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Note: Design Forward LLC is proud to have served the Southern California area designing straw bale homes for over 15 years. However, we have moved on to other business ventures and have closed the business as of January 2017. We will not taking any new projects or responding to phone and email requests. This website will be left up as an archive of data for straw bale and design. You may find that some of the links are broken or out of date, but we will not be updating this site any longer. Thank you!
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February 2006 - [Sustainable Concepts] SIPs and the Energy Efficient Mortgage
Sustainable Concepts )
Design Forward Newsletter February 2006, vol. 35
in this issue
  • Structural Insulated Panels (SIP)
  • Energy Efficient Mortgage
  • Feedback


    Welcome to the February 2006 newsletter from Design Forward. Please take some time to enjoy this month's features.

    Quote of the Month: "Buildings in the U.S. consume 30 percent of the total energy and 60 percent of the electricity."
    - the U.S. Green Building Council

    Lisa Van Veen

    Structural Insulated Panels (SIP)

    Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) are an efficient and time proven technology used for building homes and commercial structures. SIPs panels are constructed by binding sheets of oriented strand board (OSB) to an expanded polystyrene foam core to create an insulative and easy to install construction material.

    • SIPs buildings require less wood due to the structure of the panels. Up to 70% less raw timber is required to construct a SIPs building.
    • The oriented strand board (OSB) component of SIPs is an engineered wood product manufactured from fast growing ‘farm’ trees rather than old growth forests. OSB does not require large sheets of wood that must be harvested from larger trees.
    • The energy required to manufacture components for a SIPs structure is lower than other types of building components.
    • SIPs reduce jobsite waste which reduces landfill use and cuts landfill fees.
    • SIPs can be manufactured using non-CFC foam that can be reused or recycled. They are also safe for trash-to-energy incineration.
    • After a building is complete, energy consumption for heating and cooling a structure are reduced due to the insulative properties of SIPs. A 4 1/2” wall has an R-value of 17 and a 12 1/4” wall has an R-value of over 50.

    Article & Picture © calpanels.com

    Energy Efficient Mortgage

    When you are buying, selling, refinancing, or remodeling your home, you can increase your comfort and actually save money by using the Energy Efficient Mortgage (EEM). It is easy to use, federally recognized, and can be applied to most home mortgages. EEMs provide the borrower with special benefits when purchasing a home that is energy efficient, or can be made efficient through the installation of energy-saving improvements.

    Energy Efficient Mortgages can be done on most homes. Availability is not limited by location, home price or utility company. EEMs can be done on government (FHA and VA) conventional, Portfolio and Jumbo Loans. Your lender will help you choose which loan type is best for you.

    Get an EEM on:
    • Older homes qualifying for upgrades
    • New or old homes not requiring upgrades
    • New construction


    Design Forward works toward promoting Sustainable Design. If you know of a project that should be featured, please contact us. Let us know why you think it should be featured and give us a basic intro to the project, the sustainable elements and any websites or contact information.

    If you would like to submit a fun and/or entertaining quote about architecture, building, the environment or such, send it in! If it at all possible, include the author.

    If you have any other feedback concerning this publication, please feel free to send an email or use the form.

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    Revised June 1, 2010