Europe is ready to build with SIP panels

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Designers, architects and constructors discover the possibilites of buildings made with Structural Insulated Panels (SIP panels). This phenomenon comes from North America and it is for years a big success in the entire  industry! The construction method is widely applied in applied in Canada, USA and in Mexico as well. Also on the European continent you will find more and more construction companies who design and build with this concept: will Europe (and the rest of the world of course) follow the big success of America?

Animation of SIP Construction (source YouTube: sips.org)

 

Constructions with SIP panels

SIP stands for Structural Insulating Panels. It is also known as a sandwich panel. A SIP panel consists of at least three parts. By combining an inner and outer board with a core of insulation, a SIP building system generates a wall with high strength and rigidity properties. This system is used for both bearing and non-supporting walls, but also for roofs. SIPs are high performance building systems for residential and light commercial construction. The result is a building system that is extremely strong, energy efficient and cost effective.

structure of a SIP panel

MgO and EPS insulation material

 

Core – Insulation

Many insulation options are available for a sandwich panel, we describe three of them: EPS, PIR and PUR.

✔ EPS is the abbreviation of Expanded Poly Styrene. It is a material that we encounter daily in our lives. Expanded polystyrene, commonly known just as styrene foam. It is mainly used in insulation materials, and because of its special properties, as well as packaging, ground, road and water engineering.

✔ PUR consists of a two-component sprayed foam that consists of: polyol and isocyanate. It has a high lambda value, and therefore defines heat loss in an excellent way. It is a widely applied insulation material. This is a CFC-free product and therefore environmentally friendly. The polyurethane foam adheres to almost any material. In addition, it is easy to use.

✔ PIR, or polyisocyanurate, is a plastic that is made specifically for insulation. PIR differs from PUR due to increased fire safety, especially in the field of flue gas development. In addition, the material absorbs no moisture. However, the main difference is the even higher insulation value of 0.023 – 0.026 W / Mk. For comparison: take glass or rock wool with a value of 0.040. PIR isolates approximately 1.7 times better for the same thickness. An exterior wall that is insulated with PIR remains relatively thin and has a excellent insulation.

Obviously, many other insulation materials are possible. An important aspect is that each insulation material has its own heat resistance, fire resistance and of course price.

Facings – Magnesium oxide boards

We were talking about the insulation, now we treat the outer two layers of the SIP panel. Most common is oriented strand board (OSB) used for the facings. But why not using MgO?
By gluing magnesium oxide (MgO) boards on either side of the insulation material, you will have an insulating panel. For convenience, we are talking about MgO sheeting material, which is also the chemical designation. One of the many unique features of MgO is that the material is non-combustible. To be more specific we are talking about European fire class A1. On the exterior the MgO board will be finished with a waterproof layer, like stone strips or cork. The interior can be painted right away or finished with plaster.


MgO boards – SINH™ board

 

Cost effective construction 

Due to its prefab characteristics it is possible to build a rough building casco in a very short time frame. The application of SIP panels has great advantages over conventional construction methods. One of them is the lead time of a the construction of a house, which means that significant cost savings can be realized. A second advantage is the independency of weather influences, which means that you are able to guarantee continuous quality.

You save on material costs, but in addition you save money in construction costs further ahead. The production time and construction time on site is significantly reduced. This leads to a cost saving on labor. Moreover, a building in SIP panels is energy efficient.


Our MgO SIP panel: SINH™ panel

 

Circular construction and zero energy buildings

We have good news in case the client or customer indicated to want to build energy-neutral. Because MgO boards production process is more than fifty percent cleaner compared to (portland) cement if we look at the carbon footprint and CO2 emissions. Additionally, there are no toxic substances used in the boards, the life cycle is longer and the building material is 100% recyclable. We have investigated this in cooperation with TNO. (TNO is the Dutch Organisation for Applied Scientific Research)
To resume: MgO is a contribution to a better and greener environment!

What design options do we have?

Since this is a prefab building method all panels are constructed on a production facility. The assembly is at the construction site. These SIP panels can be customized according to all kind of design specifications. This provides the customer and architects enough opportunities for their own individual preferences.


