Question

What should an electrician know about working with SIPs?

Asked by Teresa Taylor, Hamilton, OH

My husband, an electrician, is bidding on an installation for a huge home built with SIPs. He is concerned about placing the electrical outlets and installing hanging lights in the cathedral ceilings. He is a 40-year business owner, but is not sure what to expect with SIPs. Do you have any information?

Answer

Fernando Feldman

Answered by Fernando Feldman

Northridge, CA

Go Green Construction, Inc.

November 6, 2008

SIPs (Structural Insulated Panels) are incredibly efficient and cost effective. They are easy to build with, but it is important to make considerations about the infrastructure before ordering and installing the panels.

All electrical planning should be done before the SIPs are ordered. Your husband will need to generate a shop drawing for the manufacturer outlining where the channels should be placed; this information will be incorporated into the order. It is very difficult to change the locations of outlets once the panels have been manufactured. For additional information, your best bet is to contact the SIPs manufacturer directly or visit the Structural Insulated Panel Association website.

I highly recommend that an electrician run pull-ropes through all cavities when the SIPs are being installed. This will aid in "fishing" wire through later. Also, let the SIPs installer know that all connection splines between panels need to be bored out, preferably half an inch over the size of the manufacturer’s electrical run.

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