Effective Drainage for Flat Roofs

Directing water to or from specific areas of the roof can be achieved easily with Tapered EPS cricket and saddle systems.  EPS can be used with numerous other insulation systems or integrated into a total Tapered InsulFoam package and will help eliminate ponding water in either new or re-roofing applications.

A common tapered insulation solution for buildings with parapet walls and interior drains consists of compound mitered panels with overlay crickets.  In the field of the roof, the tapered system will divert the water away from the parapets, while the crickets and mitered panels will direct water into the valleys and towards the drains.

PROJECT EXAMPLE:  TEMPE, ARIZONA

This six-story apartment complex near Arizona State University consists of 60 mil PVC Carlisle Syntec over 1/4″ Dens Deck Roof Board, 1″ ISO and Insulfoam EPS crickets at the walls and saddles at interior drains over a structural wood deck.

Roofing Contractor:  Petersen Dean Roofing & Solar

IMG_0632   IMG_0641

IMG_0635   IMG_0634

IMG_0645   IMG_0646

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

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.

November 7 2013 017

Target (6)

 

 

 

 

 

 

November 7 2013 028

November 7 2013 029

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

target (1)

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

 

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

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

New Below Grade Data Released: EPS vs. XPS Insulation

The EPS Industry Alliance (EPS IA) has released NEW moisture absorption data regarding XPS, moisture absorption and the effects on R-Value through the latest Technical Bulletin, EPS Below Grade Series 105:   XPS Insulation Extracted After Field Exposure Confirms High Water Absorption & Diminished R-Value, March 2014 (pdf)

EPS IA March 2014

EPS Below Grade Series 105, March 2014

A test program conducted in August 2008 evaluated the field performance of expanded (EPS) and extruded (XPS) polystyrene foam insulation in a side-by-side, below grade application following a continuous 15-year installation period.  When water and R-value retention were compared between EPS and XPS, the results demonstrated that EPS insulation outperformed XPS insulation with better R-value retention and a lower moisture absorption.

In 2013, an independent testing laboratory was again commissioned to evaluate the R-value and water absorption from XPS insulation samples extracted from several field locations and applications. A summary of the 2013 test results reconfirm there is no correlation between the results from standardized laboratory test methods and actual field exposure for XPS water absorption.  Further, the significant loss of R-value associated with XPS water absorption is shown in the summary.  

Read Full Technical Bulletin Summary (pdf)

“Studies show that as much as 25% of energy loss from a structure can be attributed to a lack of insulation. Insulation R-value is directly correlated to maximum energy efficiency in a building envelope; higher R-values translate into increased savings. It is important to understand that in-situ water absorption can diminish the thermal performance of building materials and designers must account for this when evaluating different insulation choices.”

 

Read more on the technical background expanding on the moisture resistance comparison between EPS and XPS conducted in the 2008 test program:

Boosting Thermal Performance For A Reroof

Originally printed in Today’s Facility Manager Magazine, January/February 2014

Article (pdf)

Today's Facility Managers, Jan/Feb 2014

Today’s Facility Manager, Jan/Feb 2014

As with new construction, the insulation chosen for a reroofing project can mean a difference of tens of thousands of dollars in material and labor.  With the range of rigid foam insulation products available, it is possible for facility managers (fms) to reduce costs substantially without sacrificing thermal performance.  The key is understanding product options for insulation, and the physical properties of these options.

Many reroofing jobs involve a recover of an existing metal roof.  While fms can save labor and disposal costs by leaving an existing metal roofing in place, the standing seams make it difficult to create a smooth surface for the recover.  One solution can be found with flute-fill EPS (expanded polystyrene) insulation.  A number of rigid foam insulation manufacturers offer these products to fit the spaces between a metal roof’s flanges.  And an advantage of EPS over other insulations is that it can be custom cut to fit any profile or size of flute, with high compressive strength products also available for use in high traffic conditions.

As these flute-fill insulations are light-weight and fit accurately into the flute, roofing crews can readily lay such products into a metal roof’s channels, providing a stable, even base for additional roof layers.  And because the flute-fill insulation fills the flutes completely, heat transfer into or out of a building is blocked.

