March 1, 2024

A construction alternative is poised to change how affordable housing is approached, according to advocates.

A construction alternative is poised to change how affordable housing is approached, according to advocates.
KAIMUKI, Hawaii (KITV4) — Builders who advocate for construction with SIPS (structural insulated panels) think they have found a game changer in Hawaii’s affordable housing crisis. 
Hawaii has a need for 25,000 homes by 2025, according to government studies. Traditional stick frame builds utilize frame, insulation and dry wall, where as SIPs utilize sandwich like panels that can be assembled like building blocks. 
“We had a friend who did a 4,200 square foot build in Washington and he put that up in four days and it blew our minds,” Brian Enomoto of SIP Systems Hawaii told KITV4.
Enomoto’s optimism is shared by Paul Staples of Staples Realty, who finished his owner builder unit using SIPs in Laie.
Staples saw the possibilities for SIPs in providing disaster relief in the Philippines with the building company, Archipelago 7000.
Staples characterizes SIP homes as near “disaster proof” and says SIPs are “…very, very effective for typhoon victims. They can build a house in a couple of days and be back in their home,” he told KITV4.
Staples works with students at BYU Hawaii, advocating on social media for SIP constructions as an affordable alternative that can provide housing at a fraction of the construction cost versus a traditional build.
Back in Kaimuki, SIPs Systems Hawai’i acts as the distributor for Premier SIPs, a manufacturer on the west coast based out of the Pacific northwest.
Enomoto explained that the durability from SIPs comes from having a single sheer wall uninterrupted.
“And you see in Japan they were using it in Kobe. And the earthquake hit.  And a lot of the homes that fell down were demolished. And some of the only ones standing were made out of SIPS. So we know its a tried and true technology but it hasn’t been brought to Hawaii and used,” Enomoto said.
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Jeremy Lee joined KITV after over a decade & a half in broadcast news from coast to coast on the mainland. Jeremy most recently traveled the country documenting protests & civil unrest.
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