Determining the seismic performance of structural insulated panels for New Zealand buildings (2020)
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New Zealand has an urgent need for quality housing that can be built quickly and affordably. Construction using structural insulated panels (SIPs) has been suggested as one possible solution. SIPs are sandwich panels made of two face layers and an insulating inner core. They can be prefabricated and assembled quickly on site for walls, floors and roofs and are one potential solution which could be used to increase construction speed and reduce overall building cost. While SIPs have been widely used overseas, less is known about their performance in a New Zealand context. The project objective is to determine how SIP structural bracing systems perform when subjected to seismic loading. Testing and analysis will provide load and displacement data on SIP wall configurations that will be compared with NZBC code requirements on structural performance. Control specimens will also be tested utilising bracing systems commonly used in New Zealand residential buildings. The intersection of durability and seismic performance will be also be considered through cyclic testing of aged SIP specimens and connections. The project is funded by EQC and BRANZ and will provide understanding of SIPs seismic performance in the New Zealand context and will support development of a more simplified consenting process for buildings constructed with SIPs. The project aims to establish consistent ways of evaluating SIPs to ensure they are suitable for New Zealand housing, whether they are produced domestically or imported. Results will provide a “whole system” analysis of SIPs and how they perform when used in conjunction with other common New Zealand building materials.
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