Drywall or SIPs in the Basement, you decide...

Drywall doesn't stand up to rough housing!

I recently had a firsthand experience involving the strength of certain building materials which are commonly (unfortunately) used in basement finishing.

This is a photo of the resulting hole caused by my grandson (9) pushing his brother (11) through a drywall wall in their neighbor’s finished basement in Denver, CO. They had been rough housing as boys do!

They had to repair it with their Dad, which was supposed to be a learning experience. (And no, I didn’t require them to install MgO SIPs.) The original wall was constructed 24″ inches between two by four centers and using 3/8″ drywall.

My son sat down with his 9 year old son afterwards. He asked his son if he had learned anything something this experience, hoping for something like “I should have more respect and control my temper.”

This was his response: “I don’t think those walls are very strong.”

Just a funny thing I wanted to pass on. And just a reminder that MgO SIPs are impact resistant – think before you finish a basement with drywall (and think before you rough house at the neighbors!).

SIPS FINISHED BASEMENTS: 5 QUESTIONS FOR CONTRACTORS
Hi Panel Man readers, I can’t believe summer’s over. It’s been a dry summer which is bad for farmers, lawns, and golf courses – but it’s good for keeping your basement dry, right? You know I can’t go too long without talking about panels, specifically SIPs panels. They really are the best option for a dry basement whether we’re in a drought or a very rainy season. Just a guess, but I’d say half of Americans have –or have had – a basement that smells like mildew, with nasty watermarks and mold, plus drywall crumbling from moisture. Yuck! The worst is when a contractor tries to “cover it up” by slapping on more drywall instead of offering a better basement finishing system.

The good news is that over the summer I’ve talked with a lot of contractors who ARE starting to offer a truly waterproof finished basement…they’re installing SIPs panels for homeowners. Now, there are a lot of SIPs basement finishing systems and waterproofing companies out there, but they are NOT all created equal.

I’m going to talk to the contractors out there in this post, because I have 5 questions you need to ask a SIPs manufacturer before you start working with them!

1) “Have you personally built with SIPs before?”
I’ve found that the best SIPs manufacturers are run by owners who have finished their own basements with SIPs – or at least have plans to in the future. These manufacturers have gotten their hands dirty, so to speak…they believe in the product, they’ve worked with it, and they would use it in their own home. This also means they’re going to be more knowledgeable about working with SIPs, and their expertise will come in handy. Finally, at the end of the day, you want to choose a manufacturer who’s confident in their SIPs! I compare it to buying a car from a Ford dealer – you want to make sure he’s not driving home a Chevy (or vice versa…I am not partial to either – just making a point).

2) “Do you just provide the SIPs, or the whole system?”
As a general contractor, chances are you’re new to SIPs for basement finishing. Yes, SIPs have some similarities to drywall –for example, many manufacturers suggesting attaching SIPS using drywall screws. But there are many differences, too. SIPS are generally wider, larger, thicker, harder, and well…just different to work with. You don’t want to just get SIPs from your manufacturer – you want the whole system. You want the installation support and guidance down to the exact specified size of drywall screw!

3) “Are you ‘on the bandwagon’ or have been involved with SIPs for a long time?”
Ok, no contractor is going to jump out and ask this question, but a little internet research will pay off here. How long has the SIPs manufacturer been in business? Are they just now beginning to manufacture SIPs or has it been at the core of their business? Are they involved in any industry organizations like www.SIPA.org? (A great resource, by the way.)

4) “Are you testing your SIPs to back up these great claims you’re making?”
Right now, SIPS laminated with MgO board are generating a lot of interest (this blog is evidence of that!). As a material, magnesium oxide board has some great inherent qualities: it’s resistant to fire, mold, mildew, insects, impacts…sounds great, right? It’s essential that the manufacturer you’re getting MgO SIPs from, has the testing to back up these claims. These tests are what homeowners want to know about – they want to hear words like “proven” and “tested” – especially when trying something NEW like SIPs for basement finishing instead of dry wall.

5) “Will you help me with sales and marketing?”
Last but not least, ask the manufacturer if they will help you market the SIPs basement finishing system. This is one of the most important questions to ask because no matter how good the panels are, if you have trouble getting your customers to want them in their basement – you’re stuck. In my business, Total Panel Source, I’m working with a SIPs manufacturer and we’re generating brochures and sales materials for homeowners – to help them understand the benefits of SIPs.

