News From Go Plymouth Foam

3 Technologies in 1 - SAV+R

Putting insulation on foundation walls just got better. In the past we have put insulation on wall to not only provide R-value but it could help protect the damp proofing and reduce condensation. Insulating the foundation came with a cost as we have learned that standard 150 & 250 insulation is too stiff. Lateral pressures on the walls have increased causing more issues.

SAV+R 3 tech in 1

Plymouth Foam has developed a 3 in 1 insulation board that can reduce issues caused by insulating foundations - SAV+R Foundation Protection™. This new product has been designed to not only insulate but also drain moisture better and reduce lateral pressure by unto 40%.

There are 3 advancements with RID Technology are important in todays construction to not only preform better but also reduce liability. R-I-D Reduced-Insulate-Drain

Reduce - Reduce lateral pressures by up to 40% using SAV+R Foundation. When lateral pressure pushes on the SAV+R foundation board, the integrated Stress Reducers™ can “absorb” this pressure and help save your foundation from failure. SAV+R has been designed to handle backfilling pressures, compacting pressures, clay or soil swell pressures and long-term lateral pressures.

Insulate - SAV+R uses Engineered EPS which provides a stable R-value for the life of the foundation. SAV+R is available with R-values of 5, 10 or 15. SAV+R Engineered EPS does not leach harmful chemicals into soil, has very low moisture absorption, is not affected by the freeze-thaw cycle, contains no ozone depleting chemicals and is 100% recyclable.

Drain - Water leaking into foundation walls via hydrostatic pressure can cause serious issues. SAV+R incorporates Easy Flow Drainage Pathways™ (EFDP) to move water quickly to the foundation drains. EFDP can help reduce insulation moisture absorption, reduce hydrostatic pressure, reduce frost heave, accelerate drying and can add longevity to the waterproofing.

See
New Video on this great product.

Lean More About SAV+R


For more information contact us at info@goplymouthfoam.com

Reducing Foundation Liability Risk with SAV+R

Reduce Risk Specify SAV+R


According to insurance loss data, there are over $10 Billion in Foundation Claims every year. Plymouth Foam has been studying foundation issues for the last 10+ years and has developed a new foundation protection system. SAV+R™ Foundation Protection incorporates one of the best new advancements in construction - RID Technology™. This technology has been developed by Plymouth Foam to help protect and RID your foundation issues before they start. RID Technology combines the features of Reducing lateral pressure, Insulating and Draining.


Advantages of RID Technology

Reduce - Reduce lateral pressures by up to 40% using SAV+R Foundation. When lateral pressure pushes on the SAV+R foundation board, the integrated Stress Reducers™ can “absorb” this pressure and help save your foundation from failure. SAV+R has been designed to handle backfilling pressures, compacting pressures, clay or soil swell pressures and long-term lateral pressures.

Insulate - SAV+R uses Engineered EPS which provides a stable R-value for the life of the foundation. SAV+R is available with R-values of 5, 10 or 15. SAV+R Engineered EPS does not leach harmful chemicals into soil, has very low moisture absorption, is not affected by the freeze-thaw cycle, contains no ozone depleting chemicals and is 100% recyclable.

Drain - Water leaking into foundation walls via hydrostatic pressure can cause serious issues. SAV+R incorporates Easy Flow Drainage Pathways™ (EFDP) to move water quickly to the foundation drains. EFDP can help reduce insulation moisture absorption, reduce hydrostatic pressure, reduce frost heave, accelerate drying and can add longevity to the waterproofing.

In the past, designers had very few choice in foundation insulations. With the advancement of Rid Technology, which has been incorporated into SAV+R Foundation Protection, designers and building owners can select a superior product. Now a designer can be on the cutting edge in foundation technology and at the same time reduce risk. It is very simple to Value Engineer SAV+R over XPS or other insulations. SAV+R provides more value and costs less. Make the change too Plymouth Foam’s SAV+R Foundation Protection and SAVE money, Save energy and Save the future.

