Geofoam Solves Manhole Soil Erosion & Displacement Problem

Manhole jacking and separation

Manhole jacking and separation

Problem:  Deep water and winter freeze cause manhole jacking and separation.

A manhole located in Class ‘A’ wetlands in the city of Anchorage AK., experiences severe frost damage. Adjacent to a creek and subject to high water table and deep winter freezing, over the years frost pulled the manhole apart causing the lid and grade rings to fall off, the cone section to tilt 35° from vertical, and the 4” thick reinforced concrete barrel section broke away from the base, allowing ground and surface water to flow freely into the manhole. End result, soil erosion around the manhole and in the winter months, jacking of the manhole sections and displacement.

Solution:  To stop the jacking and the movement EPS Geofoam acts as an insulated concrete form and later as a compressible inclusion virtually eliminating the jacking around, separation and erosion.  EPS Geofoam in earthworks applications provides the benefit of reducing both vertical and lateral pressures on below ground structures.

Geofoam installation

Geofoam installation

Geofoam, insulated concrete form

Geofoam, insulated concrete form

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Geofoam Benefits:

Cost effective

  • Reduces associated structural costs

Labor Savings:

  • Does not require surcharging, preloading or staged construction
  • No secondary compaction required
  • Not weather-dependent- can be installed during rain or snow
  • Does not require heavy equipment to move
  • Ease of installation, ease of cutting

Product Attributes:

  • Available in job-specific block sizes
  • Engineered per project specifications – can match compressive resistance with job requirements

INSULFOAM QUESTIONS

Bernard Droege, Insulfoam Territory Manager

Bernard Droege, Insulfoam Territory Manager

Contact Bernard Droege, Insulfoam Territory Manager

Bernard.Droege@insulfoam.com

Connect with Bernard on LinkedIn

Read more on Insulfoam.com

VIDEO: DIY Garage Door Insulation Kit Installation Instructions

Save Energy and Reduce Interior Noise with Insulfoam’s Garage Door Insulation Kit…

The largest uninsulated space in most homes is the garage door.  Insulfoam’s Garage Door Insulation Kit provides one of the easiest and most cost effective ways to increase the energy-efficiency of your home.  Watch our installation video to see how simple it is to install insulation to the inside of your garage door in less than an hour.   These rigid high-impact panels tightly fit standard garage sizes (8′ and 9′ garage doors); however, can be cut to fit non-standard garage doors.  Pick up an Insulfoam Garage Door Insulation Kit at your local Lowe’s or Home Depot home improvement store.

 

INSTALLATION INSTRUCTIONS

1:  Tools Required:  Straight edge, utility knife, tape measure and safety goggles

1: Tools Required: Straight edge, utility knife, tape measure and safety goggles

2:  Measure length between vertical rail A to the inside edge of vertical rail B.

2: Measure length between vertical rail A to the inside edge of vertical rail B.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3:  Cut each insulation sheet to length

3: Cut each insulation sheet to length

4:  Break off the insulation where cut

4: Break off the insulation where cut

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5:  Insert the excess insulation behind the vertical rails

5: Insert the excess insulation behind the vertical rails

6:  Insert the insulation sheet between horizontal rails C and D with the channeled or grooved side facing the garage door.

6: Insert the insulation sheet between horizontal rails C and D with the channeled or grooved side facing the garage door

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lighten Up

Originally posted online at Constructor Magazine, Web Exclusive

USING GEOFOAM TO SIMPLIFY COMMON SITE PREP CHALLENGES

Projects built with geofoam include road beds, bridge approaches, levees and other jobs.

Projects built with geofoam include road beds, bridge approaches, levees and other jobs.

Contractors have successfully used expanded polystyrene (EPS) geofoam to simplify site preparation since the 1960s. Projects built with the material include road beds, bridge approaches, levees and other civil jobs. Now, geofoam is increasingly solving a host of construction challenges in commercial buildings and large residential applications.

GEOFOAM OVERVIEW
Geofoam is an ultra-lightweight, engineered, closed-cell rigid foam. The material is about 100 times lighter than soil and weighs substantially less than other lightweight fills.

Even though it is very light, geofoam is high strength, with compressive resistance values of 317 to 2,678 lbs/ft2 at a 1 percent strain. Geofoam is suitable for a range of heavy loading conditions, including sub-base for pavements and railroads bearing jet aircraft and locomotives.

EPS geofoam changes the traditional soil compaction phasing method in which contractors mechanically compact soil to a percentage of dry density and pay for multiple samples and laboratory tests. Unlike other lightweight fills such as shredded tires or wood chips, EPS geofoam is homogenous, which provides uniform load transfer and eliminates differential settlement.

GEOFOAM APPLICATIONS AND BENEFITS
The combination of lightweight and high strength makes geofoam the ideal material for many building applications, including:
• Creating level building pads on steep-sloped lots
• Stabilizing steep slopes
• Remediating soft soils
• Forming swimming pools and pool decks
• Landscaping
• Creating theater/stadium seating

Creating level building pads on steep-sloped lots
Given its lightweight, contractors can use geofoam to simplify construction of retaining walls needed to level steep-sloped lots. Geofoam drastically reduces or can eliminate the lateral load on retaining walls, so walls do not need to be as robust. Material and labor costs are much lower due to reducing forming, structural steel and concrete volume, and lessening or eliminating the need for geogrids or mechanical tiebacks.

Eckhart Construction Services, a Carolinas AGC member, used geofoam to create a level building site for a McDonald’s restaurant. There, a retaining wall was needed that could accommodate the change in grade, as well as reduce the load over extremely soft soils. Typical soil fill would have caused unacceptable settlement of the retaining wall. The use of EPS geofoam allowed for incorporation of a traditional keystone retaining wall while eliminating the need to use the typical geogrid material to reinforce the retaining wall.

Stabilizing steep slopes
Geofoam’s lightweight makes it an excellent option for stabilizing steep slopes, without the need to change the final slope geometry. Since the material is much lighter than other fills, it greatly reduces the weight of a slope’s driving block and lowers the risk of costly and dangerous landslides. An additional advantage of using lightweight geofoam blocks on slopes is that crews can move and place them by hand. This eliminates the need for heavy earth moving and compaction equipment on steep and uneven terrain.

Remediating soft soils
Ground with soft soils or soft clay makes building construction notoriously difficult. To eliminate or greatly reduce the need for time-consuming and costly surcharging of soft soils, EPS geofoam provides high load support at a low weight for projects of all sizes.

