it all comes down to energy.  Energy to manufacture.  Energy to ship the product.  Energy to build a home.  And ultimately, with the greatest long-term impact…Energy to heat and cool a home.  Simply stated, house built using green home construction practices consumes less energy.

Green Home Construction with SIPs 

Green Home Construction with RAY-CORE Structural Insulated Panels

Green Home Construction with RAY-CORE Structural Insulated Panels

Green home construction with SIPs creates a tight, high-performance building envelope with superior R-Values and minimal air infiltration.  Oakridge National Laboratory’s Whole-Wall R-value study showed that a Structural Insulated Wall at an R-14 outperformed a 2×6 stick framed wall with R-19 fiberglass insulation.  Their analysis found SIPs walls to have around 47% higher whole-wall R-values than conventionally built stud and fiberglass walls of equal thickness.Structural Insulted Panels reduce annual heating and cooling demands by up to 50 to 60 percent per year compared to conventional stick framed homes, making SIPs a strong choice for design professionals for use in green home construction, passivhaus construction, net zero homes and commercial buildings. Furthermore, with energy used for heating and cooling being the largest contributor to air emissions, the energy efficiency of a SIP envelope reduces carbon dioxide emissions that cause global warming and toxic chemicals that can cause acid rain and ozone depletion.Other energy saving insight was drawn from the ORNL study, showing that a SIP home can perform up to 15 times better in airtightness than a comparable stick-framed home with fiberglass insulation.  With 40% of the heat lost in a home due to air leakage, it becomes clear how important it is to have a properly sealed home.  SIPs construction panels have proven to be just that, a tight and well-sealed structure, with Energy Star expressing their confidence in the reliability of structural insulated panels by eliminating the need to perform blower door tests for SIP panel homes when seeking Energy Star ratings.

The tight, well-sealed envelope of a Structural Insulated Panel building limits incoming air to the indoor environment, reducing common environmental pollutants such as pollen, molds, radon, and lead dust creating a healthier indoor environment, an important element of green home construction.

RAY-CORE SIPs are Green!

Super insulated RAY-CORE Structural Insulated Panels fit the mold for green home construction.  Producing an environmentally friendly insulation panel that reduces energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions, RAY-CORE SIPs panels are the perfect solution, Building Green and saving energy for the lifetime of your home.  Call now for a free estimate and ask about discount pricing –1-877-552-2440.