Good Design = Energy Efficiency

Posted by Richard Taylor, AIA

If you’re not yet giving much thought to how much energy your new house is going to use, and how much it’s going to waste, then it’s time you started.

It should be one of your top priorities – if for no other reason than your own pocketbook.

Energy used for heating and cooling homes is going to continue to get more expensive and as we’ve seen recently, world politics can quickly and dramatically affect your access to cheap energy.

Saving energy isn’t just about saving money, however – it’s also an important part of good design.

Read the rest of the article here.

Structural Insulated Panels at Carlisle

By: Roseann Henry, This Old House television

The news photos of Hurricane Charley’s impact on Florida made a lot of people wonder just how strong their own homes are. We don’t get a lot of hurricanes around Boston, although they do sometimes take their last gasp up here after the worst is over down south. We get our share of other storms, though, including some wicked nor’easters. And we think about building strength all the time anyway, since we want the houses we work on to still be standing 100 years or more from now, no matter what kinds of storms roar through.

Strength is one of the biggest arguments in favor of panel construction over traditional wood framing. In panel construction, beams and studs are replaced by structural insulated panels, or SIPs, which consist of a foam core sandwiched between layers of oriented strand board. We’ll admit that we’re traditionalists and, yes, we like to frame the old-fashioned way. But when you hear about panel buildings surviving hurricanes and earthquakes while their traditionally framed neighbors shatter into sticks, you have to take notice.

Read the full article here

SIPs could be the future of home construction

Daily News Staff Reporter

An untrained eye would have a hard time seeing what’s different about the house being built at the corner of Linfield Drive and Aberdeen Way.

To those in the know, however, the level-entry rancher is the cutting edge of a new wave of high-tech home construction, using new methods and materials that could make traditional dimensional lumber framing a thing of the past.

Check out the full article here.

PFB Corporation Announces its Intent to Acquire Precision Craft Homes Group

CALGARY, ALBERTA–(TSX – PFB) PFB Corporation reports it has signed a Letter of Intent with Mr. Jim Young of Boise, Idaho, USA whereby the privately-owned Precision Craft Homes Group will be combined with the Riverbend Timber Framing and Insulspan SIPS operations of PFB Corporation.
Mr. Jim Young, President of Precision Craft, will be named Chief Operating Officer of the newly formed combined unit which will be wholly-owned by PFB Corporation when the transaction closes on December 31, 2010. The combined operation will consist of two timber manufacturing facilities and two structural insulated panel manufacturing facilities that are located in Michigan, Idaho and Vancouver, BC.

Mr. Bruce Carruthers, will continue as Chief Operating Officer of Plasti-Fab Ltd., another wholly-owned subsidiary of PFB Corporation, which manufactures expanded polystyrene insulation products, EPS resin, and Advantage ICF insulating concrete forming systems in eight facilities across Canada.

Initially no capital stock will be issued by PFB Corporation to finance the acquisition of Precision Craft. The purchase will be made in cash from working capital of PFB and will include provisions for future common share issuance by PFB Corporation under earn-out provisions over a five year period. Precision Craft has a five year history of positive net income.
Precision Craft is based in Boise, ID where it manufactures timber frame and log structures that are designed by Mountain Architects Inc. and installed by PC Design Build Inc., related companies that are also being acquired by PFB in the transaction.
Riverbend Timber Framing and Insulspan SIPS are manufactured in two facilities in Blissfield, MI. Insulspan SIPS are also manufactured in a facility near Vancouver, Canada.
C. Alan Smith, Chief Executive Officer, PFB Corporation, stated “We are very excited that Jim Young has agreed to combine with us and add “Precision Craft” to the PFB “Better Building Ideas” family of green-structures brand names that include “Riverbend” and “Insulspan SIPS”. He is a well-known leader in the industry who has a lot of expertise to offer to our customers and to our company”.

Forward Looking Statements

Certain statements in this Press Release contain forward-looking statements about the objectives of PFB Corporation (“PFB” or the “Corporation”) and management’s expectations, beliefs, intentions or strategies for the future. Future events are subject to certain risks, uncertainties and assumptions that may cause the actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements.
Such risks, uncertainties and assumptions include, but are not limited to: general economic conditions; actions by government authorities; actions by regulatory authorities; availability of raw materials; changes in raw materials prices; foreign exchange rates; interest rates; competitor activity; industry pricing pressures; seasonality of the construction industry; and weather.

About PFB

PFB Corporation is a vertically integrated manufacturer of insulating building products that are marketed across North America under four brands. Plasti-Fab, EPS Product Solution® are products, manufactured using expanded polystyrene (EPS) as base raw materials, that are delivered to customers in five segmented markets. Advantage ICF Systems® are insulating concrete forming systems that are employed to build insulated foundations and walls from concrete in both residential and commercial markets. Insulspan® Structural Insulating Panels Systems (SIPS) are used to create a building’s structural wall frame and to replace trusses on roof systems to form an energy-efficient structural envelope. Riverbend Timber Framing® manufactures and sells precision-cut, custom-crafted solid timbers to exacting standards which are delivered to customer’s jobsites as ready-to-assemble building packages in conjunction with Insulspan SIPS for the walls and roof, and Advantage ICFS for the building’s foundations.

