There are a number of building envelope products currently on the market, giving homeowners, builders, and developers the option of choosing which product will be the best fit for their project. ICE Panels are a prefabricated envelope system and can be easily confused with other products, one of them being Structural Insulated Panels, more commonly known as SIPs.
SIPs are made of wood sheathing and foam insulation, but these materials have two different life cycles. Wood sheathing, being organic, will eventually break down and contribute to the growth of mould and mildew. On the other hand, ICE Panels are composed of two inorganic materials — expanded polystyrene and steel. Both of these are long-lasting and durable, and won’t cause any mould or mildew problems.
When SIPs are delivered to a construction site, they are typically sealed on both sides. This can make it challenging to assess the structural soundness of the panel since it’s impossible to visually inspect the panel core. However, with ICE Panels, the EPS core and steel framing are visible, enabling a thorough inspection to be conducted.
Building with SIPs will result in thermal bridging to happen through the building’s envelope. This will let external temperatures to penetrate the wall. Whereas ICE Panels are thermally broken and result in very little thermal energy to enter the building through the wall.
SIPs sometimes need modifications done on-site and are heavy due to their components. On the other hand, ICE Panels are lightweight and can be installed on-site without any modifications. Except for panels taller than 12 feet, two crew members can easily erect ICE Panels by hand due to their low weight.