Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) have the potential to provide well insulated and air tight homes and thus better energy performance than the conventional wood-frame construction. Currently a SIP home is slightly more expensive to build than a conventional wood-frame home. This paper summarizes the results of a detailed study to compare the energy consumption of both SIP and wood-frame houses in representative climate zones across the United States. A simplified method to estimate the potential energy savings associated with SIP homes relative to an equivalent wood-frame home is developed and presented. As an application of the simplified method, a life cycle cost analysis was conducted to assess the cost effectiveness of building SIP homes throughout the US.

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