An example is the renovation of an existing office building into a city hall in the Pacific Northwest. Building codes required installation of new handicap ramps as part of the upgrade. The challenge was the project site is situated on extremely soft glacial till at the south end of a lake. As such, the ramps needed a very lightweight void fill to avoid post-construction settlement. After evaluating various lightweight fill options, the project team chose EPS geofoam. Crews installed 5,000 cubic yards of geofoam, which played a role in helping the project be completed two months ahead of schedule and nearly $600,000 under budget.

Forming swimming pools and pool decks
Contractors use geofoam to simplify construction of swimming pools in residential, commercial and institutional uses, including hotels, schools and community centers. Project teams can order the blocks pre-cut to precise dimensions or can easily cut them to size and shape on site. This simplifies the concrete forming process, and greatly reduces weight for construction of rooftop pools or on sites with poor load-bearing soils. Once crews form the pool basin and decks with geofoam, they can apply shotcrete directly to the foam.

Landscaping
Because crews can readily form geofoam into a host of shapes, the material provides a simple way to create landscape topography and berms. This is particularly beneficial when loads must be minimized on underlying structures and utilities. Examples include rooftop gardens and landscaped spaces with shallow buried utilities that cannot bear the weight of soil fills.

Creating theater/stadium seating
Geofoam provides contractors a fast and simple way to change slopes within buildings – either creating tiered seating as in auditoriums, movie theaters, churches or gymnasiums, or leveling out such a sloped space for other uses.

For stadium style seating, crews hand place row upon row of geofoam blocks to achieve the necessary profile. They can then either place concrete over the geofoam as shotcrete or as pre-cast panels. Using geofoam greatly simplifies the forming process and eliminates the need for complex tiered compacting of soil to form the stepped profile of stadium seating.

Crews can also use geofoam to quickly level an existing sloped elevation in a building. For example, a university wanted to convert a sloped floor lecture auditorium into a surgical suite at a hospital. The project engineers specified EPS geofoam as a structural void fill to reverse the slope. The EPS supplier cut the blocks to minimize field fabrication on the job site. Because the enclosed auditorium did not have space to accommodate heavy equipment, and as noise from mechanical compaction of soil would have disrupted hospital patients and staff, geofoam was an ideal alternative. The lightweight structural fill provides a strong, stable sub-base for the new, level concrete floor slab.

WORKING WITH GEOFOAM

Even though it is very lightweight, geofoam is high-strength and suitable for a range of heavy loading conditions.

Even though it is very lightweight, geofoam is high-strength and suitable for a range of heavy loading conditions.

Although geofoam can be manufactured in many sizes and shapes, standard blocks are typically 4 feet wide by 8 feet long, and of varying thickness. If contractors do not order geofoam precut to specified dimensions, they can easily trim geofoam to size using a hot wire cutter (which some manufacturers will supply) or with a handsaw or a chainsaw onsite.

When placing geofoam, the blocks are staggered so their joints are not located in the same vertical plane. At times, the blocks are interconnected with either barbed plates or polyurethane adhesive, in accordance with engineering specifications.

Due to geofoam’s lightweight, crews can maneuver and place the blocks by hand or with small mechanical equipment. A typical installation is to place geofoam blocks on a level course over sand, pea gravel or any locally available permeable leveling course material.

Following are points to keep in mind when working with geofoam:

• Geofoam is subject to damage when exposed to certain hydrocarbon chemicals or solvents. If needed, crews can protect the material with hydrocarbon-resistant geo-membranes or concrete slabs.

• Manufacturers treat geofoam with a fire retardant to avoid the rapid spread of fire. However, the material is combustible at high temperatures, so it is important to be cautious when conducting hot work, such as welding, around geofoam.

• Exposing geofoam to sunlight for extended periods can cause superficial discoloration, which does not impact the product’s integrity and can be removed with a broom or very light pressure-washing, if desired.

• Because geofoam is lightweight, it is important to take care when stockpiling the material on job sites where windy conditions exist. Contractors should weigh or tie-down stockpiles, as necessary.

CONCLUSION
Soil fills will continue to factor prominently in construction given their ubiquity and familiarity, but for challenging projects, geosynthetics like geofoam are increasingly popular. Geofoam offers contractors a simple-to-use, engineered alternative to traditional earthen fills. The material solves a host of site preparation challenges in commercial and large residential building projects.

Below Grade and Under-Slab Building Insulation

Originally posted in Modern Contractor Solutions Magazine, June 2014 issue

Modern Contractor Solutions Magazine, June 2014 Digital Issue

MC_june 2014

Modern Contractor Solutions, June 2014

Three tips for choosing the right material for your project

Which insulation is best for use on buried building foundations and under concrete slabs? Sales reps, naturally, will tell you that their company’s product is best. But, what does independent testing and research say?

These three tips will help your firm select a cost-effective and high-performance rigid foam insulation type for your next below-grade insulation job.

1.  CONFIRM LONG-TERM THERMAL PERFORMANCE

Two of the rigid foam insulations most commonly used below grade and under slabs are expanded polystyrene (EPS) and extruded polystyrene (XPS). Although both are closed cell insulations, they perform very differently over the long term.

XPS has a higher initial insulating R-value than does a similar thickness and density of EPS, but the R-value of XPS degrades over time. EPS does not experience such “thermal drift,” and the reported R-value remains the same throughout years of installed service.

This is a crucial point when selecting insulation, as a decreasing R-value means lower thermal performance over time, and thus increased heating and cooling energy and costs for the building owner.

Below Grade

Rigid foam insulation is increasingly common in below-grade and under-slab applications.

A simple way to confirm an insulation’s long-term thermal performance is to review the warranty. Established EPS manufacturers typically warrant 100 percent of the published R-value for 20 years. By comparison, most XPS warranties typically cover only up to 90 percent of the published R-value, to account for the R-value degradation that occurs in the field.

2.  ENSURE MINIMAL LONG-TERM MOISTURE ABSORPTION

In addition to R-value stability, rigid foam insulations differ in their rates of moisture absorption and their ability to dry. Wetted insulation provides lower thermal resistance and can degrade over time. Since insulation installed below grade frequently contacts wetted soil, rates of moisture absorption and the ability to dry is key in these applications.

Independent laboratories have conducted extensive tests of moisture absorption rates for both EPS and XPS. Although XPS often rates better in laboratory short term, fully submerged tests, real-world long term tests show that EPS performs much better. The reason is that EPS has the ability to dry much faster than XPS. This ability to dry at a fast rate helps EPS remain drier during conditions of repeated exposure to moisture.

