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Can Plumbing be Installed in Sips?

Sips plumbing system with various pipe typesA common question that we get asked about our Sips is if plumbing can be installed within the Sips panels.  The short answer is yes – plumbing can be run through Sips walls as long as a few requirements are met.  In a Sips structure, pipes can be incorporated into the walls as long as it is only within the panel and does not cross through any splines or structural timbers. If pipes were to pass through these areas, it would affect the structural stability of the building.  When running pipes through your panels you must ensure the hole is the correct size for the pipe and that the channel is fully sealed off after you have completed the running of the pipe.  This will ensure you are minimising the heat loss from these channels.

How do you install plumbing within a Sip house?

As stated you can run pipes through your Sip panels when necessary.  We highly recommend using these three methods to run your pipes within your Sips home; through timber frame internal walls, through wall battens and through our spaced joists.

Internal Walls

plumbing being run through internal wallsSips exterior walls are highly insulated and airtight which means that all internal/dividing walls can be built from timber.  Pipework is very easily run through these internal walls and is preferred where possible.  Running pipework through these walls is easily done for heating and water pipes but is not usually suitable for wider pipes such as waste pipes.  For these kinds of pipes, the dividing wall may need to have more depth.  If the pipe is still too large they may need to be run through the underfloor space joists which is a great alternative option for running pipes.

This method is used where there is pipework that needs to be run along an exterior wall and you don’t want to drill into your Sip panel.  As mentioned above the pipes can be incorporated into the Sip panels however using this wall batten method may be easier and more efficient.  What would happen here is battens (strips of solid material) would be placed 600mm apart along the wall and then screwed into the panels.  What this does is create depth between the panel and the plaster board which means there is space for the pipework to be run through.

Space Joists

Sips Eco webbed joist system being leaves plenty of space for Sips plumbingThis is another way that pipelines can be run through a Sip house. Space joists are what separate the roof of the ground floor and the floor of the first floor.  These joists provide more space between surfaces than battens provide which means your larger pipes could easily be run through this space.  Pipes are perfectly safe to be run through joists as they are extremely strong.  Most pipes will be run through this area as they are under the floor and can’t be seen.  The larger area within the joists is great for accommodating all pipes especially larger pipes.

To sum up – the answer is generally yes, pipes can be run through Sips.  However, the recommendations above shows there are simple more effective ways to fit these pipes without tunnelling into your Sip walls.  Sips are a method of construction that are used to achieve high insulation values and to reduce heat loss.  By cutting into the walls or running pipes through them would only reduce their effectiveness.  We recommend that you use the other methods of plumbing that are specified above but you can run your pipes through Sips where necessary.


If you need more in-depth technical detail around this subject or have a general enquiry, please do not hesitate to contact us.  We will be more than happy to assist!

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