What Compressive Strength Do You Really Need?

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.
  • 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.



  • 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


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.


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


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.

Insulation Solutions at Greenbuild

Greenbuild 2012 We are in full swing with final preparations for Greenbuild 2012 in San Francisco Nov 14-16, the largest international conference and expo dedicated to green building.  With 35,000 participants expected this will be one of the largest Greenbuild shows ever.  Exciting!

1,000+ exhibitors, how do you decide what booth to go to, who to talk to?  Ok, we aren’t Kohler who seems to have one of the BEST booths possible every year (and the one booth I always make sure to sneak away and visit), but  we do have plenty of good information to help you with your next insulation project and meet your energy efficiency goals.  Insulfoam (booth #3169N) provides insulation solutions from roof to foundation and everything in between.

High Performance.  Lower Cost.  Most R-Value Per Dollar.

With a broad range of insulation products available, it’s easier than ever for designers to create an energy efficient building project.  InsulFoam EPS (Expanded Polystyrene) 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.  EPS is also one of the most versatile engineered insulations, making it a designer’s dream product.  You tell us what you need and we make it fit within your design.  Not limited by stock sizes InsulFoam blocks can be molded, cut, shaped, tapered into virtually any design need, regularly solving challenges for contractors on the jobsite.

InsulFoam EPS is the only rigid insulation that does not experience “thermal drift” (loss of R-Value over time).  In fact, the R-Value is backed with a 20-year non-prorated thermal performance warranty.  ISO and XPS rigid insulations don’t come close in warranty, so you can be confident that Insulfoam’s EPS products are the best rigid insulation option for your project.

The following Insulfoam product lines will be highlighted in our Greenbuild booth with specialists to talk you through technical attributes  applications, projects and more.  And not to mention we got some pretty great and easy to talk to guys!  As you gear up for planning mode this coming week, put Insulfoam’s booth #3169N on your route.

Premier SIPs by Insulfoam

FRAMING SYSTEMS:  Premier SIPs by Insulfoam:  Structural Insulated Panels are an extremely strong building panel that need no additional frame of skeleton for support.  Premier’s large, pre-fabricated SIPs make the framing process faster than other building methods and enable a more airtight, well-insulated building for high energy efficiency.

Insulfoam Below Grade Insulation

BELOW GRADE INSULATION:  Insulfoam’s Below Grade Insulation products are designed to insulate the foundation wall or slab and protect the waterproofing or damp proofing, especially during backfilling for both commercial and residential below-grade applications.  Compressive strength, moisture protection and thermal stability.

ROOF INSULATION SOLUTIONS:  Insulfoam’s roofing insulation applications are green, high-performing and economical products that help reduce overall energy consumption, create improved comfort for the building’s occupants and provide an excellent substrate for a new or retrofit roofing system.

Insulfoam Roof Insulation Solutions

INSULFOAM GEOFOAM:  InsulFoam GF provides structural and architectural void fill  applications that are lighter, easier to handle and faster than soil.  Hardscapes, landscapes, soil remediation and load reduction.

Insulfoam Geofoam

For real time updates before, during and after the expo follow us on Twitter:  @PremierSips @Insulfoam @InsulFoamGF.  Be sure to also check out Greenbuild’s official twitter feed, @Greenbuild and conversation at #Greenbuild.

For more event information:  Greenbuild Schedule  |  Greenbuild Expo Tools & Map