SIPS excited about improved business

Published 10:27 am Friday, January 13, 2012

Ron Harrigan, the president of SIPS Team USA, told the Bainbridge Rotary Club on Tuesday that SIPS and the construction industry are starting to bounce back.

SIPS, based in Bainbridge, constructs structural insulated panels for residential and commercial buildings. These panels can be as large as 8-feet-by-24-feet and can be custom cut to meet the exact construction needs of customers. Because the panels have insulation foam built right in, buildings constructed by SIPS can often have energy bills as low as 50 percent less than conventional structures, Harrigan said.

Harrigan explained that the construction industry hit a low near the end of 2008, resulting in SIPS having to downsize a number of its employees. However, the industry is starting to rebound, and Harrigan said the company is back up to 18 employees, and finished 100 projects last year.

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One of the company’s major projects was the construction of 30 houses in the Ninth Ward of Hurricane-Katrina-ravaged New Orleans, La. The houses were part of Hollywood actor Brad Pitts’s “Make It Right” Foundation. SIPS has also built houses for the Christian-based housing ministry Habitat for Humanity.

Harrigan said the company has completed projects in seven states, including Texas and North Carolina. One recently-completed project was a learning center in Houston, Texas, which required 16 truckloads of panels.

“Everything is engineered in the shop to meet the exact specifications of the architects,” Harrigan said. “We can be accurate to plus-minus 1/8th of an inch.”

Because SIPS are modular, it does not take long to construct the structures, Harrigan said. He told the club about a recent project where the skeleton of a 500-square-foot house was erected in a little over 10.5 hours.

SIPS panels are also being used in the new county agriculture building, which is currently under construction just off Vada Road near the fairgrounds. When completed, it will house the county extension office, 4-H program and several other state and federal farm-based agencies.

For more information about SIPS Team USA, visit online at