SIP Construction: Green Building Snake Oil?
According to Kurt who is an exterior and traditional roofing restoration contractor, designer, new urbanist, the general public has been duped into the viability and necessity of green building and in particular how it relates to SIP construction.
He makes a great argument for why sealed and climate controlled buildings aren’t the way to go.
Current green building initiatives seek to create a hermetically sealed structure that must be ventilated mechanically. This is done to reduce the amount of energy that is needed to heat and cool the structure. The whole concept of designing an airtight building is wrong. Airtight buildings are not the answer to long-term energy concerns. Air conditioning and heating are unsustainable by their very nature. Building envelopes should be designed to offer a naturally aspirated escape from the elements, not a constantly controlled climate. Heating and cooling can be supplemented with new technology such as geothermal or solar, but the building should be capable of providing reasonably comfortable shelter without the presence of climate control systems. The key is to quit thinking about energy efficiency as it relates to artificial climate control.
But he loses us when he goes on to explain that SIP repair and maintenance is outrageously cost-prohibitive and that is good enough reason to go with traditional stick frame construction. We are also not in agreement that if it’s not in your budget that you just don’t build unless you can afford “traditional” materials and techniques. We should take advantage of advances in technology that allow builders to create quality homes at a lower cost.
More from Kurt thanks to Remodeling for Geeks.
More on SIP construction.
Innovative Insulated Panels
Heat Turns Green