PFB Corporation is listed for trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange, symbol PFB.


C. Alan Smith
Chief Executive Officer
PFB Corporation
100, 2886 Sunridge Way NE
Calgary, Alberta T1Y 7H9
Tel: (403) 569 4332
Fax: (403) 569 4075


Jim Young
Chief Executive Officer
Precision Craft Homes
Boise, Idaho
Tel: 208 493 2640
Fax: 208 887 1253

5 Tips on Building with SIPS

A SIPs expert provides key tips and do’s and don’ts when working with the technology. By Professional Builder Staff

The growth of the green, energy-efficient homes market has led to an increased demand for high-performance building envelope products like structural insulated panels (SIPs). Typically composed of a layer of EPS, XPS, or polyurethane foam sandwiched between oriented strand board panels, SIPs can provide R-values for walls, floors, and roofs ranging from 14 to 58, depending on the panel thickness and composition. SIPs also are manufactured to spec, which means there’s little waste and potential labor savings over tradition stick-frame construction.

Take a look at the full article here.

Insulspan’s Lakeside Green Cottage Wins Green Building Category in the BSC 2011 Excellence in Home Design Awards

Blissfield, Michigan, November 8, 2010 — Blissfield-based Structural Insulating Panel System home manufacturer Insulspan, Incorporated received a national home building accolade with its Lakeside Green Cottage, capturing First Place, Green building using SIPs in the 2011 BSC Excellence in Home Design and Marketing Awards program. The honor was awarded by the Building Systems Councils (BSC) of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)—a trade association that represents the concrete, log, modular, and panelized building system industries—at their annual awards program on November 8, 2010.

Sponsored by the NAHB Building Systems Councils, the BSC Excellence in Marketing and Home Design Awards has promoted excellence in the systems-built housing industry for more than ten years. All winners were announced at an awards luncheon in New Orleans, held in conjunction with the BSC SHOWCASE event—the leading trade show and conference based centered on the systems-built housing industry. Home manufacturers, builders and industry associates were among the groups recognized.

“This year’s award winners like Insulspan, Incorporated prove that despite a sluggish housing market, the systems-built industry is raising the bar in residential marketing and home design concepts,” said BSC Chairman Vic DePhillips, a modular manufacturer from Moosic, Pa. “Our award winners are adding credibility to their businesses and shedding a positive light on the building systems industry as a whole.”

The annual BSC Excellence Awards are judged by a panel of industry experts and companies like Insulspan were given praise for the quality of their submittals. The Lakeside Green Cottage  is a model of sustainable construction that maintains the design & character of its historic community.

“It is truly an honor for the Lakeside Green Cottage to receive the BSC Excellence Award for Green Building with SIPs,” said Frank Baker, Lakeside Cottage Homeowner and PFB Board member “At Insulspan, we strive to provide innovative, practical housing solutions using systems-built technologies. This award shows the hard work and vision of Insulspan dedicated employees. It is a proud day for them.

Awardees were recognized for excellence in achievement in several marketing and design categories and covered a range of concrete, log, modular and panelized homes.
There were scores of entries submitted for award categories ranging from Outstanding Model/Sales Center, to Presentation of Home Plans and Best Web site.

For a complete list of winning companies and projects, including Insulspan and its Lakeside Green Cottage, visit

Award winners were announced to a crowd of nearly 200 systems-built industry professionals at the awards luncheon. Winners received plaques to commemorate their efforts. They will be featured in upcoming editions of NAHB’s e-newspaper, Nation’s Building News.  Some projects will also be on display on the BSC Awards Wall at the 2011 International Builders’ Show in Orlando.

ABOUT THE BSC: The Building Systems Councils of the National Association of Home Builders is made up of manufacturing, builder, and associate members who advocate building with systems. Systems-built homes are constructed with concrete, log, modular, or panelized systems.  They are constructed to the same code standards and reflect the same, and often enhanced, quality levels as any site-built construction. The advantage of systems-building is it’s done in a fraction of the time, with a fraction of the waste, reducing costly weather exposure.  Many systems-built homes are inherently “green,” adding an environmentally friendly label to the product.

ABOUT NAHB: The National Association of Home Builders is a Washington-based trade association representing more than 175,000 members involved in home building, remodeling, multifamily construction, property management, subcontracting, design, housing finance, building product manufacturing and other aspects of residential and light commercial construction. NAHB is affiliated with 800 state and local home builders associations around the country. NAHB’s builder members will construct about 80 percent of the new housing units projected for 2010.