Reducing Energy Consumption

Brooke Berge Weekly Journal 8

As we discover innovative materials that are sustainable and save energy, they should be used more often. Reducing energy consumption is important because we need conserve earth’s resources that are non-renewable. Saving money is one of the benefits to conserving energy. Compared to other materials, Structural Insulated Panels (SIP) can save up to 50 percent in energy costs. This product is a type of insulation made by foam layers placed in between panels of materials such as plywood, cement, or strand board. They can be used for walls, floors, and roofs. They are about the same price as the conventional wood frame construction, because they save of the quick installation/ less labor fees, and less jobsite waste.



The Silverwood Park Visitor Center just outside of Minneapolis was designed to have maximum daylighting through proper solar orientation (SIPA). With all the windows and the Minnesota climate, there would have been a large amount of energy consumption. Therefore, “Miller Dunwiddie Project Manager Joel Stromgren knew that a well insulated building envelope would be crucial in reducing energy use” (SIPA). SIPs were used on the roof to reduce the energy use.


SIPs are currently used for residential and light commercial construction. Overall, it should be used more often. It is a good alternative because it better insulates than the conventional frame construction. Also, they “help conserve forest resources, because they produce almost no waste” (Mother Earth News). If we can apply it to some buildings, with further testing of the product we should be able to use it in any type of building, so it becomes the new conventional type of insulation.


“About SIPA.” About Us. Structural Insulated Panel Association, n.d. Web. 25 Oct. 2016. <;.

Publications, Inc. Ogden. “Build With SIPs – DIY – MOTHER EARTH NEWS.” Mother Earth News. N.p., 03 Aug. 2011. Web. 28 Oct. 2016. <;.

Raney, Rebecca Fairley. “10 Cutting-edge, Energy-efficient Building Materials.” HowStuffWorks. N.p., 08 Feb. 2011. Web. 25 Oct. 2016. <;.

“Silverwood Park Visitor Center – Miller Dunwiddie Architecture.” Miller Dunwiddie Architecture. N.p., 10 Dec. 2015. Web. 25 Oct. 2016. <;.



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