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Limiting Air Leaks

One of the hallmarks of a quality home or commercial building is a tightly-sealed, well-insulated structural shell. Usually, insulation fails because gaps and cavities along the walls or roof allow interior conditioned air to escape while also permitting unconditioned air to infiltrate the structure. The NW Building Systems SIP panel system provides a continuous core of solid expanded polystyrene (EPS) insulation. This means it does not sink like fiber batting or shrink over time like spray foam.

A recent study by the U.S. Department of Energy found construction using structural insulated panels can reduce air leakage to as low as 0.2 air changes per hour (ACH). This is significantly less than the ACH of stick-framed buildings. When the conditioned air inside your home is prevented from leaking out, you not only save money by re-conditioning that air, you live in more comfortable interior spaces.

Lower Energy Bills

Traditional stick-framed homes and structures are less energy-efficient than SIP homes because they are more prone to energy loss (or gain if the climate outside is warmer than inside the home) because of thermal bridging and air leakage.

For instance, about 40% of an existing home’s energy loss is from air leakage. Air leakage is measured in air changes per hour (ACH). The current International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) requires a typical stick-framed home to have an ACH of 3-5 depending on climate zone; a SIP home can achieve air leakage as low as 0.2 ACH using energy-efficient construction procedures. Simply reducing the amount of ACH can significantly lower your energy bills.

There are other advantages to reducing the number of air changes per hour. For example, there are fewer drafts, meaning less dust and other allergens entering your home.

Increased Thermal Resistance

Not only is our insulation capable of meeting or exceeding the recommended R-values (thermal resistance) for every climate, our whole-wall, and roof SIP systems reduce the number of thermal bridges. A thermal bridge occurs every place within a wall where the insulation is interrupted. In a standard home, for example, there are 2″ x 6″ studs located every 16-inches. Each of these breaks in the main insulation creates an opportunity for energy to easily transfer through the wall because wood offers less resistance than insulation. NW Building Systems SIP walls and roofs have far fewer thermal breaks. The result is a higher R-value for the whole-wall as compared to a stick-framed wall.

Number: 1.204.885.9522

Do you have a question, or want some help from us? Don’t hesitate, send us your request today!


At NW Building Systems our team of skilled tradesmen have constructed numerous custom-built homes & commercial projects for First Nations communities. ISC & CMHC submission services are also offered.


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Saturday – 10am-2pm

Sunday – Closed

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