Another common challenge of reroofing is the need to install a large quantity of smaller insulation boards over the existing roofing.  This can be labor-intensive as crews must carry and place many separate boards.  One way to alleviate this is to use fanfold panel bundles.  Economical, code approved EPS fanfold bundles are available in accordion style sets.  By working with these bundles, crews can handle more material faster.

Such products also help prevent thermal leakage by avoiding multiple joints.  Further, fanfold products come with polymeric and metalized faces that provide enhanced moisture protection.

Another area where the choice of insulation can dramatically impact a reroofing budget is the conversion of a flat deck to a positive sloped roof.  In such cases, the slope is often built up with insulation.  Since most rigid foam insulation is available in sheets no more than a few inches thick, achieving the necessary slope can require stacking numerous sheets on top of one another.  EPS insulation is available up to 40″ thick and can be pre-cut to virtually any slope.  Such tapered EPS can reduce roof insulation costs up to 30% compared to other tapered rigid foam products, through material, labor, and also adhesive or fastener savings.

Insulation choice also impacts a facility’s energy efficiency year after year.  Often, manufacturers report only the initial R-value, when the product comes out of the factory.  However, many rigid foam insulations use blowing agents that boost initial R-value, but diffuse over time, losing up to 20% of the initial R-value while in service.  Fms should look at long-term R-value to ensure there is no thermal loss.  In the realm of rigid foams, EPS offers high insulating R-values.  And engineered EPS is a stable non-degrading product, which leads many manufacturers to provide a long-term warranty of the product’s full R-value.

Article (pdf)

EPS QUESTIONS

Contact Ram Mayilvahanan, Insulfoam’s Product-Marketing Manager

Roof Assembly Insulation: The Case for EPS

Originally printed in Architectural Products Magazine, On Spec, Insulation, Nov 2013

Read full article (pdf)

Architectural Products, Nov 2013

Architectural Products, Nov 2013

Design professionals typically want to use as much insulation as possible, not only to comply with building codes, but also to build to the highest standards.  Building owners want enough insulation to keep heating and cooling costs down, without having to ‘pay through the roof’ in upfront costs.  Performance vs. cost:  where is the middle ground that makes sense for both parties?

To answer that question, it is important to look at how insulation is designed.  For many years, the use of rigid foam insulation was based not the R-value per inch – the higher the better.  Today, well-informed design professionals are cognizant of the design optimum and the realization that insulation suffers from the law of diminishing returns.  Any insulation installed beyond the design optimum provides little additional energy savings, but costs a lot of money.  Efficient insulation design comes down to choosing the product that balances upfront costs with the energy savings offered over the life of the building.

So, which insulation gives the best ‘bang for the buck?’  To understand performance vs. expenditure across different rigid insulations, it is important to consider the R-value per dollar spent on both materials and labor.

Because material and labor costs for insulation vary by market, specific R-value per dollar figures often shift, but EPS consistently rates highest when compared to other rigid foam insulations.  Also, EPS comes in much higher thicknesses (up to 40 in.) in a single-layer than does XPS or polyisocyanurate, so higher R-values can be achieved with fewer layers, lowering on-job labor time and cost.  Plus, EPS does not suffer any loss in R-value over the life of the building, so the design R-value for EPS is the long-term R-value.

With that in mind, here are some increasingly popular applications in which design professionals use EPS to comply with building codes while reducing material and labor costs for roof insulation.  Read full article (pdf) to learn more about:

  • Roof recovers requiring a separator board
  • Metal roof recovers
  • Bilt-up sloped roofs
  • High-traffic areas
  • Comparison of common rigid foam insulations

“In the end, the right insulation product is the one that offers the optimum balance of performance and economy.  Such a product satisfies both the design professional and the building owner, leading to a building that is code compliant, built to high performance standards and economical enough to deliver lifetime energy savings that justify the upfront costs.”

Long-term is the Right term – LTTR and Insulfoam Insulations

Insulfoam SP Roof Insulation

Insulfoam SP Roof Insulation

Long-Term Thermal Resistance (LTTR) rocked the building world in early 2014 with the announcement of lowering R-values for a number of insulation products – products that lose stability over the longer term.  But NOT Insulfoam insulations.

