Can building with SIPs reduce Thermal Bridging?
Thermal Bridging, or Cold Bridging is the ability of external cold transfer to internal walls which can result in cold spots and damp. A thermal bridge/cold bridge is created when materials that are poor thermal insulators come into contact which allows heat to flow through the path created. SIPS panels have an insulated core which virtually eliminates thermal/cold bridging
There are different kinds of SIP building systems, closed panel systems and open panel systems. A closed panel system is typically a timber fame that has been sheathed on both sides with OSB and insulation is pumped into the void. This system has less timber than a traditional timber frame structure and will have slightly less cold bridging. The open panel system is where the SIP is manufactured by sandwiching a piece of rigid foam insulation between the two outer skins of OSB. The edges of the panels are rebated and left open so the panels can be joined together with a SIP spline as per the illustration
The Eco SIPs Homes open panel system uses mini SIP joining splines to connect the panels. It is possible to have a long run of panels joined together with this method giving continuous insulation in the wall, which compared to a closed panel system or timber frame significantly reduces cold bridging and improves the air tightness of the building.