Structural Panel Installation: We Answer All Your Questions

We recently sat down with Ben Eyers, founder of Hiberna Modular, to ask him some short, sharp questions on who, how & why the structural panels are installed on the build site. Read on for all the info. 

Q: Are the panels available throughout New Zealand?

The short answer is yes. They’re available throughout the country, but transport costs will vary depending on location. 


Q: How does the installation time for Hiberna Modular structural panels compare to a regular SIPS panel build?

It takes about the same time as it does to install regular SIPS panels. 


Q: Who can install them?

Any qualified builder can install them. Our proprietary bracing & hold down & specs make it simple- that’s really the whole point. 


Q: Do builders need specific training on how to install? Do you supply a manual, a training video or something else?

We’re working on rolling out all of the above. At this stage of our evolution we are sending a Hiberna Modular builder to assist with the build if requested- hands on help! 

Q: What tools are needed? Do you supply them?

Just a normal range of building tools, and some extra long driver bits are useful- but nothing too fancy. No, we don’t supply the tools.


Q: What healthy & safety info do builders need to know?

The usual building site safety, as well as working with heavy objects and crane safety.


Q: Who gets in touch with you to start working on a project- the client or the builder?

Everyone! We’re working on projects led by all three of these categories: the client directly, the building company and architects too.


Q: Are you available to contact for help during the install?

Absolutely. What that looks like (in person vs. via zoom) depends on where you are in the country and subsequent on travel requirements. 


Q: What are Hiberna panels like to work with from a builder’s perspective?

Well- we’ll be honest here- there’s no such thing as ‘nice’ building materials. The panels are heavy, on the bulky side and a bit straw-dusty and scratchy. But what they’re not, is nasty. They’re clean, there’s no toxins or glues and they actually smell really great. 


Q: Ben- what about protection from the weather?

We have found from real world testing on-site during installation that the panels are very resilient to wind driven rain. What can be more of a problem is water getting into the top of the panels and tracking down the centre of the panel. An easy fix we recommend to prevent this, is installing a temporary flap of vapour-permeable building paper over the top of the wall. (Just make sure you keep inspecting it, and don’t staple it in on to the top horizontal surface, as the water will capillary in the staple holes.)


Q: Finally- is there anything else you’d like people to know about Hiberna Modular structural panels?

 They’re actually better than it says on the packet.  What I mean is- it’s hard to put into words just how great they are- but the proof will be in the pudding soon enough. 


So that’s it! If you need any more questions answered, or want to start planning your own build using Hiberna Modular structural panels, then just get in touch.