  • During manufacturing, Insulfoam does not use any ingredients that degrade or destabilize over time
  • Insulfoam insulations DO NOT lose R-value even over the long-term, a characteristic that has been verified by independent long-term testing

With Insulfoam, you get what you pay for: an insulation product that retains the same R-value when first purchased.  Which is why Insulfoam insulation is backed by a LONG-TERM thermal warranty.  For more information, contact your local Insulfoam rep.

LEARN MORE

Insulfoam Geofoam

Insulfoam Geofoam

Industry Articles on EPS Insulations:

Premier SIPS by Insulfoam

Premier SIPS by Insulfoam

Visit Insulfoam.com

Contact your local Insulfoam rep

Specifying Thermal Insulation Below-Grade & Under-Slab

Originally posted in The Construction Specifier Magazine (pg 34), December 2013

The Construction Specifier, December 2013

The Construction Specifier, December 2013

Read full article (pdf)

In the push to forge more energy-prudent builders, design professionals are leaving no part of the envelope unexamined.  Walls and roofs have always presented a clear target for better thermal performance.  Somewhat less obvious are surfaces that are out of sight – below-grade foundation walls and floor slabs.  Well-engineered insulation in these locations can provide significant energy savings.

What separates below-grade insulation types from one another?  Moisture retention, R-value stability, and compressive strength are the key performance attributes to consider when evaluating and comparing different below-grade insulations.

Installing thermal insulation on below-grade foundation or perimeter walls and under slabs is important because un-insulated concrete provides a thermal and moisture bridge between the heated building interior and the relatively cooler earth surrounding the building, or through exposed slab edges to the outside air.

“While insulation strength is important consideration, erroneous design assumptions can lead to over-engineering for compressive resistance, adding unnecessary material costs.” – Ram Mayilvahanan, Insulfoam Product-Marketing Manager

Continue reading the full article, Out of Sight, NOT Out of Mind (pdf), in The Construction Specifier Magazine and learn about:

  • How installing thermal insulation on foundations help much more than just saving energy
  • How XPS and EPS compare with regard to moisture retention
  • What are the degrading effects of moisture on R-value
  • What specialty insulations for enhanced moisture protection are available

Read full article (pdf)

EPS Questions?

Ram Mayilvahanan

Ram Mayilvahanan

Contact Ram Mayilvahanan, Insulfoam’s Product-Marketing Manager

Rigid Foam Insulations for High-Performance Building Envelopes

Originally posted in Construction Canada, July 2013

Keeping the Outside Out and the Inside In:  A look at rigid foam insulations for high-performance building envelopes

By Ram Mayilvahanan, Insulfoam Product Marketing Manager

ConstructionCanada_coverIf the concept of building science could be distilled to one essential sentence, it would be the now-famous aphorism of Joseph Lstiburek, PhD, P.Eng., building science expert and adjunct professor of civil engineering at the University of Toronto.

“The perfect wall is an environmental separator- it has to keep the outside out and the inside in,” he wrote .

Lstiburek’s “perfect wall” (or roof or slab) includes four primary layers:

  • rain control;
  • air control;
  • vapour control; and
  • thermal control.

For the last category, specifiers can select from numerous insulation types; fiberglass batts to spray foam and rigid foam boards, as well as integrated systems such as structural insulated panels (SIPs).  This article examines the various performance attributes and product options for expanded polystyrene (EPS) insulation in high-performance building envelopes.

Read the full article  in Construction Canada’s feature article, Keeping the Outside Out and the Inside In.

See more in Construction Canada’s July digital issue

Roofing Video: Tapered EPS roofing insulation made easy

View for yourself how easy Insulfoam’s tapered EPS insulation is to cut and install on this Arizona single ply TPO roofing project installation.  Tapered InsulFoam is cut from the same high-quality stock as our flat InsulFoam products, and meets or exceeds the requirements of ASTM C578, Standard Specification for Rigid, Cellular Polystyrene Thermal Insulation.  Tapered panels were used for increasing slope for additional drainage and offers a long-term, stable R-Value and has excellent dimensional stability, compressive strength and water resistant properties.  Video provided by StarkWeather Roofing.

