Hundreds of years ago, buildings were thought of much more simply—as shelter, meant to protect people from the elements. Today, that purpose holds, but the technology, practices, and materials that go into high-performing building enclosures have evolved to do more.
This year, ‘resiliency’ emerged in the building landscape as more than a buzzword. Many regions around the world are increasingly subject to the rigors of various impacts, including extreme weather, population shifts, disease, power or communication disruptions, and financial shocks.
In 2015, The United States experienced 113,500 nonresidential structure fires (the latest year for which data on this are available), resulting in 80 civilian deaths and $3.1 billion in property damage.
Plastic foams for thermal insulation have been available for more than 70 years. Extruded polystyrene (XPS) was introduced in 1943, followed by expanded polystyrene (EPS) in 1950, and polyisocyanurate (polyiso) in 1954.
The April 2015 issue featured an article entitled “Selecting Polystyrene Foam Where Moisture Exposure Occurs.” The public relations manager at the EPS Industry Alliance wrote to the magazine, wanting to comment on what he called “several inaccuracies and omissions” he felt slanted the piece in favor of extruded polystyrene (XPS) at the expense of expanded polystyrene (EPS).