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Which Is Better: SIPs vs. ICFs

Structural insulated panels (SIPs) and Insulated concrete forms (ICF) are two of the most common wall systems that are used to construct homes and commercial buildings. Both systems combine insulation and structure into a single unit, thereby improving construction time and reducing labor costs.

In this widely-debated comparison of the two sustainable building arenas, many often ask the question, which is better between the two? The answer depends on multiple variables including environment, design, climate, cost, ease of use, and most importantly, the properties that the end user is looking for.


Structural insulated panels consist of insulating foam core that’s sandwiched between two structural facings. These building block panels are later assembled on-site and are fabricated in a factory depending on the designer’s or architect’s specifications.

SIPs are not only energy efficient but they’re also a low-cost alternative to wood frame construction. This lightweight and eco-friendly building solution reduces jobsite waste significantly.


Insulated concrete form (ICFs)is composed of concrete sandwiched between layers of insulated foam. ICF building systems provide high R-value thermal insulation and effectively resist natural disasters like wildfires, floods and hurricane-force winds. Moreover, ICFs are quick to install and provide design flexibility.

Let’s look at some advantages of both of the building systems:

Resistance to weather elements

Both SIPs and ICFs offer weather-resistant properties. Our fire-resistant SIPs, however, are ideal for residential buildings because they prevent flames from spreading throughout the building in case of fire, in addition to being resistant to mildew and mold.

Moreover, SIPs are beneficial to commercial buildings because they resist corrosion and rust, and are built quickly.

Eco-friendly characteristics

High-thermal mass of ICFs contribute towards an energy-efficient and high-performing building. The materials absorb and store the heat energy, and stabilize the temperature shifts by reducing the rate of heat transfer. This ultimately reduces the use of HVAC systems, and consequently reduces the harmful emissions in the environment.

On the other hand, MgO SIPs are the new green alternative when it comes to building systems. Their production process doesn’t involve any heavy metals, asbestos, or any other toxic materials. Plus, they don’t have any off-gassing, which sets them apart from plywood and particle boards.

Furthermore, their energy efficient results and outstanding insulating value can reduce your energy cost by 30% compared to traditional construction solutions.

We provide top-of-the-line MgO SIP panels and Magnesium Oxide Wallboards with excellent thermal and structural characteristics. Browse through our products from the online store, or get in touch with us for more information.

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