Project:  Gainey Ranch Corporate Center, Scottsdale AZ

Product Used:  InsulFoam II tapered system with crickets under a 115 mil Carlisle SynTec Fleecback system.

Roofing Contractor:  Starkweather Roofing, Inc.

Project Photos:  Tapered InsulFoam installation photos

Gainey Ranch Corporate Center

Gainey Ranch Corporate Center

Advantages to using Tapered InsulFoam roofing insulation:

  • Labor Savings:  there are no complicated filler panel systems.  Tapered InsulFoam can be installed in a single layer for thicknesses up to 40″, and is significantly more cost-effective than extruded polystyrene, perlite and isocyanurate tapered systems.
  • Promoted Positive Drainage:  Tapered InsulFoam is the ideal insulation for both new construction and re-roofing projects in which positive slope is desired or ponded water is a concern
  • Environmentally Friendly:  contains no formaldehyde or ozone-depleting HCFCs, contains recycled material, and is 100% recyclable if ever removed or replaced.
  • Stable R-Value:  designers are well served knowing the product’s thermal properties will remain stable over its entire service life.  There is no thermal drift, so the product is eligible for an Insulfoam 20-year thermal performance warranty.
  • Gainey Ranch Corporate Center

    Gainey Ranch Corporate Center

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

  • Water-Resistant:  Tapered InsulFoam does not readily absorb moisture from the environment.
  • Code Approvals:  Tapered InsulFoam is recognized by the International Code Council Evaluation Service (ICC-ES), and has numerous Underwriters Laboratory and Factory Mutual Approvals.

More Product Information

Questions on this project or application?

Travis Montgomery, Insulfoam Territory Manager

Travis Montgomery, Insulfoam Territory Manager

Contact Travis Montgomery, Insulfoam Territory Manager

Email:  Travis.Montgomery@insulfoam.com

Connect with Travis on LinkedIn  |  Follow Insulfoam on LinkedIn

Rigid Foam…not just for insulation

wc0413-FT6-foam-p1SL

EPS geofoam

The same material that many contractors use to insulate walls and roofs—expanded polystyrene (EPS)—can help reduce lateral loads on building foundations and retaining walls. EPS geofoam is a lightweight fill that allows for the use of thinner walls, with less material, as well as a reduction in labor needed for concrete forming or the installation of segmented retaining wall blocks.

EPS geofoam has the same composition as EPS insulation, but is formed into blocks, rather than sheets. As a fill material, a key advantage of EPS is its ultra low weight—approximately 100 times lighter than soil (one to three pounds per cubic foot compared to 110 to 120 pounds for soil). EPS geofoam enables contractors to backfill against walls and foundations, replacing the heavy soil wedge customary with traditional fill materials.

Read more as detailed by Nico Sutmoller, Geofoam Specialist, in Walls and Ceilings. Nico outlines geofoam benefits, applications and where engineers often specify EPS geofoam and why.

Read full article here…

Nico Sutmoller, Insulfoam Geofoam Specialist

Nico Sutmoller, Insulfoam Geofoam Specialist

Contact Nico Sutmoller, Geofoam Specialist

nico.sutmoller@insulfoam.com

Connect with Nico on LinkedIn

What Compressive Strength Do You Really Need?

EPS:  THE FOUNDATION FOR MOISTURE PROTECTION & INSULATION
 
Many projects design & build for higher load bearing densities then are required, thus costing significantly more time and money than is necessary.  ASTM’s D6817 is the specification for rigid cellular polystyrene geofoam. Designing to this standard not only helps engineers meet technical specifications, but also helps save money and time by using EPS (expanded polystyrene) geofoam, which is listed by the standard, as a structural void fill.  Geofoam has the compressive strength to bear heavy loads like concrete slabs, soil overburden, highway trucks and even airplane traffic and has gained widespread acceptance in load-bearing applications with federal and state entities like DoTs, airports and commercial projects.  
 
