Structural insulated panels (SIPs) are high performance building panels used in floors, walls, and roofs for residential and light commercial buildings. The panels are typically made by sandwiching a core of closed-cell rigid foam plastic insulation between two structural skins of oriented strand board (OSB). Depending on the size and needs of the structure, the thickness of the foam is adjusted to increase R-value.
The structural characteristics of SIPs are similar to that of a steel I-Beam. The OSB skins act as the flange of the I-beam, while the rigid foam core provides the web. This design gives SIPs an advantage at handling in plane compressive loads. SIPs can be engineered for most applications.