I know I keep saying it, but it’s only a matter of time before SIPs (specifically MgO SIPs) become standard in America’s basements. And when they do, your contracting business will hopefully be working with a top SIPs manufacturer after having asked these 5 questions!

The Wait is Over! MgO SIPs in the Midwest and South!

In the two years since I’ve started this blog, I’ve had dozens of requests from homeowners looking for a reliable source of magnesium oxide panels. Most of you have been looking for basement panel systems although I’ve had requests for sunrooms, bathrooms, and kitchens, too.

Well, finally I have answers for those of you in the Midwest. Through my business, Total Panel Source, I’ve connected with local contractors who offer MgO SIPs in the following places (and surrounding suburbs):

1) For MgO SIPs in Naperville, Illinois (and the Chicago suburbs), I’m working with a great company that supplies the SIPs and can give MgO board installation support.

2) A contractor in the St. Louis area specializing in kitchens, bathrooms, basements in more now offers MgO SIPs. You can get just the SIPs, or full support for your home or business.

3) For SIPs in Detroit and the surrounding suburbs, I have a great associate I can connect you with! They specialize in MgO SIPs for basements…no more wet basements or ugly basement paneling.

4) There’s a great basement company that uses MgO SIPs in the Southern Tri-State area that includes Bowling Green, Kentucky; Nashville, Tennessee; and Huntsville, Alabama. They do basement waterproofing with MgO panels plus foundation and crawl space repairs.

I’ve personally met with the contractors in these areas who have MgO SIPs for residential customers or SIPs for small businesses, and I think you’ll agree that they are knowledgeable, and really know magnesium oxide SIPs! Most importantly, these businesses can give you that local, hands-on support that really matters when you’re working with a new material.

Let me know if you live in or near one of these cities, and I’ll connect you right away. And let me know if you’re on the hunt for MgO SIPs in any other area – I’m working to get MgO SIPs into the hands of qualified contractors across the country!

Hello Panelman readers! You might think I’d be tired of writing about panels by now; after all, it’s been two years since my first post! But I feel more energized than ever about the amazing advances in panel technology for both residential and commercial applications, especially when it comes to SIPs (structural insulated panels for any newbies to this blog). There are so many resources out there if you’re new to SIPS, but one of the best places to start (besides this blog, haha) is over at SIPA.


I recently had the opportunity to talk with the current owner of FischerSIPS, LLC, one of the founding members of SIPA, Damian Pataluna who shared his insider tips on why building with SIPs is a great choice! I’ve known Damian for a long time: He bought his structural adhesives from me when I was at Rohm and Haas. Today, he’s the owner of FischerSIPS, a leading SIPs manufacturer out of Louisville with dealers in 11 states and the capability to supply panels worldwide. I caught up with Damian and here’s what he had to say…

The Panelman Asks: How long have you been in business?

Damian Answers: FischerSIPS was founded 1986 by Fred Fischer. I came to work with Fred in April 1993 as a sales representative. Some of our early work was with panelized and modular homes built out of SIPs that were being constructed in the inner city of Louisville. One of the main benefits I immediately noticed was that SIPs provided housing that people could not only afford, but could afford to live in; it was really rewarding. Having that early, hands-on experience working with SIPs has been crucial in my ability to support contractors and builders today. In 2004, I became a part owner; in 2006, I became THE owner of FischerSIPs. That was around the time we started manufacturing in our new SIPs plant: everything from OSB to magnesium oxide panels, cement skin SIPs to dry wall SIPs. In fact, my current 20,000SF plant is made with 4 ½” SIP Walls and 6 ½” SIP Roofs. My energy bills here are HALF of my 10,000 SF steel building just down the street.

The Panelman: What about SIPA? How long have you been involved?

Damian: I was elected to the board of directors of SIPA in 1993 and served as President from 2003-2006. I have remained on the board as a Past President and Treasurer since then.

The Panelman: What is the Fischer niche in the SIPS market place?

Damian: Part of what I like about SIPs is that they’re truly a versatile product and offer benefits for both the builders – and the people who will be using the structure. If I had to choose a niche, I’d say we specialize in small to mid-size builders.
We are a custom-oriented shop where we will bend over backwards to work with and try new products to try and help our builders and developers. We excel at custom-fabrication. Some larger manufacturers, they don’t like to try running new panels through their lines. They just look at the immediate numbers – not the long-term potential. Yes, opportunity has its costs, but I believe it’s worth it. I’d also say that RTA (ready to assemble) is another one of our niches. We’ll actually install lumber into the panels according to the builder’s specs. When the panels come to the job site, they are ready to go which saves on labor costs and reduces errors.

