Buildings BioSIPs-straw-The-Endeavor-Centre-Prefab-Straw-Panels

Published on April 6th, 2014 | by Glenn Meyers

3

Green Prefabricated Homes — Part II: SIPs & BioSIPs

April 6th, 2014 by  

Originally published on Green Building Elements.

This is the second part of our series on green prefabricated homes, and this time we are writing about structurally integrated panels, SIPs and BioSIPs. Of most interest to use from a green and sustainability perspective are BioSIPs., as you will soon discover.

Not enough people have an understanding of structural integrated panels (SIPs). Even fewer know about BioSIPs and their potential contribution to the green building industry.

In an important white paper, Jacqueline McIntosh and Mark Harrington, at Victoria University of Wellington addressed this “relatively recent innovation in building component systems for housing.”

They added, “ Structural Insulated Panels systems (SIPs) are fast gaining popularity in North America and Europe. A prefabricated structural element, SIPs can be used for walls, roofs and floors without the requirement for framing. Hailed as a ‘green building product’ and promoted as environmentally sustainable, the Structural Insulation PanelAssociation  claims in its website that SIPs create a ‘green’ home through:

  • Energy efficiency and renewable energy
  • Waste reduction during the construction process
  • Creation of healthy indoor environments

While these claims have validity when SIPs are compared to light timber framed construction, SIPs still have a high environmental footprint, are not biodegradable and typically contain chemicals that are considered hazardous.

Colorado BioSIPs Pioneers – Julie Herdt & Kellen Schauermann

bioSIPs Herdt 68tetpvt7uct0sb0.jpg

Last year, Julie Herdt’s “BioSIPs” technology project was selected as a finalist for the U.S. Green Building Council, Colorado Public Interest Design Award. Six statewide awards were presented during the Rocky Mountain Green sustainability conference in Denver.

Herdt, a professor at CU’a College of Architecture and Planning, developed and applied her original BioSIPs invention and tested it as the main building envelope and construction system for CU’s 2005 first-place international Solar Decathlon competition home design. The BioSIPs invention was cited by the international Solar Decathlon judges as being critical to the CU team’s back-to-back (2002, 2005) win in the overall 2005 competition.

CU Newsroom has added: “Since those awards, Herdt has advanced BioSIPs structural insulated wall, floor and roof panels to exhibit strengths surpassing other SIPs in specific areas (compressive and transverse loading) as well as to exhibit super thermal values. BioSIPs full-scale prototypes were tested at CU Boulder’s College of Engineering and Applied Science as well as for the construction of the solar-powered BioSIPs Research Structure built in Boulder through a State of Colorado Waste Diversion grant. Herdt is the CEO and president of BioSIPs, Inc., a CU spin-off technology for commercialization of BioSIPs and other products from 100 percent diverted waste fibers. She will collaborate with the CU Denver Business School during the fall semester on commercialization and business planning for her company.”

Among the many forms of SIPs, there are two basic versions:

Insulated Concrete Forms (ICFs)

  • Concrete boasts some of the highest embodied energies of all building materials, as does Styrofoam
  • The resources required to produce these materials are tremendous
  • And what happens to all this material at the end of its life cycle?

Biological Insulated Panels (Bio-SIPs)

  • Bio-SIPs are insulated with straw – a renewable, biodegradable, waste product with barely any alternative applications
  • Using straw serves many other benefits to several parties involved that are worth looking into

NatureBuilt Wall Systems  has manufactured straw bioSIPs. These BioSIPS are 16″ thick with an insulation value of about R35. The walls consist of tightly-packed straw that’s covered in 1″ of cement and lime plaster, according to NatureBuilt.

BioSIPs-straw-The-Endeavor-Centre-Prefab-Straw-Panels

More information on BioSIPs can be found at Innovation Center of the Rockies 

Think bioSIPs on your next construction project, be it a garage, shed, or mansion.

Photo: NatureBuilt straw BioSIPs from Jetson GreenArchinect 
 
Get CleanTechnica’s 1st (completely free) electric car report → “Electric Cars: What Early Adopters & First Followers Want.”
 
Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech newsletter, or keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting our (also free) solar energy newsletter, electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy newsletter.

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


About the Author

is a writer, producer, and director. Meyers was editor and site director of Green Building Elements, a contributing writer for CleanTechnica, and is founder of Green Streets MediaTrain, a communications connection and eLearning hub. As an independent producer, he's been involved in the development, production and distribution of television and distance learning programs for both the education industry and corporate sector. He also is an avid gardener and loves sustainable innovation.



  • I love all the innovation going on!

    James Cobalt

  • CSIP, Composite Insulated Panel? are the most cost effective building system known to man. They work, for Centuries without maintenance or failure that is experienced with wood systems.

  • Otis11

    R35 at 16 inches is less than R-2.5/inch (I’m assuming that’s R for the whole wall as straw is R-1.45/inch and the best cement based insulators are less than R-4/inch)

    That’d down right terrible! Even Cardboard beats that! If you’re trying to improve a home’s insulation on the cheap you should be looking for foam in the R-4+/inch rating that can be sprayed in without opening the walls (Just a little hole that’s filled with putty) and if you’re building from scratch there’s no reason you should be below R-6/inch. I’d personally shoot much higher on both, but those would be my minimums…

Back to Top ↑
  • Advertisements

  • Top Posts & Pages

  • Cool Cleantech Events

    Low Voltage Electrification Event, April 25-27. Detroit, Michigan (US)
    Delve deep into the benefits and challenges associated with EV power supply.

    Offshore Wind Market Development USA, May 11-12, Boston, Massachusetts (US)
    Network and establish your business in one of North America’s largest energy industries.

    Energy Storage USA, June 15-16, San Diego, California (US)
    Only event in the United States focused exclusively on the commercialization of storage.

    More details are on: Cleantech Events.

  • Advertisement

  • CleanTechnica Electric Car Report

    Electric Cars Early Adopters First Followers
  • Tesla Model 3 Review by EVANNEX

    Tesla Model 3 Review from EVANNEX
  • Tesla Model 3 Exclusive Video

    Tesla Model 3 Video
  • Tesla Model 3 Exclusive Pictures

    Tesla Model 3 Video
  • Tesla Model X Review #1 (Video)

    Tesla Model X Review from new owners Zach Shahan
  • Tesla Model X Review #2 (Pictures)

    Tesla Model X Review from Kyle Field
  • Tesla Model S Long-Term Review

    Tesla Model S Long Term Review from Kyle Field
  • Nissan LEAF Long-Term Review

    Nissan LEAF Long Term Review from Cynthia Shahan
  • Interview with Michael Liebreich

    Interview with Michael Liebreich
  • Interview with Akon (Teslas & Solar)

    Interview with Akon Tesla Model S Tesla Model X Solar Power Africa
  • Interview with Dr Nawal Al-Hosany

    Interview with Dr Nawal Al-Hosany
  • Interview with Gro Brundtland

    Gro Brundtland
  • Interview with President of Iceland

    President of Iceland Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson
  • Interview with Nick Sampson

    Faraday Future VP Nick Sampson
  • Interview with Dipal Barua

    Dipal Barua 1st ZFEP WInner
  • Interview with Jonathon Porritt

    Jonathon Porritt
  • Interview with Clint Wilder

    Interview with Clint Wilder
  • Interviews with Solar Impulse Pilots

    Bertrand Piccard Andre Borschberg
  • Check out more CleanTechnica Videos.

  • Join The Solar Revolution!

    Edison-solar-energy solar-energy-spill-nice-day
  • Cost of Solar Panels

    cost-of-solar-down
  • Search the IM Network


Shares