A 15-year in-situ test of EPS and XPS dramatically demonstrated this point. Stork Twin City Testing evaluated the moisture content of EPS and XPS buried side-by-side for 15 years on a building foundation in St. Paul, Minnesota. At the time the insulations were removed, the EPS was much drier than the XPS—the EPS had only 4.8 percent moisture by volume, compared to 18.9 percent moisture content for the XPS. After 30 days of drying time, the EPS had only 0.7 percent moisture by volume, while the XPS still contained 15.7 percent moisture.

The high moisture absorption rate of XPS in real-world settings is further seen in a 2012 report from the U.S. Dept. of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). Their researchers found that XPS insulation installed below grade for 15 years had absorbed 67 percent or more moisture.

3.  TARGET AN APPROPRIATE COMPRESSIVE STRENGTH

EPS insulation resists moisture better than XPS, including on buried foundations where it is in regular contact with wetted soil.

EPS insulation resists moisture better than XPS, including on buried foundations where it is in regular contact with wetted soil.

One of the best ways to save money on rigid foam insulation installed under concrete slabs is to ensure the material is not over-engineered. A common design assumption leads to specification of rigid foam strengths that are many orders of magnitude higher than necessary, which can double the insulation material cost.

Without getting into extensive technical details and mathematical formulas, the problem is engineers often use an overly conservative approach for insulation under concrete slabs. Many designers assume that point loads applied to a slab, such as those from the wheels of a forklift, transfer to the insulation in a triangular load path. Yet, concrete slabs distribute loads more uniformly than this, which means the insulation does not need as high of a compressive resistance as when one assumes a concentrated triangular load path.

An overly conservative design approach often results in specification of a high compressive resistance XPS product, when a more cost-effective EPS would offer sufficient strength. Since XPS typically costs more per inch than EPS, this is wasted money that comes off the contractor’s bottom line.

A simple solution for contractors is to ask the designers if they are using a formula from the Theory of Plates on Elastic Foundations, which take into account how slabs and insulation behave together. A resource to point them to for example calculations is the article “Right-sizing Under-slab Insulation,” in the April 2014 issue of Structure magazine.

CONCLUSION

With building owners’ growing desire to save money on heating and cooling costs, and increasingly stringent energy codes, contractors will be installing below-grade and under-slab insulation on more of their projects. EPS insulation out-performs XPS for both long-term thermal resistance and long-term moisture absorption, and EPS comes in a variety of compressive strengths suitable for nearly all building projects. With the highest R-value per dollar, EPS is the cost effective insulation choice.

Modern Contractor Solutions Magazine, June 2014 Digital Issue

EPS QUESTIONS?

 

Ram Mayilvahanan

Ram Mayilvahanan

Contact Ram Mayilvahanan, Insulfoam’s Product-Marketing Manager

Ram.Mayilvahanan@insulfoam.com

Connect with Ram on LinkedIn  |  Follow Insulfoam on LinkedIn

Read more on Insulfoam.com

 

Maggie Daley Park to Turn Garage into Rolling Hills- ABC Chicago News

More news coverage on the use of InsulFoam Geofoam in Chicago’s newest and biggest downtown attractions, Maggie Daley Park. When complete, the new park will have a distinctive presence with signature elements like rock-climbing sculptures, an ice-skating ribbon, and play garden.  Read more in the latest and on-going news coverage on details and view the project’s job site camera:

Geofoam Helps Mold the Construction of Chicago’s New Downtown Maggie Daley Park.

-  Foam Blocks Form Hilly Landscape at Maggie Daley Park Site, Chicago Sun-Times

Originally aired and published on  ABC 7 Chicago News, by Paul Meincke

chicago abc_maggie daleyBuilding a park on top of a parking garage is an engineering question whose answer rests with the new Maggie Daley Park on Chicago’s lakefront.

In the shadow of towers made of concrete and steel, there are building blocks of a different sort. Thousands of them are being layered together to give shape to what will be Maggie Daley Park.

“We’re going to transform what was a flat, sort of uninviting area into a gem for Chicago that compliments Millenium Park,” said Chicago Park District CEO Michael Kelly.

That transformation has a lot to do with topography. When this 20-acre park is done, its northeast corner will sit 30 feet higher than the southwest. That’s a lot of dirt. And dirt weighs a lot. And a lot of weight would not be welcome atop the two story parking garage that sits directly underneath. So, what do you use? Geofoam.

“Geofoam is essentially Styrofoam. It’s lightweight fill,” Kelly said

It’s 100 times lighter than soil. Geofoam isn’t a new concept. It was used here before, but there’s a lot more of it now, 75,000 cubic yards of it will be sculpted and tacked down to create a rolling terrain.

On top of the geofoam goes the dirt which will be deep enough in spots to accommodate the roots of one-thousand new trees. If you’d never seen the geofoam going in, you’d never know it was there.

“That’s essentially the best compliment we could get once this park is open and that is that people don’t realize that it’s a park constructed on top of a garage,” said project engineer Nichole Sheehan. “It’s a park that people are going to love and hopefully come to all the time.”

The park district has been recording its birth with time lapse camera, from barren garage roof to the building of baby hills, and when the park’s soft opening comes next fall, this is the vision. Three of the 20 acres devoted to a children’s playground. Just up the path, a 25 foot climbing wall, and when the cold months come, a feed of built in refrigerant will convert that path into a 400 meter ice skating ribbon – attracting old Hans Brinkers or perhaps young Blackhawks.

From debris dating back to the great Chicago fire to geofoam, this piece of Chicago has undergone remarkable change over the years.

In the late 40′s and early 50′s, there were lots of railroad, lots of parking that over the years goes went away or went underground.

“Somewhere way down there, there’s fill,” Kelly said. “There’s probably some old railroad scrap. Now we’re standing on geofoam and we’re building a green park. We’re building a 20 acre green roof is essentially what we’re doing with a thousand trees.”

The first of the trees come soon. The grand opening of Maggie Daley Park comes next Spring. Its birthing thus far carries four words welcomed in urban re-design.

Maggie Daley Park carries a roughly $55 million price tag. Most of that comes from parking garage lease money and private contributions along with five million in park district capital funds.

 

Project Profile: Target Retail Store Saves 25% Cost Savings in Insulation with EPS

Target  |  King of Prussia, PA  |  View Project Profile (Pdf)

R-Tech Below Grade provided 25% cost savings in insulation on the project without sacrificing performance.

November 7 2013 018

The Target store located in King of Prussia, PA was constructed different than most and was not built as a slab on grade.  The bottom level of the building is a parking garage while the retail space is located on the second level.  Target used InsulGrade R-Tech as a between slab insulation as a way of insulating the floor of the retail space and providing a thermal barrier between the concrete planks and the floor slab.

