In Europe, United States, and around the globe, designers must consider many extremes when it comes to the roof. The compliance standards are also rising, and safety is non-negotiable while improving impact on the planet. Innovations to familiar materials such as extruded polystyrene (XPS) are supporting growing sustainability efforts.
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.
Research is ongoing to advance precast concrete insulated wall panel technology by developing materials and design to double its thermal performance and reduce weight by half without increasing costs. The main goal of this project is to promote passive envelope technologies for improving energy efficiency in new construction.
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.