cons and pros. What SIP panels to choose for construction.

4 min

Panel-frame construction has recently been widely advertised as fast, practical and reliable. A similar SIP construction technology appeared in our country quite recently, and houses built according to this principle are most often called Canadian standards in origin. But there are standards, but no one has done a thorough study of such houses in our country, which is why numerous myths have arisen about the disadvantages and advantages of panel-frame houses.

The nuances of domestic construction from SIP panels

panel-frame houseDue to the fact that the technology for the production of SIP panels is often neglected in our country, trying to reduce the cost of the house as much as possible, in the end it turns out not quite what we wanted. That is why panel-frame construction has been overgrown with numerous myths about its unreliability, flammability and non-environmental friendliness.

Ideally, the panels should be made according to the sandwich principle and consist of two panels, between which a layer of insulation is laid. Most often in Western countries, oriented strand boards and expanded polystyrene grade 25 and higher are used. In the end, the finished board is impregnated with special substances that increase the resistance to high temperatures, ensure durability and a beautiful appearance.

But domestic manufacturers are increasingly replacing dense boards with less reliable ones: plywood, cement-bonded particle board, glass-magnesium sheet, etc., and insulation with foam or mineral wool. Unscrupulous manufacturers also save on impregnation, finishing, etc., and as a result, a very impractical material is obtained that quickly ignites and is not environmentally friendly.

Imaginary “cons” or disadvantages


The main drawback attributed to such structures is flammability. But in most cases, fires occur precisely because of a violation of fire safety rules, improper construction, and tragic cases – due to the lack of emergency exits. In general, it is believed that walls should be completely non-combustible only in apartment buildings, where the possibility of evacuation is especially important. In private homes, things are very different.
structure of the MIP panel

If we compare “combustible” frame houses with seemingly ideal wooden houses, then we get approximately the same result. Both materials are suitable for small houses and release hazardous substances when burned. But if wood emits carbon monoxide and about 350 more toxins, then SIP panels are blamed for the release of styrene as a result of the combustion of expanded polystyrene. And the protection against ignition of the panels is even better, because they are sheathed with plasterboard, and when using wood, most often they just get by with impregnations.

But nevertheless, the biggest problem is unscrupulous manufacturers: for example, expanded polystyrene should contain only about 2% of combustible substances, and everything else is air. If the technology is violated, the material dries quickly, worsening the thermal insulation of the structure and increasing the amount of harmful substances released during combustion.


panel-frame houseAnother far-fetched “minus” that hovers around panel-frame construction is that they are hazardous to health, as they emit formaldehyde during operation. Its source is oriented strand board. If you use low-quality material for construction, then this myth becomes quite real.

So, according to the standards, all plates are divided into three classes, depending on how much formaldehyde is released per unit of time. So, the material of the European standard E1 for environmental friendliness is not inferior to natural wood. Needless to say that it is worth it?

Domestic standards are not as strict as European ones, and there are no manufacturers who produce high-quality slabs yet. Therefore, you need to do only with imports, otherwise, if you want to save money, you can get not the highest quality and healthy material.

Now in Germany, panel-frame houses have gained immense popularity, and no one can blame them for their non-environmental friendliness, since only high-quality materials are used. In addition, the resulting walls are then sheathed with a double layer of drywall from the inside, and a wet facade from the outside, so a house comes out that is not inferior in characteristics to a wooden one. In Russia, when instead of E1 plates, even according to domestic standards, E3 plates are used, which are also thinner than necessary, the myth of danger turns into a harsh reality.

Advantages (pluses) of panel-frame houses

panel-frame houseThe main advantages of Canadian houses are the speed and simplicity of their construction. Due to a violation of technology, we also attribute cheapness to the advantages of such construction, but subject to the purchase of normal materials and compliance with all the rules, such a house will not be able to boast a very low price, but it will not be more expensive than all the others.

The house, built of SIP panels, has excellent thermal insulation due to the use of expanded polystyrene, and there are no cold bridges at all, because insulation and double sheathing of the plates are used. Such a house does not require powerful work to create a foundation – a pile one is quite suitable, and if all technologies are followed, there will be no shrinkage, which is another “plus” when building a frame-panel house.

Let us remind you once again that if you decide to save money and use mineral wool for insulation, then the thermal insulation will deteriorate by 1.5 times, and an incorrect foundation can affect the imminent appearance of defects.

A few tips when building a Canadian home

SIP panelsIf you decide to build a panel-frame house, then during the preparation process, pay attention to a number of circumstances:

  1. SIP panels should only be from a manufacturer that has the appropriate certificates and documents that confirm the quality of the products.

  2. If you are offered to purchase a new type of stove, it is still better to give preference to the classics, since the negative aspects of the novelty have not yet been studied.
  3. When hiring builders, you need to be familiar with the objects they have built. The ideal option is to visit such houses on your own and talk with residents who will tell you all the nuances of the process.

  4. For external and internal finishes, also choose only high-quality materials, since the durability and quality of the house largely depends on this. Follow all construction technologies.

Always remember that cheap SIP panels cannot be reliable, environmentally friendly and of high quality, so if you need a really good house that will not need to be repaired several times later, then immediately purchase high-quality materials.


Passionate about DIY for over 10 years and all the new tools, I give you through this blog all my advice, tips, tests in all areas: carpentry, electricity, masonry, gardening, home automation ...


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