Thermapan Structural Insulated Panels

St. Alexander’s Church

Project Overview

Size21,000 sq ft roof
LocationFonthill, Ontario
BuilderT.R. Hinan
ConstructionThermapan SIP roof panels on steel frame

The Ideal Roofing Solution

When it comes to putting a solid roof over your head, Thermapan can make a world of difference to any commercial building project. With their solid construction and adaptability, Thermapan Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) have become the roofing product of choice for many architects and building contractors.

Thermapan roofing SIPs are proven in steel frame commercial structures as diverse as industrial plants, restaurants or churches. Architects recognize the many benefits SIPs bring to their customers and to builders. Contractors agree that working with panels save on time and labour. And end users in turn benefit from exceptional building quality and superb energy efficiency.

St. Alexander’s Roman Catholic Church is a case in point. Located in Fonthill, Ontario, this new church was built using SIPs for its high-pitched (12/12) roof. Installation of the 21,000 sq.ft. roof was easy, dramatically reducing construction time and labour costs. In the case of St. Alexander’s, its roof was completed in only eight days.

“The Thermapan system was incredibly easy to work with,” says T.R. Hinan, contractor for St. Alexander’s. “We would’ve been hard pressed to finish a project like this in under three weeks but Thermapan panels made it incredibly quick and simple.”

Builders also appreciate the fact that SIPs are versatile, allowing them to easily top roofs with standard materials such as shingles, metal roofing or EPDM membranes.

Another advantage that makes Thermapan SIPs particularly attractive to contractors under tight deadlines is their adaptability. The integrity of SIPs allows them to be installed under almost any weather condition while traditional insulation methods can be troublesome in wind, rain or snow.

Energy Efficiency

With their unique ability to lock out the elements, SIPs are remarkably energy efficient and can reduce heating and air conditioning costs. Their solid construction prevents air infiltration and drafts within panels, ensuring a consistent temperature inside. As evidence of these thermal properties, St. Alexander’s Church rarely has to use its air-conditioning over the course of the summer – even in the middle of August. One of the reasons the architect specified SIPs for this project was their exceptional thermal performance, which would produce long-term energy savings for the parish.

Thermapan’s own manufacturing plant in Fort Erie also uses SIPs in the construction of its roof and walls, generating substantial energy savings as a result. Air conditioning and heating costs at Thermapan’s 15,000 sq.ft. plant are only $4,500 annually. A similar plant built with traditional materials would normally incur $10,000-$15,000 in energy costs.

“Our customers are always satisfied with our product,” says Emil Taraba, President of Thermapan. “Once they’ve worked with our SIPs, they are sold on the system. So it was only natural for us to install SIPs and reap the same benefits.”

Building Quality – Finishing Ease

In terms of over-all strength, Thermapan roof panels are able to resist the extreme pressure of earthquakes and high winds by acting as a diaphragm. The uninterrupted layer of panels over supporting members provides two-dimensional structural continuity with both rigidity and stability.

SIPs also have the necessary bending strength to withstand live (e.g. snow) and dead (e.g. roof and equipment) loads while spanning freely from ridge beam to exterior wall or widely spaced beams, purlins or trusses.

Finishing is easy with Thermapan SIPs. Gypsum boards are simple to fasten on walls or the panels can be primed and painted directly.

Another option is to use one of the many pre-finished panels that Thermapan offers. Panels with pine instead of the standard oriented strand board (OSB) on one side are excellent for achieving aesthetically pleasing interiors without incurring any additional labour or material costs. Similarly, SIPs with pre-finished engineered wood siding simplify exterior finishing while ensuring stability, moisture resistance and strength.

So whether you’re planning an industrial plant or a commercial development, just look at the many successful projects that have used Thermapan roofing SIPs. Thermapan SIPs are clearly ideal for roofs in any type of steel frame project.