DOW XPS was initially specified on the Target project, however; R-Tech was substituted and provided a substantial cost savings while providing both long-term stable and non-degrading R-Value.

PROBLEM & SOLUTION

Space was a challenge for this Target project as the parking garage is on the ground level and the actual retail floor is on the second level.  Concrete planks were installed as the base substrate.  R-Tech was then installed over the plank to insulate the interior of the retail space from the open parking garage underneath.  A topping slab was then poured over the R-Tech to create the retail floor.  The R-Tech insulation has a long-term stable R-Value and is eligible for an Insulfoam 20-Year Thermal Performance Warranty … a warranty that’s not prorated or limited to a percentage of the published R-Value.

InsulGrade R-Tech features a premium factory-applied laminate polymeric facer that is virtually impervious to moisture, keeps water from entering the insulation, and away from concrete foundations and slabs.  Available in 4′ x 8′ panels and thicknesses starting at 3/8″, with compressive strengths from 10-50 psi.

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Target (6)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Target (15)

Target (14)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

View Project Profile (Pdf)

PROJECT DETAILS:

EPS vs. XPS

  • Both EPS and XPS are closed-cell insulations
  • EPS and XPS below grade insulations are covered under the same standard- ASTM C578
  • EPS has a more stable R-value and less long-term moisture retention than XPS
  • XPS is 20-40% more expensive for the same compressive strength

Cost Effective

  • Highest R-value per dollar
  • 100%, 20 year R-value warranty
  • 10-30% less than XPS insulations

Green From the Start

  • Up to 20 LEED points possible
  • 100% recyclable
  • contains up to 15% recycled content
  • Minimal job site waste
  • No thermal drift
  • Helps preserve energy and fossil fuels

R-Tech Uses

R-Tech has been used successfully for numerous commercial, industrial and residential applications:

  • Below grade insulation
  • Waterproofing protection board
  • Cavity walls
  • Interior walls
  • Cold storage & freezers
  • Sheathing
  • Concrete panel insulation
  • Concrete slabs
  • Radiant heated floors

PROJECT OR EPS QUESTIONS

Jason Myers

Jason Myers, Insulfoam Territory Sales Manager

Contact Jason Myers, Insulfoam Territory Sales Manager

Cell:  609-385-8930

Email:  Jason.Myers@insulfoam.com

Connect with Jason on LinkedIn  |  Follow Insulfoam on LinkedIn

 

EPS: Not Just for Insulation Anymore

Moller Field

Moller Field

Moller Field, Geofoam Installation

Moller Field, Geofoam Installation

Expanded polystyrene (EPS) Geofoam has been used as a geotechnical material since the 1960s. EPS Geofoam is approximately 1% the weight of soil and less than 10% the weight of other lightweight fill alternatives. As a lightweight fill, EPS Geofoam reduces the loads imposed on adjacent and underlying soils and structures.

Moller Field, Geofoam Installation

Moller Field, Geofoam Installation

Sitka Alaska has found a solution to an ever present engineering challenge. It’s not just another tool in the tool box, it is the tool… EPS Geofoam. The Geofoam solution has made the reconstruction of Sitka’s Moller Field, the “Field of Dreams”. Dating back to the 50′s, it was considered the premier baseball field of Southeast Alaska. Over its history it became a horrible marsh due to the deep poor soils it was built on. Today it is the only all-turf field in Alaska.

The field’s reconstructionsuccess was due in large part to Geofoam. Geofoams’ use reduced the overall weight of the field and gave rigidity to the otherwise waterbed like third class field that it was. Today it is the field the rest of the state wished it had.

More Geofoam articles and profiles:

INSULFOAM QUESTIONS

Bernie

Bernard Droege, Insulfoam Territory Manager

Contact Bernard Droege, Insulfoam Territory Manager

Bernard.Droege@insulfoam.com

Connect with Bernard on LinkedIn

Read more on Insulfoam.com

Specialty Building & Packaging Components Cost Less with EPS

Lightweight Architectural Shapes

Building Components – EIFS & Stucco Products – Packaging – OEM Parts

Insulfoam's

Insulfoam’s custom shapes machine can create a lightweight yet strong foundation to match any design.

When it comes to architectural shapes, if you can design it we can bring it to life.  No matter how big, small, detailed or complex, creating dramatic interiors and exterior details, intricate packaging, EIFS and stucco products, or original equipment manufacturing (OEM) components, Insulfoam’s custom shapes machine can create a lightweight yet strong foundation to match anything you can dream up.

Shapes can be produced exactly to your specifications or chosen directly from our Architectural Elements Collection catalog.

EPS Is Field Tested & Proven for 50+ Years

  • Highest quality closed-cell foam
  • Less expensive than PVC and other foam shape/packaging options
  • Custom cuts are no additional charge
  • Economical for shipping
  • Guaranteed to hold its shape
  • Less than 3% shrinkage compared to 8% with EVA
  • Will not collapse or breakdown
  • Holds no moisture, stays dry in exterior and marine applications

Architectural Shapes

Ideals for resorts, retail chains, store fixtures, commercial and residential applications Insulfoam can help create:

  • Columns & Bases
  • Pediments & Arches
  • Arches
  • Wall Caps
  • Cornices
  • Eves
  • Ceiling Tiles & Panels
  • Reveals & Bands
  • Intricate Mouldings
  • Custom Medallions, Quatrefoils, Quoins
  • Wood Beams & Cast Stone
  • Theatrical Sets & Props
  • Fireplace Surrounds
  • Exterior Signage
  • Shutters… and MORE!

EIFS & Stucco Products

A natural insulation product for IEFS and Stucco wall systems.  Insulfoam can manufacture EPS in a large range of block and panel sizes, and in a wide assortment of shapes and densities.  In addition, Insulfoam offers a long-term, stable R-Value and has excellent dimensional stability, compressive strength and water resistant properties.

Packaging & OEM Parts

Insulfoam helps create super strong, yet light weight packaging components, large crates, internal product components such as cushions and seating, floatation and marine foam, refrigeration and more!

CAD Shapes Machine

CAD Shapes Machine

CAD Shapes Machine Capabilities

  • Shapes sizes up to 16 feet long
  • Extreme cutting dimensions:  X:  192″ – Y:  48″ – Z:  144″
  • Accuracy ± .002″/foot (0.0167 mm/m)

A Truly Green, High-Performance, & Economical Design Option

Engineered for Versatility

  • Available in 0.5″ – 40″ product thicknesses
  • The right product for any job.  Available in multiple densities, compressive strengths and panel sizes

Cost-Effective

  • 30-40% less than other architectural shape options
  • Light weight foam less expensive to ship and easier to install
  • Using EPS for simulated concrete, stone and wood components is much more economical and responsible than heavy wood & stone building materials.