New housing project in Nieuwleusen (The Netherlands)

 

An example in practice is our collaboration with the SIP panel producer RC Panels. In 2016, in Nieuwleusen (The Netherlands) they chose our MgO boards for a new construction project of zero energy houses. Please visit our project page with reference projects and all possible applications of MgO boards.

Benefits of SIPs

All benefits of SIPs:
✔ Reduction of construction costs
✔ Reduction of labour costs
✔ Reduction of lead time of projects
✔ Energy savings
✔ Wide range of applications
✔ Consistent quality
✔ Design flexibility

Tip:

Do you need to know more about MgO, insulation and SIP panels? Please get in touch with us for more information or support. Use the contact form below or call us: +31 (0)88 3748400!

 

Blog: Jan Engels and Pablo Heiliegers

 

Buy cheap and waste money

Recently one of our customers drew my attention to the study “Magnesium oxide boards cause moisture damage inside facades in new Danish buildings” conducted by Kurt Kiel Overgaard Hansen, Tommy Bunch-Nielsen, Bent and Carsten Grelk Red. These authors are working at the Department of Civil Engineering, Technical University of Denmark and the Bunch Building Institute. The focus of the study was around treating the application of magnesium oxide, or shortly MgO boards in ventilated facades.

The article describes the effect of drops of saline (sodium chloride in water) (NaCl) leaked from the boards falling at screws, fittings and anchors of metal which resulted in negative impacts on the façade structure and a loss of several million Euros for the builder. The research concluded that MgO boards should not be used in ventilated façade systems and in situations where excessive humidity exists. The boards used by the Danes are dissolved by water and the drops of salt erodes metal construction materials. In the article several tests have been conducted to underpin the analyses.


ventilated facade in Denmark

 

Why you can not draw any generic conclusions based on this article?

The Danish investigators only refer to the sheathing board product that is used by this company. It is almost impossible to find out where this building material is purchased, as well as the composition of the boards and which quality control system is used in order to guarantee the performance.

The importance of CE-certified building materials

Our answer to this problem is a CE-certificate combined with a Declaration of Performance (DoP). The MgO board purchasing expert is aware of China’s availability of cheap and low range sheathing board products. You might come across Chinese producers who have a Quality Certificate and even a copy of a CE Certificate copied of somebody else. (Known as a Chinese Export certificate). The total expenses of European certification is more than USD 150.000. In addition, for many producers in China it is hard to comply with all requirements of CE marking. The plant of SINH (Ningbo) Construction Material Co. Ltd. is one of the few CE certified MgO board producing companies with audits of the Dutch independent organization KIWA. This voluntary CE marking ensures consistent quality that is recorded through an accredited DoP Declaration and an ETA (European Technical Assessment) by European standards. Therefore, it is of vital importance to purchase MgO boards from solid certified companies instead of going for a quick (and cheap) Alibaba deal.

CE marking

 

The chemical composition of the board

The article starts with the basic problem of the generation of tears on the board, which results in salty water, and consequently causes corrosion of the metal parts. Although a very thorough analysis, unfortunately the research does not conclude with a solution to the problem. The professional purchaser is already aware of the problem, with the recipe of non-certified MgO building materials and the knowledge that this will bring consequential losses in the future. It is impossible to mess with recipes having CE marking accompanied by a DoP, without any consequences for the CE certification. SINH Building Solutions is fully aware of the issues relating to the leaking of salty water on boards, with the amount of chloride and saw-dust in this product. With our unique recipe, we guarantee that the SINH™ board will not show the same problems that were described in this Danish study.

Why buy cheap and waste money?

A very common filling material for MgO boards is saw dust. This is a relatively cheap filler, which also fits perfectly in dry conditions. The producer can create more margin and/or guarantee low purchasing prices for the trader if he increases the amount of wood, which is at the expense of the amount of magnesium oxide powder in the recipe. These kinds of non- certified producers fail to show concern around the integrity of the board which may swell, mold or even start to rot. The same he can do adding big particle saw dust.


SINH™ board certified MgO boards

 

Application of MgO boards in facades

A MgO board is an open material, which means it has good moisture ab- and desorption properties. The application of this material in ventilated facades, could have been correct if the chemical recipe contained the right mix of material. Above that we always recommend our customers to protect the boards for all kinds of weather conditions. Doing so the MgO board will become an underlayment board. We have found many glue- stucco- and paint companies such as: Innotec, Schönox, Ardex, Codex, Coba, Bostik, Strikolith, etc. who have tested our boards thoroughly with submersion and freezing-thawing scenarios with some suppliers even providing a warranty of 10 years.

