$$$$$ The Cost Equation Clarified $$$$$November 28, 2006
The question that came up almost immediately when I first started looking into SIPs was: Why do they cost so much?
The answer I kept getting was that you have to compare apples to apples. That wasn’t good enough for me so I would press the issue but couldn’t get very far. Frustratingly they didn’t want to come out and talk directly about money . They (I’m using “they” to protect my sources) would say you can’t compare SIPs to stud framed walls.Today Al Cobb was able to explain the cost equation to me in terms that are simple to understand.
If you want to build a structure that has very low insulation demands, say an outhouse in Arizona, it is much cheaper to build it with stud framing. If you build it with SIPs it will be more insulation than you can use.
If, on the other hand, your energy efficiency standard is very high, say a heated privy at the North Pole, you may never be able to achieve a level of acceptable comfort with studs stuffed with all the batt insulation you can find. However, if you build it with SIPs, the inherent insulated value would keep your toes and tush so toasty you could read the entire New York Times in comfort.
North Pole Put simply, SIPs are the most cost effective way to achieve a premium insulated structure. I had promised notes on Best Practices and Learning from Our Mistakes but today those subjects were covered in a business overview. I’m going to hold off for now. Al Cobb promised me that he will go over some juicy worst case scenarios before the class is finished.
Some pictures of class.
Note on this blog: I’ve embedded links to the site but they are not as visible as I would like. If you look carefully the words in blue are hot links.