What Are Structural Insulated Panels & How Are They Used?

If your construction project calls for walls that are well-insulated, capable of resisting fire, strong enough to stand alone, and yet potentially quite thin… we have a solution which may meet all your needs: structural insulated panels (SIPs).  Also sometimes called “insulated metal panels,” these panels are beginning to see widespread adoption across many areas of construction, thanks to the numerous benefits they bring.

How Structural Insulated Panels Work

SIPs represent a smart fusion of well-understood materials to create a superior all-around solution.  They begin with a core of insulated foam, and the type of foam depends on whether the panel will be mostly interacting with hot or cold areas.  This core can be anywhere from 1″-10″ or even wider, just depending on the application and the desired level of insulation.

The foam core is then sandwiched by laminated steel on either side, giving it superior strength and rigidity, along with ample protection from fire.  The edges of each panel use a standardized attachment system, allowing the panels to be easily connected together, while still ensuring a snug fit.

With an R-value of approximately 4.7 per inch, SIPs can be created to meet or beat any other insulation available – but in an all-in-one form factor which combines insulation and wall into a single unit.  They’re easy to build with, and the color can even be customized to meet aesthetic needs.

This makes structural insulated panels an excellent fit for many industries:

Industrial applications:  Thanks to their high insulation value, and the potential to resist direct fire for hours, SIPs are an excellent choice for industrial centers with hot rooms or where fire outbreak is a genuine concern.

Cold storage:  Conversely, a foam core designed to contain cold temperatures make these a good choice for any room which needs to hold cold items.  They are especially useful in the food and beverage industry.

Architectural design:  SIPs can potentially deliver superior insulation, but in a thinner form factor which requires less manual labor to install.  Along with their flexibility in implementation, they can solve a wide range of architectural challenges.

Home design: SIPs are increasingly being used to create environmentally friendly and affordable homes.  They are particularly effective at creating thin, lightweight, effective roofs where standard steeple designs are impractical.


Structural Panels, Inc. are world leaders in the design and implementation of structural insulated panels.  Contact us to learn more about their value in construction and get a free estimate today.