True Panels® are structural wall and roof panels manufactured by Yankee Barn Homes in our climate-controlled shop under strict Quality Assurance oversight. True Panels® are a key component in the Yankee Barn energy efficient panelized building enclosure. The True Panels® are built with premium grade Sustainable Forest Initiative certified, kiln dried lumber.
True Panels® are insulated with a double-faced foil, extruded polyisocyanurate foam core. The sheets of polyiso are sealed in place with a bead of expanding foam insulation. The exterior sheathing material is 1/2″ ZIP System® Sheathing for the walls and 5/8″ ZIP System® Sheathing for the roof.
True Panels® are custom designed for each Yankee Barn home and include full structurally framed openings for all doors, and most windows. There is a 1 ½” space from the interior face of the insulation to the interior face of the studs, leaving easy access for your electrician to run wire without disturbing the insulation. The True Panel® System is extremely strong, energy efficient and cost effective, saving you time, money, and labor.
Common Questions about True Wall and Roof Panels
Q. Are True Panels the same things as SIPs?
A. No. The core of a True Panel is a stud wall built with dimensional lumber. SIPs, an acronym coined by the foam core wall panel industry meaning Structural Insulated Panel, consist of various thicknesses of foam insulation sandwiched between an inner and outer exterior sheathing (most commonly ½” Oriented Strand Board, a.k.a. “Chip Board”).
Q. Do True Panels have any advantages over SIPs?
A. Yes. True Panels were specifically developed to improve upon the incredibly-popular SIP, so there are several key differences.
- A True Wall Panel is constructed with 2×6 studs. The exterior Zip System® Sheathing (high quality structural sheathing made of engineered wood) is solidly nailed to the studs. SIPs do not have integral studs. The exterior sheathing (most commonly chip board) is therefore afixed to the rigid foam interior by epoxy. In areas with wide seasonal variations in temperature and humidity, the expansion and contraction of the wood sheathing may cause the sheathing to pull away from the epoxy. This may cause the walls may slump and bow, compromising the structural integrity of the house, or causing the exterior siding to warp or pop off.
- True Panels offer total design and integration of the home shell construction with your floor plan and timber frame. Each panel is designed and built with all windows, doors, or sky light structural openings included at no additional charge. This saves the builder time, which in turn saves the customer money.
- Remodeling or reworking of your walls and roof at any time is much easier with True Panels. Moldings, Window casings, stairs and cabinets can be fastened to solid framing for superior holding, compared to the ½ OSB on the SIPs. Carpenters and other subcontractors appreciate the familiar construction they find in the True Panels that makes the costly specialized tools or procedures required for SIPs unnecessary.
- True Roof panels are designed and constructed with a full roof vent from eave to ridge, eliminating the need for the additional framing and sheathing that has to be site installed over basic SIP roof panels.
- In most cases, the Customer’s windows are factory installed into the True Panel wall using the very latest manufacturer recommended installations techniques which reduces air infiltration and creates a better water barrier.
- TRUE Panels are built with Polyisocyanurate insulation, which provides an R value approximately 50% higher than the best selling SIP foam core. In addition, the True Panel insulation is foil faced on both sides, which is highly effective at reflecting radiant heat. This is especially advantageous during hot, summer days.
- The 5/8″ CDX sheathing used on the True Panel roof and wall panels, by standard design, provide superior lateral bracing, putting them a step ahead when high wind, heavy snow loads or seismic activity are part of the local building code requirements.
- The True roof panels are manufactured with the ventilation space already in place, unlike basic SIPs. Thus, the True Panel provides a cold roof rather than a warm roof. This is of interest in terms of ice build up which is sometimes formed with warm roofs. Also, most asphalt shingle manufacturers will not offer or will reduce their basic warrantees, if their shingles are not installed over a well ventilated roof system, also known as a “Cold Roof” system.
- True Panels create less on-site job waste than basic SIPs because these SIPs require cutting to fit and cutting for window, door and skylight options.
- High wind or seismic heavy duty hold-down are easily installed in True Wall Panels; basic SIPs in many case will require adding stud framing within the panel.
Q. What do the two systems have in common?
A. Ease and speed of construction on-site makes it possible for buildings to be placed under roof within days rather than weeks. This is very important when there is timber frame to enclose or where good building weather is in short supply. Both systems are highly resistant to wind damage, and suitable for areas with wind shear or seismic stressors. The thermal performance of both systems may significantly reduce costs for heating and air conditioning, one of the major expenses of home ownership. An air exchanger is recommended for both systems. With no air penetration, allergens and dust do not constantly come into the home or building. Reducing allergens and dust in the interior of the home make for a healthy atmosphere indoors, where we typically spend 80% of our time. Both systems may help you qualify for LEED certification and energy tax credits or utility company credits.
Q. Do True Wall Panels have sheetrock pre-applied to the interior?
A. All True Roof Panels come with pre-applied sheetrock. The sheetrock acts as a 15-minute fire resistant thermal barrier required by most building codes.
Generally there is no sheetrock applied to the interior of the True Wall Panels, for two primary reasons. First, builders have commented that it is generally easier to run electrical wire when the True Wall Panel has no interior sheetrock pre-applied. Second, when building inspectors need to visually inspect the builder’s wiring, pre-applied sheetrock poses a significant obstruction.
Q. Apples to apples, how do the two systems compare in terms of Wall Panel R Value?
A. The basic True Panel wall is six inches thick and has an R value of 26.0 including sheathing.
SIPs are manufactured and sold under many different brands, so the exact R value of a SIP will vary by manufacturer. However, a typical SIP has is 4 ½ inches thick and an R value of about 14.4 including sheathing.
Q. Apples to apples, how do the two systems compare in terms of Roof Panel R Value?
A. True Roof Panels are constructed with 2×6, 2×8, 2×10 or 2×12 lumber depending on the engineering requirements of the house. A 2×6 True Roof Panel is 7½ inch thick and has an R value of 43.5. The basic SIP panel used in roofs is 8 ¼ inch thick SIP has an R value of 27.9.
Additional insulation can be added to a True Roof Panel in 1″ increments with incredible ease. Each extra inch of insulation increases the R value of the True Roof Panel by approximately R-5.
Q. Do you have ICC approval for True Roof Panels?
A. Yes, and as far as we know we have the only approval which includes wood ceiling as an option.
- True Roof panels are approved by ICC Evaluation Services as REPORT ESR-2326 (effective by April xx 2009) Evaluation service is a division of International Code Council which provides reports showing product compliance to codes and includes items such as insulations, roofings, SIP, LVL etc.
- Our report shows the local building inspector that the True Panel is an approved alternative to ICC prescriptive code roofs and rafters.
- Quality control is carried out by a third party inspector.
- Roof panels meet requirements of ICC code requiring a 15 minute thermal barrier installed on the interior of the panels. Those who use OSB SIP panels may need to install a 15 minute thermal barrier (½” drywall or equivalent) to their panels on site.
Q. What will my roof panels include?
A. Your roof panels will include the following:
- 6″ Atlas insulation in the rafter cavity (more insulation can be incorporated if desired)
- 1″ of Atlas insulation between strapping
- ½” thermal barrier of gypsum board (drywall)
- Approved Interior finishes include
- Drywall (plaster base) replaces and acts as thermal barrier
- (Optional) 1×8 V-groove pine, pre-applied