[Greenbuilding] Exterior insulation retrofit

John Straube jfstraube at gmail.com
Tue May 17 08:26:26 PDT 2011


EIFS is fundamentally different than siding or brick or stucco over insulation, which is why I think it was pointed out.
EIFS is not stucco.  Stucco is a cement-bonded mineral aggregate that IS very impact resistant and fire resistant. EIFS are almost all polymer-bonded glass-mesh reinforced thin coatings, a completely different animal.
EIFS is very good at managing water if done right, that is, using a full water control layer under the foam, and all joints drained.
It does not "trap moisture" anymore than brick or clapboard does if you dont drain under the windows, dont use a layer of building paper.

EIFS gets a bad rap because of bad systems and installation done in the late 80s and early 90s over OSB and paper-faced gypsum.  Fully-drained, two stage joints, secondary water barriers have been available from all the manufacturers for quite some time, and these system are working fine, standing the test of time. There has never been a problem with EIFS installed over old masonry buildings, like apartment buildings that need retrofit.


On 2011-05-17, at 11:11 AM, Lawrence Lile wrote:

> You don't have to use stucco, either.  An exterior layer of foam can go under essentially any type of siding. I am not a fan of EIFS, because it traps moisture in the wrong places if not done right.
> 
> --Lawrence Lile, 
> 
> 
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: greenbuilding-bounces at lists.bioenergylists.org [mailto:greenbuilding-
>> bounces at lists.bioenergylists.org] On Behalf Of John Straube
>> Sent: Tuesday, May 17, 2011 8:42 AM
>> To: Green Building
>> Subject: Re: [Greenbuilding] Exterior insulation retrofit
>> 
>> Being done all the time in North America.  Although this really only got common in
>> the last decade.  I expect to see a lot more.
>> The problem is, you have to like the look of stucco, which is not always what is
>> wanted, and the impact resistance of EIFS leaves lots to be desired.
>> 
>> On 2011-05-17, at 9:27 AM, Norman Feldman wrote:
>> 
>>> In April I heard an architect describe how they're using EIFS insulation in
>> Germany and Austria to insulate existing buildings from the exterior. They apply
>> EIFS panels to the outside of the building while tenants are in the building then,
>> once the insulation is done, bring the windows out. I will forward more about this
>> offlist if anyone wants.
>>> 
>>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exterior_Insulation_Finishing_System
>>> 
>>> 
>> 
>> Dr John Straube, P.Eng.
>> Associate Professor
>> University of Waterloo
>> Dept of Civil Eng. & School of Architecture
>> www.buildingscience.com
>> 
>> 
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Dr John Straube, P.Eng.
Associate Professor
University of Waterloo
Dept of Civil Eng. & School of Architecture
www.buildingscience.com




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