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Structural Insulated Panel (SIP)

Structurally Insulated Panel

An SIP (Structural Insulated Panel) is a composite building material that typically consists of a thick layer of foam insulation, sandwiched between an interior and exterior layer of structural sheathing.

Insulating Concrete Form (ICF)

Insulated Concrete Forms

ICFs (Insulating Concrete Forms) are hollow blocks or panels, often made of plastic foam, that are put in place to form the walls of a building and filled with reinforced concrete to create the structure. The left-in-place forms provide a continuous insulation and sound barrier.

Building Zero Energy Homes

A "typical" zero net energy home is designed to exceed minimum code standards. Zero net energy simply means that a home uses no more energy from the electrical grid over a given period than it produces on site. It will often incorporate advanced design and construction techniques and may include some (or all) of the following elements:

  • Advanced insulation materials such as SIPs, ICFs, and/or advanced, high R-value insulation packages.
  • Efficient use of building materials to minimize waste and reduce cost, i.e. advanced framing.
  • Balanced mechanical ventilation systems, including well-designed exhaust-only fan systems, Energy Recovery Ventilators (ERVs) and Heat Recovery Ventilators (HRVs).
  • Super high efficiency HVAC systems including inverter driven or geothermal heat pump technology.
  • High efficiency water heating including on-demand, indirect, and solar hot water systems.
  • Properly sized HVAC systems, including carefully designed ducts, which minimize leakage.
  • Air sealing and tight construction (i.e., less than 0.3 cfm50/square foot).
  • Optimal solar orientation with advanced glazing based on orientation.
  • Solar thermal water and/or photovoltaic (PV) systems, wind, and additional on-site generation.
  • Low Load Home Construction: Low heat loss on the order of 10 MBtu per square foot of conditioned space.
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