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

 

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

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?