The Panelman: Where do you see SIPS construction going in the next ten years?

Damian: More towards complete fabrication and installation of RTA, definitely. Every builder deals with labor and time shortages at some point. And at first they may be resistant to spending just a bit more to have a RTA solution, but then when they do the math and realize that they’ll save more time and labor on the job site – it makes sense. As for new products, I think we’ll see more interest developing in new products like magnesium oxide board – I know that’s something you’ve been following closely. Already, we’re seeing more interest from overseas.

The Panelman: What is your experience with MgO board and laminating with it?

Damian: MgO board has tremendous potential in non-load bearing applications because it’s naturally resistant to the elements that builders (and homeowners) struggle with: water, mold, mildew, insects, fire, you name it! However, there is still testing that needs to be completed for structural uses. I’ve seen success stories when MgO is used for basement paneling. MgO board laminated to EPS is a fast way to finish an interior – and really, it stands up to just about anything. You’ll also get great R values from MgOSIPs, they are a tremendous insulator.

The Panelman: So back to SIPs in general, what are the benefits of SIPs in commercial and residential construction?

Damian: I could write an entire book on this! But to summarize the top five benefits, I’d say:
1) Higher R values
2) Better IAQ (Indoor Air Quality)
3) Stronger, more durable structures
4) Faster, more efficient construction
5) Less job site waste

The Panelman: Ok, so what are the negatives?

Damian: You’re going to pay a small amount more up front, but you’ll start saving right away. For example, let’s say a couple is working with a builder to build their dream home. On average, I’d say building with SIPs would add about 5% more to their total construction costs. However, their energy bill will be reduced by about 40-50% – and that’s a benefit they’ll see in the first month. That couple would pay a $2,000/month mortgage and a $400/month energy bill with a conventionally built home. With a SIPs home, they’d pay $2,100/month mortgage and $200/month in utilities. So that’s a savings that they can take advantage of right away.

The Panelman: What are builder reactions to SIPs? Why are they switching?

Damian: Like I mentioned earlier, a primary benefit of building with SIPs is the time and labor savings. But many builders also like the fact that their homes are being pre-fabricated in a factory setting. So much can go wrong on a job site, even to the best builders. But in a factory-controlled setting, we can catch any mistakes before they are made. That’s because we use 3D modeling to ensure the builder’s dimensions add up before we start custom-manufacturing their SIPs. It’s like a built-in quality control measure. It’s better if we catch a mistake in the modeling, than if a builder makes a mistake on the job site. Yes, you can make on-site modifications to SIPs panels, but it’s always better to catch any errors before they reach a job site.

The Panelman: What testing has been done on SIPs?

Damian: There has been extensive testing and approval on SIPs. They’re approved for walls according to ICC codes, and approval is in process for roofs. That’s why organizations like SIPA are important: we require all member manufacturers to have a complete code report and approval and an engineered line.

The Panelman: How does a builder know where to buy SIPs from?

Damian: It really depends on the end application. There are SIPs manufacturers that specialize in commercial structures, others – like Fischer SIPs – that focus on small- to mid-size builders. Ultimately, you want to choose a manufacturer that has the technology and flexibility to work with your end use. There are dozens of manufacturers listed at SIPA.

The Panelman: Thanks for your insights, Damian! Panelman readers: check back in a few weeks because Damian will review the new 2012 Model Energy Codes from the IECC (International Energy Code Council) and suggest ways you meet the new requirements through SIPs!

As regular readers of this blog know, I’m really excited about the benefits of magnesium oxide board for the construction industry. It’s been almost two years since I first wrote about it and I’m still surprised it hasn’t gone mainstream. Only a handful of businesses are manufacturing MgO panels, and even fewer have discovered how to successfully bring it to the commercial and residential market. One of these companies is Tri-State Building Specialties. Read on for my interview with founder and owner David Card…

The Panel Man Asks:
How long have you been in business?
David Card Answers: I’m a third generation contractor so I grew up around roofing, home improvement – you name it. After college, I narrowed my focus to specialize in sunrooms and basements and in 1991, my brother and I founded Tri-State Building Specialties. I’ve always been intrigued by the latest building products, and how they can improve our everyday lives. For example, when it comes to basements, moisture is always an issue. That’s what led me to discover magnesium oxide board, as it’s naturally mold- and mildew-resistant. I also wanted a laminate that addressed three concerns: mold resistance, a great fire rating, and an easily paintable surface. I experimented with cement board but its weight made it cumbersome to work with, laminating it created an unsightly a double seem, and it didn’t have a paintable finish.


