EIFS Features & Benefits
The growing popularity of EIFS is due to the fact that few, if any, competitive materials offer such a wide range of desirable product benefits. Chief among these are superior energy efficiency and virtually unlimited design flexibility.
If you've ever felt the comfort of being wrapped in a warm blanket on a cold winter night, you have some idea of what EIFS can do for a home or building.
EIFS literally wrap the exterior in an energy-efficient thermal blanket. By insulating outside the structure, EIFS reduce air infiltration, stabilize the interior environment and reduce energy consumption.
By contrast, traditional "between-the-studs" insulation, no matter how thick, leaves "thermal breaks" -- gaps where heat and cold pass more freely between the outdoors and the space within -- at studs, wall outlets, wall joints, and elsewhere.
In fact, EIFS can reduce air infiltration by as much as 55% compared to standard brick or wood construction. And since walls are one of the greatest areas of heat and air conditioning loss, improvement in the wall insulation can be very meaningful in terms of energy conservation.
What's more, EIFS add to the "R-value" of a home or building. (R-value is a measurement of the resistance to heat flow; the higher the R-value, the better the material's insulating value.) Most EIFS use insulation board with an R-value of R-4 to R-5.6 per inch as the innermost layer in the wall system. When combined with standard wall cavity insulation, this extra layer can boost wall insulation from R-11 to R-16 or more.
Another point to keep in mind on new construction: Due to the energy efficiency of EIFS, it may be possible to specify lower-capacity heating and air conditioning equipment without sacrificing anything in terms of interior comfort.
In 2001, MoistureBond Warranty published an energy usage analysis of EIFS and Brick homes. Please click on the link below to view the results:
Energy Usage Analysis-EIFS vs. Brick
© 2001 MoistureBond Warranty
The rich appearance of EIFS bears a resemblance to stucco or stone, but the systems are far more versatile than these and other materials. Not only do EIFS come in virtually limitless colors and a wide variety of textures, but they also can be fashioned into virtually any shape or design.
With EIFS, skilled applicators can create all sorts of exterior architectural detailing that would often be cost-prohibitive using conventional construction -- cornices, arches, columns, keystones, cornerstones, special moldings and decorative accents are but a few examples.
Most of this detailing is computer-generated. The designs are precision-cut out of insulation board, attached to the substrate or wall, then covered with the EIFS base coat, mesh and finish coat.
Using this ingenious process, EIFS applicators can give a striking, distinctive appearance to any building or residence.