These companies also provide working instructions for the usage of their products. Options to finish the board are: stone strips, ceramics, cork, paint or plaster work.

Contact Team SINH

The SINH Building Solutions team invites you to add on sharing information about this subject and contribute to this discussion. We are keen to know how we can cooperate with your company to make successful use of this great material. Call us: +31 (0)88 374 8400, drop an e-mail or fill out our contact form below.

 

Blog: Jan Engels

 

Green building materials FIRST!

The Environment Committee of the European Parliament wants wants to ban the rights for the cement industry for free CO2 emission rights for building materials. This means we have to use greener building materials to contribute to a more sustainable world.

The cement industry has to buy her allowances at auction (Emission Trading System) starting from 2020 and 2030. The recent conclusion of “Carbon Market Watch”, an organization that follows the emissions market, is evident and shows the cement industry earned between 2008 and 2015 about 5 billion in excess free undistributed rights.

In February 2017 the European Parliament will vote on this proposal and the final decision follows in consultation with the European leaders.

CO2 emission building materials: background

Concrete is the most used building material allover the world. We need Cement in order to be able to make concrete. In addition we need a huge amount of ‘marl’ (calcium carbonate) to make cement. Calcium carbonate degrades during the furnace process in amongst 56% calcium oxide and 44% CO2!

CO2_Cement_SINH_Blog

In 2014 more than 4.1 billion m3 of cement is produced and processed worldwide, with a weight of more than 8.1 trillion kilograms leads to the same amount of CO2 emissions! Therefore the cement and concrete industry is responsible for 5% of the global CO2 emissions.

The biggest producers are located in China (54%) and India (7%).

Magnesium-oxide-bouwproducten-bijdrage-aan-een-lagere-CO2-uitstoot

Source: statista.com

 

The winners: green building materials 

In addition to all the initiatives already taken to make cement and concrete more environmental friendly and which are described in several articles, we offer a greener alternative, namely: magnesium oxide board materials. Magnesium oxide (MgO) boards are widely used in China, Japan, Australia, USA and Korea. In Europe, it is still a relatively new building material. SINH™ board is one of the few brands active in The Netherlands and in the rest of Europe. To produce magnesium oxide you only need the half of temperature of the production of cement and concrete. In conclusion our solution leads directly to a 50% cut of the total amount of CO2 emissions.

From now on it is: green building materials first!
It’s easy as that!

Download our MgO carbon footprint Infographic for free!

Ask for it by submitting the contact form below.

 

Blog: Jan Engels & Pablo Heiliegers

How to paint or plaster magnesium oxide boards?

Learn how to build interior walls with SINH™ boards.

We did make a step by step video tutorial. See how easy it is to apply various finishing options on SINH™ boards.

Benefits of SINH™ board wall with a wood-batten or metal stud:

  • Simple and easy to install
  • Magnesiumoxide board is lightweight, strong and impact resistant
  • fire-resistant sheet material
  • Save drying time; screws instead of adhesives
  • Does not deform when it comes into contact with water

 

Tools and materials you’ll need:

  • Standard painting tools
  • Taping knife
  • Joint finishing knife
  • Standard health & safety gear

 

How to video

Steps wall plaster

  1. Build the interior walls with SINH™ boards, click here for the how-to-video
  2. Apply a coat of plaster primer
  3. Cover the joints between the MgO boards with fibre-mesh tape
  4. Plaster the wall according to regular plastering techniques

 

hoe-werk-ik-een-sinh-board-wand-af-doe-het-zelf-foto

 

Steps paint or wallpaper

  1. Build the interior walls with SINH™ boards, click here for the how-to-video
  2. To prevent cracks, fill and smoothen the joints with a suitable finishing paste
  3. For optimal result apply two or three layers
  4. Apply paint primer
  5. Paint the wall or apply wallpaper

 

hoe-werk-ik-een-sinh-board-wand-af-doe-het-zelf-foto

For any further assistance or questions, please get in touch with our technical team.
Or visit our documentation and how to use section.

 

Blog: Pablo Heiliegers

How to build an interior wall using magnesium oxide boards?

