I always enjoy speaking to folks from around the globe and sharing their excitement about SIPs. The volume of calls from the international community has increased substantially this past year as SIPschool continues to live up to it’s reputation as the place to find help in all things SIP. We’ve been juggling commitments from multiple international clients in need of technical expertise, and this past month saw crews operating simultaneously on sites separated by nine time zones.
In the Caribbean we’ve been working with a manufacturer who sought training and technical assistance from SIPschool. This most recent visit sent SIPschool rep Charlie Byrd for a nine day session combining training and hands-on installation assistance for a builder new to the SIP arena. Armed with tools of the trade and plenty of sunblock, Charlie led the inexperienced crew through the do’s and don’ts of SIP installation. The panel of choice in the Caribbean is not the ubiquitous OSB skinned SIP we see here in North America. Due to climate, termites and cultural perceptions, the SIP we see gaining the most acceptance is this part of the world is either metal or magnesium oxide-skinned.
Moving nine time zones to the East, we find ourselves deep in the desert. This second (and simultaneous) SIP project was crewed by yours truly, Dan, and three graduates of SIPschool’s Certified Installer class. This project in the Middle East focused on erecting a structure designed to address the shortage of housing. Much like the Caribbean, the desert building tradition of block, stone and concrete does not readily accept a wood-skinned SIP. On the other hand, neither climate or termites give much cause for concern in much of the Middle East. With our build situated near the Persian Gulf, the area sees less than 3″ of rain per year. This arid climate allows building scientists and panel installers to realistically consider the use of an OSB clad SIP. However, cultural biases will likely prevail, despite the fact that the finished structure will be have a cementatious cladding and look like it’s more traditional counterparts.
Future travels for SIPschool and our trained instructors looks promising, as we are continuously speaking to interested builders and developers world-wide. If SIPs are your passion, your passport is up-to-date, and you don’t mind traveling to far away lands, keep an eye on SIPschool’s website as we grow the industry with quality instruction.