This Scandinavian prefab is pretty interesting. Its “add a room” concept allows you to start with their base unit, which is a small bedroom/living room, then add on rooms as needed. You can add a kitchen, bathroom, extra bedrooms or storage spaces. I think one of my favorite features is the outdoor kitchen connector, it has these big doors that open to reveal a great workspace.
I have had several readers email me and other ask me about SIPs as of late: What are they? Why use them? etc. For one reason or another there seems to be some confusion, for some folks at least, so I figured I would talk about them today.
SIPs stands for Structurally Insulated Panels. If we break down this name we have a structural panel, so a uniform part that can be load bearing, and it is insulated.
Here is the basic structure, nothing fancy, but your should get the idea.
So we can see that it is composed of two boards, sandwiching this foam. Now there are not just any boards, they are OSB, which is a type of wood, often treated, that is made of strands of wood glued together with polymers. OSB stands for Oriented Strand Board, meaning the strands of wood are somewhat organized into a particular direction. You do need to be careful if you are wanting to build a environmentally friendly house that is toxic free. Depending on how the wood is treated and what polymers they used to bind the wood, it can gas off harmful fumes or transmit through surface to hand and hand to mouth. So just remember to ask what they are using.
Next let us talk about the foam. The foam is a very special mix that has to be cured under very specific conditions. The foam is Rigid Foam Core , very similar to that of foam found in bike helmets. The panels typical come in variations of 2 inch thicknesses (so 2″, 4″, 6″) and have some really nice properties. Inherently the foam used is also a vapor barrier, this of course means it servers as stop from water infultration. It inherently also does not mold and is not liked by most bugs.
There is a few really important things I want to point out with SIPs. The first being that it replaces studs, you do not build walls, you simply put these in place. The second thing is that you now have to run the wires differently, because you can’t run wire in a pre assembled panel. Finally SIPs are prefabed then brought to the site, this cuts down on over all cost.
Some other benefits can be found here: click
Here is an interesting Modular and Prefabricated Tiny House. The houses can be scaled to the needs of the client. The tall chimney structures are in fact light wells to draw in natural light into the space, while giving a nod to traditional house design where fireplaces once served a valuable purpose. Here is what they had to say about the house:
The Element House, by MOS Architects, is a modular housing prototype designed for a “new ecology” — one that can grow and change depending on the family’s needs. Based around a modular element, with strong environmental design criteria, the Element House expands according to the Fibonacci sequence, “a describer of developmental patterns in living organism.” his housing unit can the be combined in an infinite number of ways, but for the home to make sense, MOS uses the Fibonacci sequence to create the layout. In theory this results in a more natural, more organic home, which is hopefully more pleasing to the those living inside. MOS also proposes that this prefab housing concept could be expanded past single family homes, to multi-family homes or even a whole village. Elemental units can be added or subtracted as needed to accommodate for new families or changing needs.
Here is a small house that can be put up in a whole day! Obviously they construct the majority of the house prior to the build indoors. But still it is kinda neat. The prefab house uses SIPs or Structural Insulated Panels to make up most of the house. As for the look of the house, frankly they lost me at the top portion. It isn’t very appealing and doesn’t really flow. Regardless, the house does have a strong use of eco-friendly materials and is super efficient.