The Panel Man: Briefly describe your basement panel system.

David Card: Our panel has three elements: the MgO “skin,” the glue, and the polystyrene foam core (EPS) which comes in 3 5/8 or 4 1/2 thickness and 8, 9, and 10 foot heights. It delivers on the “big three” issues I just mentioned – mold/mildew resistance, fire rating, and finish. It’s amazing that a 1/4 skin on this panel has the same 0, Class A Fire Rating as 1/2 or 5/8 drywall! It’s also MUCH more durable than drywall; it can take high impacts and not crumble or crack. Like I said, cement board was so heavy to work with and it often cracks under its own weight when you start going beyond 5 or 6 foot long panels. And then when you join the panels, you have to use vinyl tape (the PVC in vinyl tape has dangerous off gasses) or divider strips. Not so with our panel. We’re able to keep the integrity of an entire wall without a seam!


The Panel Man: What are the primary benefits in residential applications?

David Card: Our mission was to make it easily adaptable to any type of installation and room configuration. We also wanted construction-savvy homeowners to be able to install the system themselves. We provide instruction manuals, and on-site guidance in some cases, but it’s largely a “do it yourself” basement panel system. Another benefit for homeowners is that installation requires just one inspection instead of three or four separate ones for insulation, electrical, and framing (it also saves on completion time). That’s because we built in wire chases for the electrical, both sides of the panel are finished, and no additional insulation is needed.


The Panel Man: What are some general comparisons to conventional building?

David Card: In my research, I’ve found that when a basement is done conventionally and to code, magnesium oxide panels for basements are about the same price. There is no need for dry lock and vapor barriers, insulation materials, and multiple inspections. An average system can be completed in a few days! We’ve even installed about 40 panels in ONE day. Homeowners will also see some significant energy savings and enjoy a more comfortable, even temperature in their basement.


The Panel Man:
What is the response from homeowners?
David Card: I’m pleasantly surprised by the amount of contacts we get direct from homeowners. But I’d like to see more contractors getting into the game. Like you, I know that education is key: There really are so many benefits to magnesium oxide-based panels. I like to remind folks that everything in construction has evolved to where it is today. Even our basic tools – the hammer, the nail – they evolved over time. We can’t stop evolving, especially when it comes to building products. Our panels really are greener, safer, and healthier – it’s the next phase in construction…in my opinion!


House Built with MgO

A House Built with MagWall Panels.

Hello Panel Man readers, I hope you had a great Memorial Day Weekend! I just got back last week from a trip to Denver where I attended an open house for Rocky Mountain MagBoard. I’m more excited than ever about magnesium oxide SIPs’ potential in the U.S. market. My enthusiasm only increased after talking to Shane Vigil, of Phoenix Framing in Colorado, as he explained the advantages of MgO SIPs from a residential framer’s perspective….


The Panel Man Asks: Before discovering the benefits of MgO SIPs, what materials were you using in residential construction?

Shane Vigil: I’ve used SIPs in residential construction for years, usually an OSB exterior with a polyurethane interior. But six weeks ago, I just completed the foundation on a 2600 sq. ft. residence using MagWall SIPs from Rocky Mountain MagBoard. I can tell you, I am completely sold on the benefits, not just for framers but for the homeowner.


The Panel Man: Since this was your first time installing MagWall, did it prolong the foundation build out?

Shane Vigil: Not at all, in fact, it took less time! To construct a typical concrete foundation, it would take about a week. That 2,600 sq. ft. house? It took two days, and that was our first time doing it. I can see it taking a day and a half in the near future. As you can imagine, homeowners appreciate the time savings, too, as they’re anxious to get into their new house! Not to mention, it takes time off expensive construction loans!


The Panel Man: What are some of the key benefits of MagWall from a homeowner’s perspective?

Shane Vigil: Well, MagWall is a non-combustible material which would appeal to any homeowner. However, it’s especially important here in the Denver area as we’re prone to wild fires. MagWall is also water, mold, mildew, and insect resistant. It’s also really durable and the interior can be finished with virtually anything. You can cover it with sheet rock or treat the seams and finish it similar drywall. Or, on the exterior, you can do a direct stone veneer or stucco application. One of the primary benefits is the energy savings!


The Panel Man: What if the MagWall is just used in the foundation, will that still provide energy savings?

MagWall Panels in a Residential Basement Foundation

MagWall Panels Offer an Innovative Alternative to Cement in a Residential Basement.