Lean More About SAV+R

View the SAV+R Video and how it works


For more information contact us at info@goplymouthfoam.com

New Video - Building Solutions for Construction

A new video outlines how diverse and high-tech Plymouth Foam's manufacturing capability is for the construction industry. The amount of building products is amazing but what is more overwhelming is how innovative they are.

Plymouth Foam manufactures a wide range of roofing products. These include
Flat EPS Insulation, Tapered EPS Insulation, Metal Deck Flute Fillers both Beveled and Square, Retro Deck Flute Filler, Geofoam Roofing and even an assortment of insulation for Metal Roofing. Specialty products like Roofing Drain Sumps (easy Sump), Easy Saddle, Easy Cant and Even Easy Saddle. A series of Ultra Products that have high performance facers that come in sheets or fan-fold. Roof Drainage Boards, Green Roof Insulation and Vented Nailbase add to Plymouth Foam's product offering. These are just some of the roofing products. This does not include all of the other product categories - Siding, Floors, Walls, Foundations, EIFS, Geofoam, Graphite Polystyrene( GPS) Neopor and many, many more.

Building Video Graphic

See the new video - Building Solutions for Construction. Video

See
ALL Videos


For more information contact us at info@goplymouthfoam.com

Gold-Wall Webinar Added to Learn From Home Series

Plymouth Foam has announced the addition of another Webinar educational opportunity. Gold-Wall - The Best Continuous Insulation System.
Friday, May 15 - 11am-noon
Friday, May 22 - 11am-noon


Reserve Spot Now

Gold-Wall is one of the most useful and unique insulation product on the market today. Imagine having an insulation board with a stud incorporated into it. Learn how this product work, how to install and why it will become your favorite insulation.

See the video to learn more about the upcoming video.
LINK

Gold-Wall Promo Shot

Environmental Impact of Insulation - Results

Recently, the EPS Industry Alliance conducted a comparison of its expanded polystyrene (EPS) insulation Environmental Product Declarations (EPD) with the average EPD results for Dow (now Dupont) and Owens Corning extruded polystyrene (XPS) insulation.

Environmental Impact EPS

The most widely used green building certification program, LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), recognizes buildings that contain products with favorable environmental impacts as determined through EPDs. Recognition as a preferred product requires that the product demonstrate an environmental impact less than the industry average in at least three of the following categories: global warming, ozone depletion, acidification, eutrophication, smog formation and total energy. For polystyrene foam insulation, EPS is less than the industry average in four of the categories, thus meeting the optimization requirement. From a LEED perspective, EPS is a preferred product in the polystyrene foam insulation category.
(Full Technical Brief)

For more information contact us at
info@goplymouthfoam.com

Best Insulation Not Being Specified - Insist On It

Bidding a project and Wondering why XPS 250 (R-10)
is specified for foundation insulation?


XPS (Extruded Polystyrene) and EPS (Expanded Polystyrene) are both closed cell rigid insulation that have the same compressive strength abilities. Many Specifiers and Contractors do not really understand the difference. You should! There is a BIG cost difference.

Many Specifiers and Contractors believe that XPS insulation provides a consistent R-value of R-5/inch in foundation insulation. Not even close. Two reasons: One, XPS uses a blowing agent that provides additional R-value that escapes and over time lowers the R-value. In fact, the federal government has now stepped in and mandated XPS rate their product using the R-value method of
LTTR (Long-Term Thermal Resistance) as of October 2019 (see Full Disclosure Article). According to new research by the EPS-IA, XPS insulation’s 50 year age adjusted (LTTR-50) R-value is estimated to be 4.3 R-/inch. Two, research has shown that XPS placed below grade loses 48% of its R-value. This is due to the cell structure and manufacturing process of XPS. The study concluded that once XPS takes on water it has a hard time breathing it out.