Environmentally Sustainable

  • 100% recyclable, may contain up to 20% recycled
  • Does not support mold or mildew growth for improved indoor air quality (IAQ)
  • Naturally water resistant- does not readily absorb moisture from the environment
  • Regional manufacturing throughout North America
Architectural Shapes

Architectural Shapes

EIFS and Stucco Products

EIFS and Stucco Products

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OEM Parts

OEM Parts

 

Foam Packaging

Foam Packaging

 

Project Profile: Idaho Bridge Expansion & Replacement

Topaz Bridge Expansion & Replacement  |  McCammon, Idaho  |  View Project Profile (pdf)

Idaho’s heavily used trucking route and bridge (circa 1940) expands from 2 to 4 lanes to increase safety and capacity using InsulFoam Geofoam.

Geofoam blocks were used to construct a new 500 foot long, 30 foot tall EPS block embankment.  The new embankment supports the US-30 road expansion and its approach to the new Topaz bridge - notably the longest span in the state of Idaho.

Geofoam blocks were used to construct a new 500 foot long, 30 foot tall EPS block embankment. The new embankment supports the US-30 road expansion and its approach to the new Topaz bridge – notably the longest span in the state of Idaho.

Topaz Bridge

The pavement section is constructed on top of the 45 foot tall combined soil & Geofoam block approach fill

Idaho Transportation Department’s first EPS Geofoam project was designed by Terracon Engineers and JUB Engineers of Boise.  EPS was specified as a soil replacing embankment fill material due to poor foundation soils and 2 steel fish culverts that could not bear the weight of traditional soil fill.  A new three-span, bridge replaced the existing bridge (from the 1940′s) crossing rail road tracks and expanding the highway to 4 instead of 2 lanes.  23,000 cubic yards of large block EPS was installed by Scarsella Brother Inc. and supplied by Insulfoam.

THE PROBLEM

The expansion of the US-30 and bridge replacement required a new fill embankment to support the new roadway and bridge approach on a very steep side slope.

The new (600 ft long) expanded bridge clears The Pontneuf River as well as the Union Pacific Railroad tracks, and required a new higher grade of both the bridge structure and the existing roadway to support the new wide and long center spans.

EPS

EPS block fill is partially installed, during bridge construction.

As a result the new bridge approach embankment would be 45-50 feet high, too costly to be retained by conventional concrete cantilever or MSE wall, and raised concerns about global stability.

Further challenges to the project design were the site conditions.  Located adjacent to the Portneuf River, shallow bedrock and loose or soft sediments underlie the new approach embankment.  This both challenged the new roadway embankment’s strength and stability, and limited deep foundation designs required with concrete walls.

THE EPS GEOFOAM FILL SOLUTION

To reach the new bridge’s approach embankment height of 45 feet, engineers chose a combined fill solution.  The lowest 15 feet was a small earthen embankment, while InsulFoam GF constituted the upper 30 feet.  4 1/2 feet of granular fill retained in wire gab ions and an asphalt pavement section were installed directly on top of the EPS blocks to complete the full height of the new embankment.

Custom fabricated "tongs" grip the large EPS blocks without damaging them.

Custom fabricated “tongs” grip the large EPS blocks without damaging them.

The exposed vertical face of the EPS is eventually covered with a protective shotcrete facing.

The exposed vertical face of the EPS is eventually covered with a protective shotcrete facing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The soft sediments underlying the site required the lower earthen embankment to settle (80 days), but the InsulFoam GF block fill required no additional surcharge time or secondary compaction by the contractor.  Traffic moved on the existing roadway throughout the installation of the upper embankment, which was a key factor for the expansion to finish when weather conditions permitted.

Net

Near “Net-Zero” surcharge loads.  The void in between the blocks and the native slope was filled with sand.

The ultra lightweight nature of EPS allowed the total design weight of the tall embankment to be week under the bearing capacity of the poor foundation soils which aided ITD in successfully completing their first EPS Geofoam project.

Geofoam Lightweight Geo-synthetic Fill:

  • Soft Soil Remediation
  • Lateral Load Reduction
  • Slope Stabilization
  • Buried Utility Protection
  • Structural Void Fill
  • Predictable Elastic Modulus
  • Exceptional Strength & Stability
  • Exceeds 75 year Design Life
  • Weather, Insect & Mold Resistant
  • 100% Recyclable

 

MORE GEOFOAM SOLUTIONS IN HIGHWAY CONSTRUCTION

View Project Profile (pdf)

Project Profile: Arizona Deep Residential Retrofit

 Deep Residential Retrofit  |  Phoenix, Arizona  |  View Project Profile (pdf)

1951 abandoned house is transformed into an energy-efficient home.

Arizona

Using strategies including the R-Tech Wall System, the home was able to achieve a high Gold rating certified under the Phoenix Green Construction Code.

Before

Before Retrofit

This Arizona residential retrofit became the first project to be certified under the Phoenix Green Construction Code, receiving a Gold rating from the program. The deep retrofit project aimed to conserve water and energy, on an existing 1,000 square-foot, abandoned house originally built in 1951, and transformed it into a cutting-edge, energy-efficient home with 1,970 square feet, four bedrooms, and two bathrooms. Using strategies including Insulfoam’s R-Tech in the wall assembly the home was able to achieve a high Gold rating. The R-Tech insulation panels are large and can be assembled in the wall system continuously to reduce the amount of gaps in insulation for cold air to escape, or warm air to come in. Reducing gaps and increasing insulation was key to this home being able to reach its energy goals.

THE PROBLEM

During Construction

During Retrofit

The project started with a 1951 home that was stripped and abandoned for over 5 years when it was acquired. The project team’s goals were to turn this 50’s style home into a sustainable residence of strategies on a budget of $95 per square foot, all while in the Arizona heat. The project team took the 1,000 square foot ranch style home and completely renovated the existing living space top to bottom, while adding another 900 square feet of living space. Insulfoam R-Tech was chosen to reach its goals of large reductions in energy use and reduce landfill waste during the construction process.

The R-Tech insulation panels are large and can be assembled in the wall system continuously to reach the following goals:  air infiltration and moisture penetration are eliminated, thermal bridging and thermal shock is greatly reduced, surface cracking is minimized, and the EPS material does not sustain mold and mildew growth. These benefits lead to lowered operating costs to improved occupant comfort. 