Learn how to build an interior wall with magnesium oxide SINH™ boards.

We did make a step by step video tutorial. See how easy it is to build a drywall by using SINH™ boards.

Benefits of SINH™ board wall with a wood-batten or metal stud:

  • Simple and easy to install
  • Magnesiumoxide board is lightweight, strong and impact resistant
  • fire-resistant sheet material
  • Save drying time; screws instead of adhesives
  • Does not deform when it comes into contact with water

Tools and materials you’ll need:

  • Standard screwing drill
  • Standard health and safety gear
  • Track saw
  • Self-drilling, countersunk, slotted-head screws
  • Hand drill for pre-drilling frame
  • Standard saw
  • Retractable knife

How to video

 

Steps:

  • Place the wood-batten or metalstud framework
  • Saw or cut the SINH™ board to the correct dimensions
  • First mount one side of the frame
  • Place insulation, for maximum fire resistance performance we advise to use stone wool insulation material
  • Mount the other side of the frame
  • Finish the wall, click here for the how-to-video
    hoe-bouw-binnenwand-magnesiumoxide-plaatmateriaal-doe-het-zelf-foto2For any assistance or further questions, get in contact with our Technical team.

Magnesium Oxide Boards: Innovative solution for Architects and Designers?

Last December 2015, our company had a stand at Credai Gujarat Builders Exposition in Ahmedabad.

A lot of visitors were very eager to know more about Magnesium Oxide Boards. So that is why I hope this article may provide some clarity.

Magnesium Oxide Boards are usually referred to as MgO boards. It is a factory made product. Most manufacturers can be found in China. Finding a trustworthy supplier can be a hassle and will consume a lot of your time.

The boards are made of Magnesium Oxide, a mineral bonded cement. This mineral supports a lot of important features like fire resistance, water resistance, its light weight, and resistance to mold and mildew. MgO boards are available in various thicknesses and sheet sizes. The board makes a hard sound when you rap with your fingers on it.

Magnesium itself is a silvery metal and is a solid at room temperature. It is lighter than Aluminium. As a metal it is mostly used in alloy form, particularly for lightweight high performance structures like airplanes. Pure Magnesium in its raw form is not stable –it burns. Magnesium Oxide however is the exact opposite: it is completely non-flammable and used for fireproofing.

Magnesiumcabonate is a stone-like material, which exists in large deposits as raw ‘rock’ and is mined like other minerals. It is ground up, crushed and calcined at temperatures between 450C and 900C. During a chemical process Magnesium Oxide is made. This is crushed into a powder with different purities. For usage in building applications purities between 80-85% are good enough.
Photo of Magnesium Carbonate (Magnesite)

Big raw deposits of Magnesium Carbonate can be found in China (80%), India, South Korea, Brazil, Turkey, Greece, USA, Canada and Australia. The deposits to be found around the world are so big that this resource will be with us for decades. In the MgO Board Factory Magnesium Oxide powder will be used together with some other additives as well. These include saw dust, Perlite and Magnesium Chloride. Also fibre mesh is added to build upon the strength of the board. MgO Boards can be used for various applications like walling, flooring, under roofing, ceiling, tile backing and underlayment, furniture and duct covering. In India very nice decorations are made with the boards as they are also very easy to (water) cut by CNC.

SINH™ boards used as duct covering bungalow in Bhavnagar (Gujarat)

When you start designing and use MgO boards, you will find numerous applications to choose from. Like its size (twice as large as gypsum boards) or its weight (half of cement fibre boards) or its water resistance (unlike like Plywood and Gypsum boards).

The MgO Boards also contribute to lower building cost (material, labour, energy):

  • The boards are use in dry construction so you can skip lorries carrying cement & water;
  • The boards enable light weight designs of roofs & floors which will lower your bills to steel constructors;
  • The acoustic capabilities will provide alternative material for ceilings;
  • The boards replace concrete and steel constructions for your roofing thus saving cost;
  • When you need a fire resistant construction you can design thinner layers than you normally would do with traditional materials.

Concluding when you are interested in applying this relatively new material in India, you might consider the following points:

  1. For which purpose am I going to use the MgO Boards?
  2. Can I build upon the specific features of this material?
  3. Can the board help reduce building costs when I design smartly?