Why Insist on EPS Engineered EPS for Foundation Insulation

Insist on Plymouth Foam Engineered EPS


The technological advancement for Engineered EPS is truly amazing and the new research is showing why you should insist on using Engineered EPS Foundation Insulation on your project. EPS’s R-value stays consistent over the life of the product and we guarantee it! EPS Type IX (250) has a R-Value of 4.35/inch. EPS is a greener product as it does not off-gas a harmful blowing agent and it is 100% recyclable. Want to save money on a project? Ask your specifier to value engineer and use Plymouth Foam Engineered EPS. The saving will surprise you.

Need more help convincing the specifier that Plymouth Foam's Engineered EPS is the best product?
Ask us for our substitution package.

Gold-Wall Product Video Released

Go Plymouth Foam has just released a new video on Gold-Wall. Click here to go to video.

Gold-Wall perfect continuous insulation system You Tube

Having trouble insulating a masonry wall. Gold-Wall to the rescue! This fast innovative insulation system offers high energy saving performance and does not promote mold, rot or thermal bridging. It is simple to use. Fasten the Gold-Wall through the built in metal furring studs to the wall, fasten the drywall (or other claddings) to the same stud... that's it, easy!!!

Give Me Some Skin - Understanding Insulation Specifications and the Skin Pitfalls

Many building professional spend hours looking over drawings and specifications for upcoming building projects. Many look closely at the type of product or the brands allowed but tend to glance over the other supplementary or extraneous information.

A few weeks ago, I noticed an item in a foundation specification that I have been glancing over without any real thought.
“Rigid, cellular thermal insulation with closed-cells and integral high density skin, complying with ASTM C 578.” What caught my eyes was integral high density skin. Are they trying to call out a specific for Extruded Polystyrene (XPS) Insulation because standard Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) would not naturally have a skin without adding it?

This triggered a technical conversation about skins on Rigid Insulation.
Does rigid insulation need a skin? What are the advantages or disadvantages of having a skin?

XPS Give me some skin

It is always helpful to go back and review the main function of insulation. Insulation’s main purpose is to insulate and provide R-value. Knowing the main purpose of insulation, do insulation skins provide more R-value? Skins can add R-value and skins can reduce R-value. A foil faced insulation could add R-value when it is used in the right circumstances such as a gap behind a masonry wall. Some skins like a clear poly laminated has no effect on R-value. Does an integral high density skin in XPS offer additional R-value? No, in fact according to newer research, it may have the opposite effect. How can this be? Why specified it as something important?

During a manufacturing process, XPS creates a type of skin during the extruding process and some call this an
integral high density skin. This skin is maintained on the face and back of the board but the sides and the ends are trimmed during the manufacturing process. Many believe that trimming the sides actually expose and opens the board to moisture infiltration at a higher rate. The face and back have this skin but the ends and sides are open. Interesting, when you consider below grade insulation and how water moves down the foundation wall, water hits the top part of the insulation and water wants to enter in, however the top end does not have the integral high density skin. We know by testing, when XPS insulation is installed below grade, it takes in moisture and its R-value is reduced by 48%, from 5 R/inch to 2.6 R/inch. Some believe this phenomena is caused by water entering in easier at the edges and partially trap in by integral high density skin. So specifying this integral high density skin as a benefit, ultimately points out another reason not to use XPS below grade. Why pay a huge premium for XPS Insulation and get 1/2 of its R-value performance?


What about skins on EPS? Standard EPS does not naturally have a skin, however another advantage of EPS Insulation is that skins can be added. Many different types of skins with different properties can be added. A few examples of skins are ones that can be reflective, skins that allow permeability, skins that are vapor retarders and even skins that can provide high strength. In foundation insulation, where EPS is more effective, a permeable skin could be added to give even more strength. This skin could be even more effective against rough backfilling and fastener pull. This type of product would function great allowing any moisture that enters into to the insulation board to flow freely out and not trap the moisture in.

