LizG Cambridge

Looking for recommendations for SIPs structural engineers

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We’re building a two storey extension with SIPs. We have a final architectural design, which includes a floating first floor and a sedum roof. We are in urgent need of a structural engineer who can design the structure, leveraging the SIPs structural capabilities and including any supporting steelwork needed. The property is in Cambridge. We commissioned a structural engineer before deciding on SIPs and while they said it wouldn’t make a difference, we’ve really struggled to get them to produce a design and now they say they need someone else to design the frames and they won’t take professional liability for the structure if we go with SIPs. Any recommendations of a structural engineer experienced in working specifically with SIPs would be much appreciated.

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If you’ve not placed the SIPs order why don’t you consider a different method..? Timber frame ..? This is all well known by engineers and easy to design. SIPs have limited benefits as wall coverings and that sounds like all it is if you need a steel portal structure. 

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I used David Narro associates here in Glasgow and Edinburgh.  It's far away but it's just engineering. 

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Have you contacted a SIPS company for supply and install? The company I have used carry out all the structural calculations and design the structure to suit the architects drawings, it was tweaked in some places to avoid extra steels etc but it was all discussed with me at each stage.

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3 hours ago, Ryan Bazeley said:

Have you contacted a SIPS company for supply and install? The company I have used carry out all the structural calculations and design the structure to suit the architects drawings, it was tweaked in some places to avoid extra steels etc but it was all discussed with me at each stage.

Thanks Ryan - sounds like your project might be similar in some ways as the 'steel tweaking' is what flummoxed our current SE firm and at one point we seemed to be building a steel house with SIPS as wall decoration! 🙂 What SIPS company did you use, if you don't mind sharing?

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9 hours ago, SuperJohnG said:

I used David Narro associates here in Glasgow and Edinburgh.  It's far away but it's just engineering. 

Thanks John. While it always feels comfortable to have a local firm who can do site visits etc, you're probably right that they don't actually need to be and I appreciate you sharing the firm you used.

 

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11 hours ago, PeterW said:

If you’ve not placed the SIPs order why don’t you consider a different method..? Timber frame ..? This is all well known by engineers and easy to design. SIPs have limited benefits as wall coverings and that sounds like all it is if you need a steel portal structure. 

We're pretty attached to SIPs but it's always good to consider other options as solutions to a problem so your reply is a good reminder of that, as it's easy to get your head stuck in the weeds, thank you!

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3 hours ago, LizG Cambridge said:

Thanks Ryan - sounds like your project might be similar in some ways as the 'steel tweaking' is what flummoxed our current SE firm and at one point we seemed to be building a steel house with SIPS as wall decoration! 🙂 What SIPS company did you use, if you don't mind sharing?

I am based in Cornwall, I am using a company called SIP HUS.

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We’ve recently had our SIPs kit installed, I’d agree that you don’t really need to use someone local and the engineering is best done in house. I would not recommend the company we used, for a variety of reasons and happy to share via PM. There are a couple of firms that I know people have had positive experiences with.

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On 30/05/2021 at 23:39, tommac86 said:

We’ve recently had our SIPs kit installed, I’d agree that you don’t really need to use someone local and the engineering is best done in house. I would not recommend the company we used, for a variety of reasons and happy to share via PM. There are a couple of firms that I know people have had positive experiences with.

Thanks Tom, that is really generous of you to offer to share your experience.I think we've found a firm now who work closely with the SIPs installer we've been having discussions with - not quite in-house if I've understood you correctly, but used to working in partnership alongside each other. Fingers crossed! 

 

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