Even those best-designed, well-constructed buildings degrade if the appropriate exterior coating and finishes are not applied and maintained in a timely manner—this is especially true for demanding environments.
Insulation manufacturers have devised numerous ways to improve the thermal performance of their products. Adding carbon or alumina particles to expanded polystyrene (EPS) increases infrared reflectance, and hence boosts R-value. For buildings that need heat stopped during the day and released at night, there are phase-change materials.
Exterior insulation and finish systems (EIFS) are proprietary wall cladding assemblies that combine rigid insulation board with a water-resistant exterior coating. Popular chiefly for their low cost and high insulating values, they are used on a range of construction types, from hotels to offices to homes.
Continuous insulation (ci) has been a component of exterior wall assemblies for almost a half-century in North America. By minimizing energy loss caused by thermal bridging and the risk of condensation caused by water vapor diffusion, exterior ci can improve building durability and benefit the environment.
Continuous insulation (ci) has been a component of exterior wall assemblies for more than 40 years in North America and even longer in Europe. It has always been the smart way to design wall assemblies from the standpoint of energy conservation and water management.