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Introduction to Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs)

Mike J. Nelson, P.E., S.E.

Course Outline

This 2 hour online course will reveal what structural insulated panels are, how they’re made in the factory, how they’re assembled in the field, their advantages, applications, typical detailing, integration with mechanical and electrical systems, and their thermal and strength properties. 

This course includes a multiple choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding of the course materials.

Learning Objective

At the conclusion of this course, the student will be familiar with:

Intended Audience

This course is intended for structural engineers, architects, building code officials and home builders.

Benefit to Attendees

Attendee of this course will acquire knowledge of an increasingly popular alternative to “stick-framing” as well as an understanding of the advantages of using structural insulated panels.

Course Introduction

Currently only a tiny fraction of all new residential and commercial construction projects are utilizing structural insulated panels (SIPs).  Conventional “stick-framing” has been the dominant means of light frame construction for decades, it’s what contractors, engineers and architects know and understand well. 

However, with the increasing concerns over energy efficiency and “green” construction, the use of SIPs is growing rapidly.  To accommodate and further facilitate this growth, it is important that design professionals have a basic understanding of what SIPs are, and why it is advantageous to use them.

Course Content

In this lesson, you are required to download and study the following course contents:

Structural Insulated Panels - Guide
SIP Construction Details

Please click on the above underlined hypertext to view, download or print the document for your study. Because of the large file size, we recommend that you first save the file to your computer by right clicking the mouse and choosing "Save Target As ...", and then open the file in Adobe Acrobat Reader. If you still experience any difficulty in downloading or opening this file, you may need to close some applications or reboot your computer to free up some memory.
You may need to download Acrobat Reader to view and print the document.

Course Summary

This course contains basic introductory information on what structural insulated panels are and what makes them a good alternative to wood stick-framed construction.
Typical construction details are also illustrated.

Related Links

For additional technical information related to this subject, please visit the following websites:

Structural Insulated Panel Association  


Once you finish studying the above course content, you need to take a quiz to obtain the PDH credits.

Take a Quiz

DISCLAIMER: The materials contained in the online course are not intended as a representation or warranty on the part of PDH Center or any other person/organization named herein. The materials are for general information only. They are not a substitute for competent professional advice. Application of this information to a specific project should be reviewed by a registered architect and/or professional engineer/surveyor. Anyone making use of the information set forth herein does so at their own risk and assumes any and all resulting liability arising therefrom.