Failure to properly insulate below-grade can be a costly misstep for the design-build sector. Materials like expanded polystyrene (EPS) rigid foam insulation are a cost-effective solution, affording proven moisture resistance, long-term thermal performance, and compressive strength.
A new study from the Alaska University Transportation Center, University of Alaska Fairbanks, recently reported on R-values measured on insulation removed from below-grade applications in harsh climates. This supplements data from two previous similar research projects. All the three studies reported the in-service R-values per inch of extruded polystyrene (XPS) and expanded polystyrene (EPS) insulation installed under roads and airport runways with the time in-service ranging from one to 31 years.
High-performing commercial buildings are becoming popular because of evolving codes and stricter standards for occupant safety, comfort, and energy efficiency. One can achieve high-performing building envelopes by combining various cavity insulation solutions, such as foam sheathing and insulation behind brick, stucco, concrete, and other cladding systems.
Today, the design-build sector is increasingly specifying tapered expanded polystyrene (EPS) insulation solutions to comply with codes—many existing buildings that are being retrofitted require the slope to be altered to meet regulations—as well as save time and money on the roof.
Specifying the right type of insulation to address the performance challenges in various locations within the healthcare facility enclosure can not only support the building’s performance objectives, but also help meet life-safety, comfort, and sustainability goals.