Manufacturing Member

  • Dryvit Systems, Inc.
  • Parex USA, Inc.
  • BASF Corporation
  • Sto Corp.
  • Master Wall, Inc.

Associate Member

  • Wind-lock Corporation
  • Vinyl Corp.
  • Rodenhouse Inc.
  • Drew Foam Companies, Inc.
  • Poseidon Advanced Materials
  • National Gypsum Company
  • ADFORS Saint-Gobain
  • Dow Construction Chemicals
  • Plastic Components, Inc.
  • Georgia-Pacific Gypsum
  • Atlas EPS
  • Wacker Chemical Corporation
  • RADCO

Policy Statements: EIFS Compliance Requires Tested Materials

 

November 9, 2012

Exterior Insulation and Finish Systems (EIFS) are assemblies of components that are manufactured or supplied by a single manufacturer. EIMA and its manufacturing members have worked very closely with building code agencies and experts in fire performance, durability testing and hygrothermal analysis for exterior wall cladding systems.

EIFS is a system. The performance of EIFS always depends on the contributions of the various component materials that are incorporated into the system as designed and specified by the manufacturer. Changing one component material can change the performance of the system. This has long been recognized by EIFS industry members and code compliance agencies, and for this reason, code compliance of EIFS is evaluated based on a combination of materials and system tests.

The construction industry continues to be very cost conscious and has become more global with regard to supply sources. This can be a challenge if those factors result in substitute products (not tested as part of the system) being offered without the participation of the manufacturer and the entire EIFS specification team and presents several concerns:

  • Building code compliance tests are run on systems. Fire-resistant-rated and EIFS assemblies for noncombustible construction are recognized for building code compliance based on the actual materials and configurations tested. If, for example, a generic reinforcing mesh is used on a project, that mesh may not provide the necessary protection in a fire. Many “generic” mesh products have been found to lack the fire resistance of those offered by EIMA member manufacturers. Therefore use of a “generic” mesh cannot be tolerated without the appropriate fire performance testing as part of a complete system.
  • Foam plastic shapes are often used as architectural features. Shapes that are constructed in-place using the same products as the remainder of the EIFS wall are considered to be part of the EIFS assembly. Premade and pre-coated shapes are convenient and may offer some potential for cost savings. However, these shapes are often constructed using materials that are neither manufactured nor specified by an EIFS manufacturer, thus they cannot be considered to be part of the EIF system. A common coating available for use on pre-coated foam plastic shapes is polyurethane which is combustible and, in combination with foam plastic, can cause significant flame spread in the event of a fire. Using untested substitute products in precoated/premade foam shapes can result in unknown fire performance and durability.
  • The foam plastic insulation board is not manufactured by the EIFS manufacturer, but it is produced by licensed “molders” who are required to participate in a, third-party quality control program per the building code. The molders are required to label the foam plastic insulation board with the EIFS manufacturer’s name and applicable code evaluation report numbers. Use of a molder that is licensed by the EIFS manufacturer provides assurance that the EPS was manufactured to the appropriate specification and will perform to physical and fire performance standards.

Mixing materials from different manufacturers in the same assembly is also not permitted since the resulting EIFS is no longer a tested system. This can happen when on-hand stock is used to finish a project instead of ordering additional material. The products have not been tested as a system and the performance of the “hybrid” system is not known. Also, when this occurs, neither manufacturer can provide a warranty for the system.

In short, all products used to construct EIFS on a given project should be manufactured or supplied by a single EIFS manufacturer as part of a system of integrated products. While some materials such as reinforcing mesh or insulation board may appear to be generic and interchangeable, in fact, using untested substitutes can result in unknown and, in some cases, very serious performance deficiencies.

For further information, please contact EIMA's office at 1-800-294-3462.

Manufacturing Member

  • Parex USA, Inc.
  • BASF Corporation
  • Dryvit Systems, Inc.
  • Master Wall, Inc.
  • Sto Corp.

Associate Member

  • Dow Construction Chemicals
  • National Gypsum Company
  • Drew Foam Companies, Inc.
  • Rodenhouse Inc.
  • Wind-lock Corporation
  • ADFORS Saint-Gobain
  • Vinyl Corp.
  • Atlas EPS
  • Wacker Chemical Corporation
  • Plastic Components, Inc.
  • Poseidon Advanced Materials
  • Georgia-Pacific Gypsum
  • RADCO
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