Currently the enclosure of the Queen of Zero - a custom single-family rebuild in Maryland and the 2024 JLC Case Study home - is taking shape. The exterior shell is being built from energy-efficient structural insulated panels (SIPs), each consisting of two roughly 4-by-9-foot sheets of OSB sandwiching a core of ESP insulation. The SIPs at Queen of Zero were manufactured by Acme Panel company and shipped flat to the site.

Over the past decade, SIPs have become my company’s preferred building strategy for new homes aspiring to a net zero standard. Yet, despite the many advantages and proven track record, a very small percentage (1% to 2%) of all homes in the U.S. are built with SIPs.

So why, with their decades-long track record of success, aren’t more homes built with SIPs?

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