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Insulspan SIP Floor Applications

October 1, 2012

Written by Dave Stevenson

We have insulated the foundation walls of our Plasti-Fab Solutions Home using three different methods as discussed by Melissa and Colin in the previous blogs. Now we move on to the floor system of the home. Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) for floor systems can be used in applications where an insulated floor deck is required. In these types of applications they become an integral component in the overall building envelope, adding to the energy efficiency of the home.

SIPs for floors may be used in conjunction with pier foundations where structural support beams span from pier to pier; either in cold arctic regions where the tundra does not allow for a more typical slab or stem wall, or in mountainous areas where the floor extends out from the sloping grade and is exposed to the air from beneath. Another less common application is above garages or carports where there is living space above.


In any case, it is important that the placement of the structural support beneath the panels be adequate for the span based on load requirements determined by the engineer on the project, and that the deflection criteria is not exceeded. The pier foundations, with structural beams, create a platform for the panels to rest on. Once the panels have been installed, a layer of minimum 5/8″ T&G plywood sheathing is fastened down to the top side of the panels, staggering the joints in the plywood with SIP longitudinal joints.

Another important consideration in using SIPs for floor applications is to ensure that the underside of the floor in appropriately protected. The underside of the SIP should not be exposed to open air space below when supported on a pier foundation above the ground, nor to the interior of the garage or carport below a living space. The type of protection used must ensure that the underside of the SIP floor will not be subject to damage due to exposure to weathering or high humidity/moisture conditions.

So whether its living space above a garage, exquisite mountain homes, or arctic temperature living, the use of Insulspan SIPs as floors provides another solution in developing the complete energy efficient home.

For more information on structural insulating panels and energy efficient insulating solutions, visit

Next week: Insulating Above Grade Walls with Exterior Sheathing

One Comment leave one →
  1. October 8, 2012 4:07 am

    Insulation is really a energy efficient technique. it can save our electricity charges. It can keep our homes cool in summer and warm in winter and also protect our homes to weather changes, like cool, humid and warm.

    insulation blowers

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