Friday, December 12, 2008

Finishing touch

The lake house in Ellington CT was the first chance I was able to see the methods for using SIPS (Structural insulated panels) as an enclosure system for a timber frame. A crew came in from Panel Pro in New Hampshire and hung most of the panels, which were pre-cut at their shop, with a lull and four guys. Before they did a wall section, we hung the drywall on the outside of the frame. This was amazingly fast; afterwards we could go back from the inside and screw it off easily and cut out the openings.

Here is a cross section on a corner post- the wall panels are 4" OSB and expanded polystyrene foam- you can see the 1/2' drywall between them. You here a lot of debate about the 'green' quality of this method in the industry- though it is pretty much the standard for most home enclosures. The advantages are the super insulative qaulities- much better R-value with thinner walls than studs and batt insulation as well as the fact that all the processing is done in a shop where you can control waste much more efficiently than trying to build on-site. 
The cons- its still petroleum based insulation sandwiched between two barfboard panels. It's recyclable to a degree but it is certainly not a closed-loop solution like hay bales. 

Before we cut out the openings-

Interior post panels and drywall-

Detail on the overhang that will cover a conventional balcony off the MBedroom-


Beck said...

Wow! That is going to look fantastic, Mike.

Chris Rank said...

Seriously, that's just amazing.

Shawn said...

Beautiful work Mike!

I would love to know about the roof overhang/porch area shown in the photo. It looks like the purlin is continuous from the inside of the conditioned building envelope through to the exterior unconditioned space. alto it looks like you have done a good job making sure the sheathing and weather wrap are tight to the purlin. Is there any concern that this location will be the major source of air infiltration and/or heat loss? How will the purlin hold up relative to the timbers that are completely enclosed in the conditioned building envelope? Is it more likely to develop rot where the warm air of the building and the cold air of the exterior meet at the edge of the envelope?

How strong do you feel the connection is from the sips to the frame with the drywall sandwiched between these two elements? Do you get a sense that that the drywall reduces the shear strength of the sips? Does the frame compensate for that or are you building in a non-seismic/low wind load area?

Again beautiful work, I wish I was there working with you.

danzante said...

We are so psyched and impressed. Wish we could be inside it too. -M, M and R