Currently Reading

Building With Metal SIPs


Building With Metal SIPs

Metal SIPS can be used for walls, floors, ceilings, and roofs, and aren't susceptible to mold growth

By Meghan Stromberg, Senior Editor May 31, 2004
This article first appeared in the PB June 2004 issue of Pro Builder.

Builder George Cheshire of Spiral Development, in Pasadena, Texas, can't find the skilled trades he needs to build even a conventional house. So, he stopped building conventional houses. Now, he builds with structural insulated panels (SIPs) made from expanded polystyrene sandwiched between durable aluminum skins. (Skins also can be galvanized or stainless steel.)

The panels go together like a puzzle, he says.

Like SIPs that are made with OSB, metal SIPs are factory-built according to the builder's plans. The factory ships the numbered, interlocking panels to the site, where they are snapped together and placed in a c-track that's bolted to the foundation with expansion bolts. A sealant on the seams makes the walls watertight. Window and door openings are cut onsite.

Fred Ballard, owner of Blue Horse Building & Design in Austin, Texas, has worked with Dallas-based Metals USA Building Products' SIPBLOC for 2 1/2 years. He says he can put up the 18- to 20-foot walls of a two-story, 2,700-square-foot house in three days with a three-person crew, compared with the five weeks it would take to frame, insulate (with batt) and apply a moisture barrier to a stick-framed house. Although it costs 2 percent to 3 percent more, his homeowners cut their electric bills in half, he says.

Chris Kavala, whose company, Marquis Construction & Development, in Holiday, Fla., has built with metal SIPs for three years, tells buyers to expect a 30 percent to 50 percent savings in utility bills over masonry block.

Metal SIPs absence of wood also means no structural damage to the home because of termites.

Related Stories

Off-Site Construction

Off-Site Construction in 2020: Small But Poised to Grow

Just 3% of all single-family home construction came from off-site methods, but the National Association of Home Builders expects it to rise in the…


OX-IS Structural Insulated Sheathing

Rely on all-in-one OX-IS to deliver high R-values while meeting building code requirements for sheathing, insulation, and water-resistive and air…

Framing + Building Envelope

2019 Top 100 Products: Structural / Insulation / Housewrap

Products from BASF, Boise Cascade, DuPont, Georgia-Pacific Wood Products, Huber Engineered Woods, Icynene, LP Building Solutions, Nisus, Nudura, Quikrete, Stuga, Typar, and Weyerhaeuser


More in Category


Create an account

By creating an account, you agree to Pro Builder's terms of service and privacy policy.

Daily Feed Newsletter

Get Pro Builder in your inbox

Each day, Pro Builder's editors assemble the latest breaking industry news, hottest trends, and most relevant research, delivered to your inbox.

Save the stories you care about

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet lorem ipsum dolor sit amet lorem ipsum dolor sit amet.

The bookmark icon allows you to save any story to your account to read it later
Tap it once to save, and tap it again to unsave

It looks like you’re using an ad-blocker!

Pro Builder is an advertisting supported site and we noticed you have ad-blocking enabled in your browser. There are two ways you can keep reading:

Disable your ad-blocker
Disable now
Subscribe to Pro Builder
Already a member? Sign in
Become a Member

Subscribe to Pro Builder for unlimited access

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.