Shane Vigil: In the residential foundation we just built out, we were happy to report to the homeowner that she could easily downsize her HVAC system by 30%! People forget, concrete isn’t like insulation. In fact, unfinished concrete basements steal heat from the home, which requires increased energy consumption. MagWall is a fully insulated system, with R Values ranging above 20 – it was actually R-36 for this foundation – so instead of sucking warm air, it contributes to even distribution of heat throughout the home.


The Panel Man: In comparison to working with other materials, how does MagWall measure up?

Shane Vigil: As I mentioned earlier, unlike OSB or stick frame sheathing, you can apply virtually any finish directly to the MagWall. For example, in a typical concrete foundation basement finish, you have to built out the wall about a total of 5 inches, then add in insulation, vapor barrier and cover with drywall which takes away interior space from the basement. With MagWall, you don’t lose any space. Or, let’s say a homeowner wants a stucco finish on the exterior of the home. With conventional framing, you’d need to apply tar paper, then lathe and then apply the stucco. In a MagWall frame, the lathing process is eliminated so you’re saving time, labor and an inspection, which means, you’re saving money. Also, with OSB, you need a house wrap and usually a vapor barrier depending on the climate. MagWall doesn’t require ether. Again, this results in saving time, labor, and money. By eradicating these extra layers, you’re also reducing opportunities for problems to occur. MagWall just makes it a streamlined, simplified process.

Rocky Mountain MagBoard On Site

Rocky Mountain MagBoard Provides On-Site Support.


The Panel Man:

How did the manufacturer, Rocky Mountain MagBoard, assist with your first MagWall installation?

Shane Vigil: The owners of Rocky Mountain MagBoard are builders themselves. Not only do they have a deep understanding of the MagWall product, but they have the expertise to ensure its proper application. In addition to the comprehensive installation manuals and instruction they provided, they were on site with me and my team the entire time. They wanted to ensure I was really educated on how to work with MagWall, explaining everything from installation of the trusses to connection details.

 

The Panel Man: Any final thoughts you want to share as a framer?

Shane Vigil: Just as you are, I’m excited about MagBoard and MagWall. It gives me a new product to offer customers and as you can tell from my experience using it for the first time, it really benefits both the framer and the homeowner.

Don’t miss a chance to check out magnesium oxide SIPs in person – tomorrow! Contact me if you’d like more info…


Happy New Year, Panelman readers! To start off 2011, I’d like to share exciting news about magnesium oxide board (MgO) in a structural insulated panel (SIP) application. I think this year, MgO SIPs may gain serious ground as a mainstream building material. If you’d like to learn more about MgO SIPs, check out my earlier post, here.


I talked with MagBoard and MagWall founder and owner, Gordon Ritchie, to learn more about his company and how his panel systems are the result of his search for a superior building product. In my next blog post (look for it next week), I talk with Roger Goodhue who will be manufacturing and distributing MagBoard-based SIPS out of his Colorado facility. Let’s get started…


The Panelman Asks: What is the story of the MagBoard company?

Gordon Answers: I’ve been in the advanced building materials industry for over 20 years, with much of that time spent focusing on SIPs through the start up of several manufacturing plants. Like anyone involved in building materials science, I was constantly looking for improved products. Magnesium oxide board caught my attention in a structural sheathing application because it’s naturally resistant to hazards – moisture, mold, insects, and fire – and MgO is extremely strong. Magnesium oxide seemed an answer to the weaknesses that plague other building materials. OSB and plywood are no match for fire and moisture. Cement products are brittle and unhealthy, and “exotic” fiberglass and composite materials aren’t cost-effective. So, for about two years I investigated MgO boards for use in SIPS , and eventually invested in it by starting my own company and manufacturing MagBoard. We have gone on to produce MagWall SIPS using MagBoard with great results.


MagBoard Manufacturing Facility

The MagBoard Factory, QC Certified by Intertek.

The Panelman Asks: Why did you start your own company when there are other magnesium oxide SIPs manufacturers?

Gordon Answers: In one word: Quality. During my early years in investigating MgO, I was disappointed by the performance of many of the products we tested. MgO itself is an outstanding material, but the manner in which it is made into building materials varies greatly. We tested over 34 boards in house and with third parties and none met the requirements for the North American market. They were either too brittle and broke, or they did not have the structural strength to meet the building codes in the US and Canada. In the end, we decided to invest the time and money to develop our own formulations, processes and equipment to get a product we can stand behind.  

