Two studies were recently published giving SIPS advantages over other building practices for providing substantial energy savings and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions…
Following a well-established life cycle analysis protocol, engineers at Franklin Associates examined the full energy use required for producing both a SIPS and 2×6 stick framing systems. They left no stone unturned, tracking the energy used in raw material extraction, component production manufacturing, material transportation to the job site, and a thorough 50-year lifetime energy analysis of a single-family home. The energy and emissions reduction calculations for the finished home included all electricity and natural gas consumption for heating and cooling over a 50-year period.
The life cycle analysis clearly shows that investing in SIPS (over 2×6 stick frame construction) reaps significant long term energy & environmental benefits for the building owners and the world around us. By providing substantial energy savings and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, the energy invested in the both the production of, and end use of, SIPS yields an exponential benefit to the environment compared to traditional wood framing.
WASTE PREVENTION PRACTICES EVALUATION USING LIFE CYCLE ANALYSIS (Residential Buildings)
In effort to evaluate the best methods for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and waste in residential construction, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality Waste Prevention conducted an extensive assessment of residential construction techniques. They released their report in late 2010 examining over 25 construction techniques that contribute to decreased environmental impact. Of the framing systems examined, SIPS ranked among the top methods for reducing climate change.
The project identifies which building and design practices have the largest environmental benefit over the life of a residential home. Environmental impact was measured in: harvesting of materials through construction, remodeling (including demolition), greenhouse gas reductions, material savings, operational energy conservation, reduction of toxic emissions, human health impact and also the greater effects on our ecosystem.
Interestingly, even with consideration given to the energy used in harvesting, fabricating materials and construction, the actual energy used to operate the finished home had the most impact on energy used. As this energy use related to the finished home’s occupants was responsible for a significant 80 percent of the total climate change impact.
To learn more, visit the Oregon DEQ green building page.