SIPs, or Structurally Insulated Panels are gaining popularity for their ability to provide both strong and energy efficient pre-fabricated panels for use as walls, floors, and even roofs. These are essentially engineered laminations of OSB sheathing material and Expanded/Extruded Polystyrene Insulation. How soon will we see these hit our market? Likely not as a dominant fixture immediately, however in colder climates certainly quicker. But, as we look forward to new energy requirements in 2014, we will need to start considering alternatives such as SIPS to improve on our current techniques without having to significantly increase assembly thicknesses.
Worried about cracking or other deformations in your driveway? Check out this bulletin by the HPO which discusses some of the different types of cracking and other deformations that can occur, and which ones are more problematic than others.
There is something nostalgic about the thought of building with materials harvested directly from the build site. Often times we are presented with requests from Clients to incorporate site fallen, milled timber into their new home or renovation design. While there are success stories, more often than not much of the lumber is either initially unusable, or produces a disappointing result. Most of the issues boil down to moisture control, sizing and grading (structural) issues.
The link below is to a publication by the Canadian Wood Council which discusses these specific issues with timber construction, and provides some great insight on things that should be considered when contemplating using site fallen timber.
Click here to view and download the PDF document
Click here to visit the CWC webpage regarding timber framing