With an increased intent on adopting greener ways of living, the demand for sustainable buildings has risen significantly. As such, a lot of emphasis is being placed on products that offer lightweight cladding options for the building’s exterior, including the much talked about EIFS, or Exterior Insulation and Finish System.
Although it was created solely for commercial use, EIFS started making its way into residential buildings over the last 20 years or so as the trend towards energy efficient buildings started gaining more prominence.
Features of EIFS
Simply speaking, EIFS is like a thermal blanket that envelops a building from outside, offering insulation from the outside as opposed to standard insulation that relies on thermal bridging in between structures. EIFS is more effective in providing continuous insulation this way, yielding a continuous R-value exterior insulation for buildings (standard insulation offers only 65% of the same).
The standard polystyrene insulation offered by EIFS has an R-value of R-4 for every inch of thickness in the innermost layer. This can effectively boost wall insulation to about R-15 when combined with standard cavity insulation.
The Benefits Offered by EIFS for residential and commercial establishments
Increased energy efficiency
Although costly at the initial stage of installation, EIFS can increase the energy efficiency of the building to a great extent. With time, EIFS can reduce energy bills by nearly 30%, thereby paying itself significantly as the years pass.
No reduction in square footage
Another great advantage of using EIFS is that it does not cause any reduction in the interior square footage of the building as it is used only on the outside. If you are stripped for space where every square footage matters, then EIFS is the best and most effective insulating choice for your home.
Unlike traditional insulation, EIFS is pretty easy and flexible to install. EIFS can first be installed in panels in a remote location and then be transported onsite for installation. This makes it the best choice for extremely hot or cold regions where foam boards and adhesives won’t work out.
Expandable design options
EIFS uses expanded polystyrene (EPS) which enhances the design flexibility of the entire structure. As such, EIFS allows for creative freedom when it comes to design options. You can cut it into different shapes and sizes, making it the best choice for homes that demand these elements. The reason for this being the polymer based material that comes with an acrylic base that is both flexible and breathable. This is topped by a coating for finish that can easily be molded into a multitude of shapes.
The ability of EIFS to be molded into any shape or size possible also makes it the perfect choice of material to create intricate design elements like sculptures, window details, arches, columns, ornate facades, cornices, cornerstones, keystones, special moldings and other elaborate architectural designs. The sheer number of color and texture options available with EIFS also makes it the best choice to build your dream home.
Most of the intricate detailing achieved in EIFS is computer generated. Any design you choose is first generated as a computer design and is then precision cut from the insulation board. The design is then attached to the wall and covered with an EIFS base coat, mesh and finally, the finish coat. Thus, the design elements established using EIFS are more detailed and intricate than can be achieved with standard insulation.
Increased durability and impact resistance
When compared to standard insulation, EIFS offers extended durability and impact resistance (nearly tenfold) for structures. EIFS comes with a reinforcing mesh that is placed between the base and finish coats. The mesh can range between 4 to 20 ounces per square yard, depending on the resistance required.
Many commercial and residential structures are shifting towards EIFS for insulation purposes. The reasons mentioned above indicate why EIFS would be a better option for your dream home.