 

The Panelman Asks: How does MagBoard differ from other MgO companies?

Gordon Answers: First and foremost, we are a manufacturer – not a broker. This empowers us to ensure quality and product integrity from initial fabrication of raw materials through final testing and distribution. We have invested in the latest manufacturing equipment and designed a production process that allows for consistency and repeatability. Our MagBoard factory participates in third-party QC certification programs through Intertek, and we’re audited by them every 90 days. The other thing is the depth of testing we have done. MagBoard is a listed product with Intertek and we have done extensive product and assembly testing using MagBoard for wood and steel framing. We have taken this same approach for SIPs where we have full testing with NTA for our MagWall panels and have developed our own specialized manufacturing equipment for MagWall to control quality and consistency.


The Panelman Asks: For someone new to MgO SIPs, what would be the most similar material out there today, and why switch to MgO?


Gordon Answers: Everyone in the SIP business pretty well understands the pluses and minuses of OSB. MagBoard’s resistance to fire, water, insects and mold allows our customers to apply finishes directly to magnesium oxide panels and eliminates the need for expensive EFIS systems or drywall that only add costs for builders who use OSB SIPs. Fire codes are also driving force, so there is an advantage for a rated noncombustible material as the sheathing. Many people, including us, have looked at cement board SIPs but it just doesn’t work well. We have all the testing and have been making and selling MgO SIPs for the last four years. We are seeing rapid growth because our customers have a better product with a lower installed cost.


The Panelman Asks: What about the cost of MgO SIPs, is it comparable to other products like OSB panels?

Gordon Answers: There are really two parts to the question. MagWall SIPs sell for about the same price as traditional OSB SIPs. Of course, each process that goes into protecting the OSB from rot or fire adds another layer of cost, not to mention another inspection from the building department. So our panels’ lower finishing costs can save customers a lot of time and money in the end. Then there is the issue of lifetime costs. Because MgO panels are water, mold, termite resistant the long term life cycle costs are lower that for conventional OSB SIPs.


Another MagWall Installation Project.

Another MagWall Installation Project.

The Panelman Says: Thanks Gordon, for sharing the exciting developments in MgO panel technology! Panelman readers, stay tuned, next week I speak with Roger Goodhue. With over 32 years in the building industry, Roger is fully embracing MgO structural panels and he talks about their applications in everything from a residences in Colorados to the construction of his own manufacturing facility.

I’m excited to share with my panel of Panelman readers, that Walls and Ceilings magazine published an article I wrote in its October issue. Read it here! 


As you know, I’m trying to ignite dialogue about new and innovative panel and lamination materials. In the article, I talk about the challenges of getting a new product – like magnesium oxide board – to be accepted in the building and construction industry. I’d love to hear your feedback on the article, and on the topics I brought up!

Post 4 in a Series of 4

 

Q&A Session with Anuj Dayama, who lives in Jaipur, India. Anuj works in the natural stone industry in India and is exploring advanced, “greener” building products and technology in hopes that he can introduce safer, cost-effective, and energy-efficient solutions to the Indian building community.

 

The Panelman Asks: What would you like to see happen in the construction industry in India?


Anuj Answers: I would like to see India continue to embrace lighter, more energy-efficient structures that are sustainable and green. Building with SIPs would allow us to complete construction projects faster, with less waste, and at reduced energy and labor rates. The SIPs technology can also be used to manufacture wood-free, moisture-resistant and fire-rated doors very cost effectively. This will prevent a lot of trees from being chopped down for compressed wood-base doors which are used presently.  These green building techniques would provide our citizens with safe (earthquake-resistant!), sustainable, comfortable structures. Our affordable housing sector could really benefit from SIPs building technology.


 I also see potential in modular construction and high-rise steel building (check out www.livingsteel.org). SIPs are so versatile and can be used for home extensions, prefabricated construction, and high-rise steel buildings where there is a strict requirement of fire safety. For example, magnesium oxide (MgO) panels are naturally fire-resistant.  I would like to see a SIPs manufacturing plant or an onsite assembly system right here in India, and would like to connect with anyone out there who’s interested in making that a reality. 

 

MgO SIPs would save on time, labor costs, and energy.

Pictured here is a new construction site in India. Building with SIPs would save on time, energy, and labor costs.

 

 Anuj is interested in connecting with U.S. construction companies who want to be a part of the fast-growing alternative building movement in India. Contact me (Fred, aka the Panelman) and I will get you in touch with Anuj! fmiller@totalpanelsource.com