THE SOLUTION: R-Tech Wall System

R-Tech has no thermal drift.  Designers are well served knowing the R-Tech thermal properties will remain stable over its entire service life.

R-Tech has no thermal drift. Designers are well served knowing the R-Tech thermal properties will remain stable over its entire service life.

Environmentally Friendly: R-Tech contains no dyes, may contain recycled material and the foam core is 100% recyclable.

User Friendly: R-Tech can be ordered with the InsulSnap feature which scores the product longitudinally at any pre-ordered interval (commonly 16” or 24” o.c.). The InsulSnap feature minimizes labor by enabling the installer to cleanly break the product at the desired width while also minimizing product breakage and waste.

Insect and Mold Resistant: R-Tech is manufactured with an inert additive that deters termites and carpenter ants. R-Tech does not sustain mold and mildew growth.

Water Resistance: R-Tech facers provide a surface that is virtually impervious to moisture.

Jobsite Durability: With a polymeric facer on either side of the R-Tech, it is an extremely flexible and durable insulation.

Stable R-Value: R-Tech has no thermal drift. Designers are well served knowing the R-Tech thermal properties will remain stable over its entire service life. R-Tech is eligible for an Insulfoam 20-Year Thermal Performance Warranty – a warranty that’s not prorated or limited to a percentage of the published R-Value.

Cost Effective: R-Tech is typically less expensive than other comparable insulation products.

Proven Performance: The same fundamental chemistry has been in use since the mid-1950’s, so the actual performance of the product is well known. 

Insulfoam EPS:
From foundation to roof and everything in between

High Performance.  Lower Cost.  Most R-Value Per Dollar.  Many architects and contractors are familiar with EPS insulation as a cost-effective option for roof applications; however, EPS’ benefits expand a wide range making it easier than ever for designers to create an energy efficient building project.  InsulFoam EPS rigid foam insulation has been used for decades by smart industry professionals looking to achieve high thermal properties for a cost-effective price.  In fact, EPS offers more cost savings and higher R-Values than any other rigid insulation.  The benefit of lightweight EPS goes far beyond price, since it also helps contractors significantly decrease material and labor expenses.  View all EPS project profiles:  Roofing, Below Grade, Walls, Geofoam, Premier SIPs.

  • Roof Insulation Systems
  • Below Grade & Under Slab Insulation
  • Wall Insulation
  • Geofoam – Transportation & Earthworks
  • SIPS: Structural Insulated Panels
  • Building Envelope Insulation Systems
  • Architectural & Specialty Shapes
  • O.E.M.: Garage Doors, RVs, Cold Storage & More
  • Commercial & Residential

View Project Profile (pdf)

Foam blocks form hilly landscape at Maggie Daley Park Site, Chicago Sun-Times

Great story in the Chicago Sun-Times about the use of InsulFoam Geofoam in Chicago’s newest and biggest downtown attractions, Maggie Daley Park.  This is a very large geofoam project, the new park will have a distinctive presence with signature elements like rock-climbing sculptures, an ice-skating ribbon, and play garden.  Read more details and view the project’s job site camera:  Geofoam Helps Mold the Construction of Chicago’s New Downtown Maggie Daley Park.

Originally published on Chicago Sun-Times, suntimes.com, by Tina SFondeles

Geofoam

Maggie Daley Park is being formed using GeoFoam, a plastic foam substance that has been used once the ’80′s to create landscape and hills on others flat land.  - Brian Jackson  |  Sun-Times

Chicago’s shoveling days should be over, but the future Maggie Daley Park kind of looks like a winter wonderland, full of white building blocks.

Those giant blocks of Geofoam will transform flat land into a hilly landscape at the park site, which spans 20 acres and is bordered on the west by Columbus, the north by Randolph, the south by Monroe and the east by Lake Shore Drive.

Landscape architects say the lightweight, cost-effective, environmentally safe and recyclable fill material is key to creativity. The expanded polystyrene is being used around the world and locally to contour flat Midwestern land.

At Maggie Daley Park, crews are using old Geofoam — already part of Daley Bicentennial Plaza — and a lot of new blocks to shape the park. From various vantage points around the park, onlookers can watch as the foam is delivered every day — six truckloads — and crews have already filled the northeast and northwest corners of the park, and are moving south.

The foam installation will be done by early summer. By September, dirt will be placed over the foam. It’s even being used for the park’s ice skating ribbon.

“For the ice ribbon, you’ve got up and down. It’s not just flat,” said Lowell Zarzueta, of Walsh Construction, who is overseeing part of the second phase of the project. “For you to go up high, you almost have to skate super fast, just to get over that little hump.”

He said the foam is being used to create a hill that will be even with Randolph Street, making it easy for people to come into the park. There are also peaks at the northeast corner, where a picnic area is being built.

“With Maggie Daley Park, you’re going to have hills. The park will offer these beautiful vistas of Lake Michigan, which it never had there,” said Bob O’Neill, president of the Grant Park Conservancy. “In order to do that, to get these hills, and these rolling meadows over a whole flat area in Chicago, to get any topography, especially on top of a structure, you need Geofoam.”

Crews on Friday said deliveries of Geofoam are about half done. The mass quantity of snow Chicago received this year did slow work a bit, but crews said phase two of the park — earthwork, utilities, paving, architectural and program elements, soil placement and planting — is on schedule for completion in October.

Here’s how crews are layering the park: First it was excavated, the dirt placed in nearby Peanut Park to be reused. Tar was put over the garage, then a layer of black tarp. It’s then tested to make sure it’s waterproofed to prevent leaks to the garage below. Four inches of stone are placed on top, and then the foam is placed with yet another black tarp over it. Dirt will go over the foam.

Come next spring, the ground will become green again, as landscaping and planting will be in full swing.

This isn’t the first time the product has been used in Chicago. It was also used for the Daley Plaza renovation — where the trees are now planted, and for the Soldier Field remodeling, where Geofoam was placed as fill over the garage, creating a hilly and grassy landscape near Soldier Field and the Field Museum.

Peter Schaudt, the landscape architect behind both renovations, said Geofoam played a major role in the projects.

“I think it allows you the freedom to be creative,” said Schaudt, of Hoerr Schaudt Landscape Architects. “It allows you to really model the land in an artificial way, and the great thing is when you put the soil and lawn and trees on top of it, it’s an illusion.”

The product also is very strong, he said. “It never dematerializes. It stays the same size. At Soldier Field, it was used to support 18,000 pounds.

“It’s much more substantial than just putting a thin veneer over a roof, and it allows you to create a lot of great and dramatic changes,” Schaudt said.

