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Designing a SIPs Home with SIPS@Clays

Published 11th June 2019

SIPS@Clays has been established since 2003 and in that time we’ve evolved. We’re not just ‘another’ supplier of SIPs panels; we provide a complete service from initial design and fabrication right through to installation.

With that in mind, we thought we’d open the doors and let you see behind the scenes at SIPS@Clays and, just like the beginning of your self-build journey, we’ll start with our Design Team.

In-house Design

Unlike other SIPs suppliers, we have our own in-house design studio. Headed up by Darren Barnes, who has over 12 years’ experience designing with SIPs, our team of designers either work directly with you to plan your SIPs home right from the drawing board, or alongside your chosen architect to ensure that traditional plans are seamlessly translated into SIPs panel friendly designs.

Whilst building with structural insulated panels is becoming more and more popular, there are many architects who are still unfamiliar with designing for SIPs construction and as such, our in-house technical design knowhow is invaluable.

We are also able to apply years of experience within the traditional construction industry to support our unrivalled SIPs knowledge and create plans that deliver the very best designs, exactly to clients’ specifications.

Photo: Designing a SIPs Home with SIPS@Clays

Working With You

Darren and fellow designer Stefan, begin the process by discussing your aspirations for your new home.

“We will advise areas where value can be added to the project, such as a room in the roof; we’ll discuss the benefits of building with SIPs panels, and in particular the market leading Kingspan TEK™ building system if you’re thinking of building a Passivhaus; and we always apply value engineering in order to ensure that you achieve the very best home for your budget, said Darren.

“It’s a myth that SIPs homes have to be boxy and boring. Designing with SIPs offers many options and our job is to ensure that our clients know exactly what can be achieved.

“Whilst the popularity of building with SIPs panels is growing, there is still limited understanding of how versatile the system is and we like nothing more than demonstrating to clients, how, with a little design flair, we can turn boxy and boring into grand designs!

“We approach each project with a ‘can do’ attitude and clients are always delighted with the results."

Design Challenges

We thrive on the challenges that are often presented when translating traditional architects’ drawings into SIPs specifications and never shy away from the opportunity of suggesting improvements wherever possible.

Working closely with architects Model Projects on a recent project in Northumberland, our in-house team, ‘designed out’ an element of the large roof structure which substantially reduced the amount of steel required on the build. The input of our designers delivered a lighter weight roof with more overall ceiling height, it provided a significant reduction in thermal bridging and with the value engineering demonstrated, saved considerable time and budget for the client.

Photo: Designing a SIPs Home with SIPS@Clays

Working with Your Architect

We work closely with a number of architects who recommend SIPS@Clays time and time again, building solid relationships based on our SIPs knowledge, customer service and solution led attitude.

Working with us is easy and following agreement of costs, we have a tried and tested process that begins with the design team and the production of preliminary drawings.

Using the latest 3D CAD technology, we provide our clients with images that help to visualise what their new home will look like and by providing different angles and orientations, we can clearly demonstrate areas that may need adjustment or would benefit from value engineering.

With client consultation, we then make the necessary revisions to the drawings and when everyone is happy and approval is received, we can produce the production drawings for the factory to begin fabrication of your new SIPs home.

Photo: Designing a SIPs Home with SIPS@Clays

Get to Know Us A Little Better

Building your dream home is no doubt daunting but we are always on hand to talk to you about a SIPs project, and aim to make the process as easy as possible. So, if you have plans that you’d like to discuss, send them to and you can get to know Darren, Stefan and all the SIPS@Clays team, a little better.