Similarly referring to ASTM C578 (Specification for Rigid Cellular Polystyrene Thermal Insulation) while selecting your below-grade insulation products, not only helps you design the right product for the job, but also helps avoids unnecessary costs associated with over engineering. 
 
ASTM C578 publishes compressive strength, deformation and dimensional stability values for both EPS & Extruded Polystyrene – XPS. Insulfoam’s wide range of plain and coated-facer insulation products meet ASTM C578 specifications, providing the same compressive strengths and long-term moisture prevention as competing below-grade insulations. But Insulfoam products come at a lower cost to the building owner, helping deliver significant savings in project costs.
 
FEATURED BELOW GRADE PROJECT: 49er’s Stadium
  • Project:  San Francisco 49er’s New Football Stadium
  • Location:  Santa Clara, CA
  • Product:  Insulfoam GeoFoam 2,500 cubic feet of EPS39 and 25,000 cubic feet of EPS15
  • Application:  Below grade structural void fill to support foundation for the fan seating areas

EPS Geofoam

EPS Geofoam

The contractors (Conoco Company of Concord and Turner & Devcon Construction) chose EPS Geofoam due to it’s extremely low weight and high load-bearing capacity to support the dimensional stability required for concrete topping slabs.  Insulfoam’s multiple manufacturing locations in California and nearby states provided just-in-time deliveries direct to the job site, which was a welcome bonus.

The single largest benefit to concrete contractors when using EPS is the ability of the material to constitute half of the form and the fill simultaneously, which completely eliminates the concept of a two pour operation. Read the full project profile here:  San Francisco 49er’s Find EPS Geofoam Useful In Future Home.

 

DID YOU KNOW?

  • Geofoam is 98% lighter than traditional fill
  • Geofoam does not settle
  • Geofoam eliminates lateral stresses from retaining structures
  • Geofoam can be designed for seismic forces

All Insulation is NOT Created Equal

EPS IN BELOW-GRADE APPLICATIONS?

Yes, when using engineered EPS products that are made in strict accordance with ASTM standards for below-grade insulation.

FACT:  All insulation is NOT created equal.  As a guide when choosing the right insulation product and manufacturer for moisture protection and thermal insulation, refer to ASTM C578. This third party standard establishes the minimum physical properties and requirements, and is the industry’s consensus standard for BOTH expanded (EPS) and extruded (XPS) polystyrene. For example, not all EPS manufacturers can produce 40 or 60 psi insulation in accordance with ASTM C578; Insulfoam does – it makes both products across its US locations.

BELOW-GRADE INSULATION PROJECT FEATURE

Starwood Hotel Finance Headquarters

Starwood Hotel Finance Headquarters

Rouser Concrete, the concrete contractor for the Starwood Hotel Finance Headquarters project in Arizona, chose Insulfoam R-Tech due to its superior performance as a durable and stable under-slab insulation which came at an economical price- great value for money.

During construction, the surrounding high-end retail stores were open for business, making it difficult for trucks to get in and out with product.  And storage space was at a premium.  Insulfoam’s Phoenix plant stepped in as a ‘local’ manufacturer with Just-In-Time, delivering however much product was needed at the jobsite at a given time.

Insulfoam R-Tech

Insulfoam R-Tech

  • Project:  Starwood Hotel Finance Headquarters
  • Location:  Scottsdale, Arizona
  • Product:  R-Tech 10, 65,000 Sq. Ft.
  • Application:  Under Slab

WHAT MAKES R-TECH EPS AN EFFECTIVE BELOW-GRADE INSULATION?

High compressive strength and engineered facers on both sides make R-Tech the most versatile combination of performance and economy.

  1. COMPRESSIVE STRENGTH- high compressive resistance that can be tailored to the loading requirements of the job
  2. MOISTURE PROTECTION- comparative study shows R-Tech has very low long-term moisture retention with no detrimental effect on its physical properties
  3. THERMAL STABILITY- long-term, stable, and warranted R-value that does not drift
  4. BEST R-VALUE PER DOLLAR- of comparable rigid insulations
  5. NATIONWIDE PRESENCE- manufacturing locations throughout the US

Visit Insulfoam for more information.