A soft opening for the $55 million park, named for the late wife of former Mayor Richard M. Daley, is scheduled for fall, and the park will be officially completed by spring 2015. A park district website, maggiedaleyparkconstruction.org features two webcams to view the construction.

Email: tsfondeles@suntimes.com  |  Twitter: @TinaSfon

Baltimore Area Bike Retailer Expands with R-Tech Insulation

Photos by Hal Sachs of project’s design firm, Ammon Heisler Sachs, PC and courtesy of Race Pace Bicycles

With five Baltimore area locations, 36-year old bike retailer Race Pace Bicycles isn’t slowing down.  The company’s Ellicott City store, will soon to be relocated to a nearby site at the junction of Centennial Lane and Route 40.  This location houses its retail operation that caters exclusively to women. Called Bella Bikes, the women’s store was the first of its kind in the U.S. when it opened in 2008.

Insulfoam R-Tech was used as the exterior wall insulation for the building’s metal wall panel system , 20 psi, 2″ x 4 x 8 Sheets.  The benefits of R-Tech as an exterior insulation are important:

  • R-Tech has a dense foam structure
  • Water-resistant film skinned surface
  • Integrated weep channeling
  • R-Tech offers a natural barrier against water in any form
  • Air infiltration and moisture penetration are eliminated
  • Thermal bridging and thermal shock is greatly reduced.
  • R-Tech combines versatility and durability for a complete long-term working system.

The Race Pace project has been a beauty and we would like to thank all that have been involved:

Photos by Hal Sachs of project's design firm, Ammon Heisler Sachs, PC and courtesy of Race Pace Bicycles

Photos by Hal Sachs of project’s design firm, Ammon Heisler Sachs, PC and courtesy of Race Pace Bicycles

Photos by Hal Sachs of project's design firm, Ammon Heisler Sachs, PC and courtesy of Race Pace Bicycles

Photos by Hal Sachs of project’s design firm, Ammon Heisler Sachs, PC and courtesy of Race Pace Bicycles

Photos by Hal Sachs of project's design firm, Ammon Heisler Sachs, PC and courtesy of Race Pace Bicycles

Photos by Hal Sachs of project’s design firm, Ammon Heisler Sachs, PC and courtesy of Race Pace Bicycles

Photos by Hal Sachs of project's design firm, Ammon Heisler Sachs, PC and courtesy of Race Pace Bicycles

Photos by Hal Sachs of project’s design firm, Ammon Heisler Sachs, PC and courtesy of Race Pace Bicycles

Photos by Hal Sachs of project's design firm, Ammon Heisler Sachs, PC and courtesy of Race Pace Bicycles

Photos by Hal Sachs of project’s design firm, Ammon Heisler Sachs, PC and courtesy of Race Pace Bicycles

Photos by Hal Sachs of project's design firm, Ammon Heisler Sachs, PC and courtesy of Race Pace Bicycles

Photos by Hal Sachs of project’s design firm, Ammon Heisler Sachs, PC and courtesy of Race Pace Bicycles

Photos by Hal Sachs of project's design firm, Ammon Heisler Sachs, PC and courtesy of Race Pace Bicycles

Photos by Hal Sachs of project’s design firm, Ammon Heisler Sachs, PC and courtesy of Race Pace Bicycles

More on Race Pace Bicycles:

Race Pace Website  |  Race Pace on Facebook  |  Race Pace on Twitter

PROJECT OR EPS QUESTIONS

Jason Myers

Jason Myers, Insulfoam Territory Sales Manager

Contact Jason Myers, Insulfoam Territory Sales Manager

Cell:  609-385-8930

Email:  Jason.Myers@insulfoam.com

Connect with Jason on LinkedIn  |  Follow Insulfoam on LinkedIn

Right-sizing Under-slab Insulation

Structure Magazine, April 2014

Structure Magazine, April 2014

Originally published in Structure Magazine, Structural Economics section, April 2014

Structural Economics:  cost benefits, value engineering, economic analysis, life cycle costing and more…

Applying the Theory of Plates on Elastic Foundations to Save Material Costs.

Article (pdf)  |  Digital Edition

A common, simplifying assumption used for specifying polystyrene insulation under concrete slabs results in material costs that are significantly higher than necessary. Using a design equation based on a more rigorous analysis of the design conditions can help avoid over-engineering the insulation and save thousands of dollars on the project.

Rigid foam insulations, such as expanded polystyrene (EPS), have been used successfully under concrete slabs for more than 40 years. Such insulation helps reduce heat loss to the ground in residences, cold storage units, warehouses and other commercial, institutional and industrial structures.

The problem is that designers often do not adequately account for how the concrete slab and underlying subgrade interact. Many designers assume that a concentrated load applied to the slab transfers to the rigid foam subgrade through a triangular load path. This assumption, while not necessarily incorrect, can be very conservative.

Concrete slabs distribute loads in a more even fash- ion, which means that the insulation does not need as high a compressive resistance compared to the typical simplified approach. A more accurate approach to this problem is to use the Modulus of Subgrade Reaction (K) to determine the slab’s deflection and the resultant stress applied to the elastic insulation subgrade. The pressure beneath a given slab under a load can be determined using the following formula, found in the Theory of Plates on Elastic Foundations, as described by Timoshenko and Woinowsky-Krieger:

Pressure on the subgrade = (P/8)√(K/D) Where:

  • P = concentrated load on concrete slab in pounds
  • K = Subgrade reaction modulus of total EPS insulation in pounds per cubic inch (k/t)
  • k = Stiffness of one inch of EPS insulation in pounds per square inch
  • t = EPS insulation thickness in inches
  • D = Eh3 / 12(1-u2)
  • E = Modulus of elasticity of concrete in pounds per square inch (57000√ f’c)
  • f’c = specified concrete compressive strength in pounds per square inch
  • h = Thickness of concrete slab in inches
  • u = Poisson’s ratio for concrete (0.15)

An example illustrates the significant difference in the calculated results.

EPS insulation in an under-slab application

EPS insulation in an under-slab application

Take the case of a warehouse with a 6-inch-thick, 2,500-psi concrete slab on 2 inches of EPS insulation with a rated stiffness of 360 psi for one inch. Forklifts to be used in the building impart 8,000 pounds of force at the wheel, which has a 6-inch by 10-inch tire footprint on the slab. If the designer assumes that this load distributes at a 45-degree angle through the slab, the 8,000 pounds ends up distributed over approximately 396 square inches [(6 + 6 + 6)(6 + 10 + 6)] of the insulation’s surface, for an average pressure of 20.2 psi.

