The Prospects of Applying Sandwich Insulated Panel Construction System for Energy Efficient Housing in Thailand

Charunpat Puvanant


Structural Sandwich Insulated Panels (SIP) have been developed and accepted as an alternative construction system for energy efficient buildings in the temperate and cold climate zones for decades. In Thailand most SIPs are manufactured and used in construction only for industrial buildings especially cold rooms, clean rooms, and goods containers.

The objectives of this research are to study and design structural sandwich insulated panel, develop a construction system for energy efficient housing in Thailand, and study the construction costs and energy-saving efficiency of a model SIP house designed to evaluate the possibility for its further development and industrialized production.

The study was conducted by means of document research and interviews with individuals concerned to obtain an overview of the industry and find potential materials, their properties and costs, for use in SIP production. Laboratory testing for mechanical properties of SIP specimens using different composite materials was then conducted to select suitable materials for the study. Design and mock-up of wall panels were also tested under working conditions for their structural strength in the laboratory before designing a model SIP house. Structural calculations were made, construction costs were estimated and computer simulations of energy consumption were carried out through the use of EnergyPlus software program (Version 1.22a). Finally, energy savings of the model house and cost recovery periods were calculated.

The results show that energy savings is considered minimal when taking into account the higher construction costs and would be more feasible if the system is applied to housing for high-income groups or to non-residential buildings that require heavy air conditioning loads. Being a lightweight system that is fast to construct, SIP would be suitable for projects that have sufficient enough quantity demands to justify its industrialized production.

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