Our SIP Package

Alces Post & Beam's complete SIP package includes the panels, their installation on both timber frame walls and roof, and the use of a boom truck for installation. Wall panels are installed tightly together with ring-shank spikes. 1/2" x 3" OSB splines are installed between adjacent wall panels on both the inside and outside surfaces. The bottoms of the first floor wall panels are inlayed with a pressure treated 2x6 to protect the panel from the elements, and corner panels are inlayed with 2x6 spruce for attachment of corner boards and/or siding.

Roof panels are then installed with screws and spaced 1/2" apart. Following roof panel installation, window and door openings are cut out to the builder's layout. Screws are installed into the OSB splines through the panel surfaces to connect adjacent panels together. From the outside of the building, 1/2" holes are drilled into the seams between panels at 6"to 8"intervals and an expandable foam is sprayed into these holes to create a complete foam seal between the panels. The same foam is then injected into 1/2" gaps between roof panels. Foam is removed from the perimeter of the roof panels so the builder can install the 2x8 sub-fascia to which the roof trims are attached. After foaming between the roof panels roofing paper is applied and the structure is ready for the application of felt paper (the house wrap that is recommended by most SIP manufacturers), and the installation of windows and doors, trims, and roofing and siding material by the builder.

The customer is responsible for removing foam from window and door openings and for the installation of 2x6 inlays into these openings. This creates the frame to which windows and doors are attached. For removing foam, we provide a hot-knife to the builder.

Alces Post & Beam prefers not to use curtain wall panels to enclose our frames and not to use wire chases in the SIPs we install. A curtain wall panel is a non-structural panel constructed of a skin of OSB laminated to one side of a foam core and a skin of 1/2" sheetrock laminated to the other. The use of these panels is fairly standard within the industry; however, we choose not to use them for a number of reasons.

We were finding that the sheetrock on the panels was getting damaged from handling during loading, shipping and unloading. We were also finding that job schedules were getting pushed back on the occasions when we couldn't install panels because it was raining for fear the sheetrock would get damaged. Panels that were already installed were also getting damaged from rain. Under certain circumstances, we found these panels locked moisture into the outside faces of timbers and caused dry rot. We also found that the sheetrock seams were prone to cracking because they shared common seams with the panels.

After the panels are installed and the window and door openings are cut, panel seams are foamed from the outside before the builder applies house wrap, installs windows, trim and siding. When using SIPs with wire chases, the foaming can not take place, however, until all the interior wiring had been completed for fear that wire chases would get filled with foam during the foaming process. This meant the builder would have to wait until the interior walls were built and the entire house rough wired before the wall panels could be foamed and he could start working on the exterior.

In the end we found that the best system is to have the builder strap out the outside of the timber frame with 9/16"material and then we install SIPs over the strapping. Once the panels are installed, outlet and switch boxes are cut into exterior walls where needed. Wires are then run to the panel in the basement, adjacent outlet or switch box by melting a chase through the SIP or routing a groove on the face of the SIP. Sheet rock is then applied perpendicular to the panel seams after all the wiring is installed. Since no wire chases are necessary, panel seams can be foamed immediately after installation and the builder can maintain his schedule. The sheetrock can be applied to the walls after the house is dried in so it does not get damaged.

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