Taking into account the fact that concrete slabs distribute loads more evenly, using the Modulus of Subgrade Reaction method, the pressure on the insulation is actually much lower – approximately 1.85 psi. Since EPS insulation rated for 1.85 psi costs about 50% less than other rigid foam insulations rated for the much higher value of 20.2 psi, using the more precise method reduces insulation costs substantially. In fact, the 20.2 psi value is beyond the elastic range of the EPS material, and long-term creep effects must be taken into account when using that design approach. With:

P = 8000 pounds, h = 6 inches, f’c = 2,500 psi,

E = 57,000√ 2,500 = 2,850,000 psi, u = 0.15,

k = 360 psi for 1-inch EPS

K = 360 psi / 2 inches = 180 pci

D = Eh3/12(1-u2) = 2,850,000 (6)3/12(1–(0.15)2) = 52,480,818 lb-in

Pressure on EPS = (P/8)√(K/D) =

8000/8 √(180 / 52,480,818) = 1.85 psi.

The k value can be found by consulting the insulation manufacturer. One EPS insulation brand available throughout the U.S. has k values ranging from 360 to 1860 psi for one inch of insulation thickness. The specific value depends on the product type selected. Note that increasing the thickness of EPS insulation decreases the overall subgrade modulus.

Using the above method to determine the pressure that a slab transfers to the subgrade allows for proper specification of rigid foam insulation and avoids over-engineering the insulation for compressive strength. In the example application discussed in this article, the simplifying assumption of triangular load transfer through a concrete slab results in a compressive force on the insulation 11 times higher than the result from the more rigorous (but not much more complicated) analysis. Specifying higher compressive resistance insulation than necessary not only is overly conservative for the given design, it also does not improve the insulation’s thermal performance, and the cost to the project is excessive and unnecessary. It is a lose-lose scenario.

Article (pdf)  |  Digital Edition

ARTICLE QUESTIONS

Joe Pasma

Joe Pasma, Insulfoam Technical Manager

Contact Joe Pasma, PE, Insulfoam Technical Manager

800.469.8870 x104

joe.pasma@insulfoam.com

Ask Joe to Connect With You on LinkedIn | Follow Premier SIPS on LinkedIn

Read more on Insulfoam.com

New Mexico Schools Save on Construction Costs with EPS Insulation

 

APS

APS Food & Nutrition Services Kitchen & Storage Warehouse, R-Tech Installation

Albuquerque Public Schools (APS) in New Mexico have been undertaking a massive classroom and educational rebuild and remodel.  All new construction has been designed using sustainable materials and energy-efficient principles with LEED certification as the end goal.

As part of new buildings under construction is a 108,000 sq. ft. central Food and Nutrition Services Kitchen and Storage Warehouse.

Originally specified XPS was replaced with Insulfoam R-Tech VI 40 psi over the sub slab freezer floor.  The project utilized 2 lifts of 3″ R-Tech instead of 3 lifts of 2″ XPS ultimately saving the  concrete contractor approximately $20,000 in material costs.

(More photos below)

Useful industry publications references on specifying EPS in below grade or under slab applications:

APS

APS Food & Nutrition Services Kitchen & Storage Warehouse, R-Tech Installation

APS

APS Food & Nutrition Services Kitchen & Storage Warehouse, R-Tech Installation

APS

APS Food & Nutrition Services Kitchen & Storage Warehouse, R-Tech Installation

PROJECT DETAILS

Questions on this project or application?

Travis Montgomery, Insulfoam Territory Manager

Travis Montgomery, Insulfoam Territory Manager

Contact Travis Montgomery, CSI, Insulfoam Territory Manager

Email: Travis.Montgomery@insulfoam.com

Connect with Travis on LinkedIn | Follow Insulfoam on LinkedIn

Read more on Insulfoam.com

 

Question & Response: XPS, EPS, and Dock Flotation

Useful references to support this article:  NEW moisture absorption data regarding XPS, moisture absorption and the effects on R-Value was released in March 2014.  Read more in the updated summary and in subsequent 2008 test program documents:

Originally posted on Construction Specifier online, Author Response to Reader Question, February 18, 2014

After the feature, “Out of Sight, Not Out of Mind: Specifying Thermal Insulation Below-grade and Under-slab” ran in our December 2013 issue, we received a letter from retired architect, Joseph S. Bond. Mr. Bond wrote that the article in question “seems to reverse the findings” from both his personal and professional experience with expanded and extruded polystyrene (EPS and XPS):

I am a retired architect, and may not have the best current information on EPS and XPS, but when these two products were mistakenly used as ‘flotation’ for lake docks and later removed, the XPS bales were like new and had no water soakage beyond the first (1/8 in.). However, I remember the EPS bales were waterlogged to the extent it took two people to even carry the bales. On top of this, the EPS bales showed a lot of disintegration due to freeze-thaw.

My observations may have been on EPS that had much less density (1-1/2 -2 #) than implied by The Construction Specifier article, but many reading will probably have the same concerns and begin to question the piece’s validity.

We asked the article’s author, Ram Mayilvahanan, to respond.

Mr. Bond raises a frequently discussed point about the long-term problems that arise when using rigid foam insulations that do not conform to ASTM standards.

Since insulation, especially below-grade, is out of sight, it can also be out of mind when it comes to ensuring the product being used at the job site matches the product that was specified.  As with other building products, there are numerous companies making rigid foam insulations, often with varying degrees of quality.  We building professionals share the responsibility in making sure the selected right-foam manufacturer can consistently deliver product that meets the specified performance.

To ensure performance on key factors, including moisture resistance, it is crucial to not only specify foam insulation that has been manufactured and tested to meet ASTM C578, Standard Specification fro Rigid, Cellular Polystyrene Thermal Insulation, but also to ensure the manufacturer supplying the foam insulation can consistently deliver quality product.  A manufacturer’s longevity and track record with past projects should help in assessing this.

As an example, the floating green on the 14th hole in the world-famous Coeur d’Alene Golf resort in Idaho – considered on the of the coolest shots in golf- was built with EPS.  It continues to be a testimony to well-engineered flotation insulation.  Projects like this help establish the ability of manufacturers to deliver quality product.

Mr. Bond’s observation is a timely reminder for us building professionals that it pays to make sure the right product gets to the job site.

EPS QUESTIONS?

Ram Mayilvahanan

Ram Mayilvahanan

Contact Ram Mayilvahanan, Insulfoam’s Product-Marketing Manager

Ram.Mayilvahanan@insulfoam.com

Connect with Ram on LinkedIn  |  Follow Insulfoam on LinkedIn

Read more on Insulfoam.com