SIPS: Efficient Building Practice to Combat Labor Shortage Challenges

SIPS: Efficient Building Practice to Combat Labor Shortage Challenges

probuilder_nov2016Even though the construction industry continues to grow, builders across the country continue to have challenges filling job openings.  It’s critical to find solutions to the labor shortage.  Professional Builder Magazine outlines five initiatives that can help ease a builders’ current crunch in its November issue:  Addressing The Labor Shortage Now.

To overcome the challenge of too few skilled framers, more building professionals are using alternative structural systems such as SIPs.  A simple-to-install, yet effective building system falls right into Professional Builder’s five initiatives, #5 outlined below.

Taking a system approach to the building envelope uses building materials that accomplish multiple tasks with one product.  With one material, SIPs provide building’s structure, insulation and air barrier.  They arrive at the jobsite pre-cut and labeled, ready for installation according to the building plans.    One crew installing SIPs takes the place of multiple crews and work schedules for those three functions.  Depending on the project size, the streamlined construction can mean a time savings of days, weeks, or even months.

#5  USE LABOR-SAVING MATERIALS AND PROCESSES from  Addressing The Labor Shortage Now

Certain products on the market are proven time-savers.  Assess them on a net-cost basis.  They may cost a bit more, but if labor savings and increased capacity offset that cost, you may get more done with the skilled labor  you have available to you.  Let’s use framing as an example.  Rather than stick-frame a home, consider using panels, trusses, prefabricated stairs, and floor systems.  These components can be assembled in a factory by employees who may not have the skills to frame a house but are adept at component-building.  If your framer can assemble the components in two-thirds of the time it would take to do traditional framing, this translates to framing a third more homes.

SIPs also simply construction in other ways:

  • Factory-cut window and door openings eliminate the need for detailed framing and header installation.
  • Flat panels that help drywall, cabinetry, door, and window installers complete their work faster and with a better finish.
  • The OSB sheathing of SIPs provides a continuous attachment point, so crews do not need to search for studs when installing cabinetry.
  • SIPs come with pre-cut electrical chances, which eliminates the need to drill holes for wiring through dozens of studs.