In this case, the specifier thought that XPS insulation with an
integral high density skin would be a better product for below grade application. Unfortunately, it's not. With research showing that XPS insulation can loss 48% of it’s R-value below grade, Engineered EPS Insulation is a much better, safer choice.

Most Applicative Strength for Below Grade Insulation

Over the last five years, Plymouth Foam has been doing research on below grade insulation and the effects on structures. One reoccurring finding has been the misguided use of insulation materials that have Compressive Resistance (CR) strengths that are “too high.”

We have been observing the approach of designers using the point load bearing calculation method and specifying insulation strong enough to carry that presumed load. Most of them used the triangular load path calculation. The thought process of the designers, were a conservative approach, the more PSI insulation strength the better - a type of “over engineering.”

Is this over engineering approach good? Does it have a detrimental effect on a structure? The Geofoam Industry (foam insulation beneath highways) learned the hard way and have adjusted their approach. They concluded that loads on slabs should not be look at as “Concentrated Triangular Point Load” but more in line with a slab that works more uniformly as a system as concrete slab distribute loads are more in an even fashion. The DOT and Geofoam Industry took a new approach to load issues. Use the least Compressive Resistant Geofoam Insulation that can handle the load.

How does this information translate to below grade insulation in residential or
commercial construction? This is where it gets interesting. Everything we learned and accepted, in regard to, below grade insulation, by the XPS Industry, has been misguided. We have really only looked at half of the equation and most of the time, we have only considered point loads instead of slab distribution loads. We have been concentrating on loads from the top down only. In most ways, we have been ignoring what the soil is really doing below - not just what the soil can bear. Why you ask? Maybe because it gets too complicated. Not making this a forum on soil engineering, let’s just simply say soils are not always consistent and are constantly moving.

So this brings up many questions including - how does soil engineering effect below slab insulation? What are the effects of expansive soils on insulation? Is over engineering insulation compressive strength on slabs bad or harmful?

Below Grade Compressive Resistence Less is Best

When we intersect structural engineering and geotechnical engineering, we find that in most cases - “Less is Best.” The lower the compressive strength, that still meet load requirements, is best. The insulation should act more as a stress cushion. Once the insulation has been in place for sometime, it should continue to act as a stress cushion.

The Theory of Plates on Elastic Foundations is a great way to calculate slab deflection and the resulting stress. The formula is (P/8)√(K/D). (Paper written by Timoshenko and Woinowsky-Krieger) We have been following these calculation in Geofoam for sometime now and have had less structural issues and have reduced Geofoam costs dramatically.

In regard to below grade insulation in residential construction, using products like XPS 250 with a 25 psi compressive resistance, as a standard, is not taking into account all of the factors in construction. This standard can be doing more harm than good. Because of the marriage of geotechnical and structural engineering, the industry has now began to understand this and revised its position on below grade insulation. It is time to move to these new standards.

Plymouth Foam is viewing this “Less is Best” change to run parallel with their research. We believe that this concept can reduce construction issues. Using products that are 10, 12 or 15 psi will have more advantages to the structure and in the end reduce cost. We call this the true definition of Value Engineering.


By John Calkins

GeoFoam Green Roofs: Growing Growing Growing


Green Roofs continue to grow in popularity, especially in large urban areas. These areas can suffer from the “Heat Island Effect” which is caused by black roofs, black asphalt parking lots, concrete and lack of green space. Green roofs, also known as “living roofs” or “vegetated roofs” use plants to lower roof temperatures and create a biodiversity ecosystem encouraging additional habitats of plants and animals.

Geofoam - Green Roofs

Plymouth Foam has been involved in numerous green roof projects and have noticed that Engineered DuraFill EPS (GeoFoam) has turned out to be the best solution. Here are the reasons we discovered:

Green Roof

Plymouth Foam’s DuraFill Green Roof Products can help reduce cost by combining several products into one combination product reducing labor installation costs. Where most systems have insulation above the waterproofing membrane exposed to moisture, DuraFill can be engineered to move water more efficiently to the drains. DuraFill EPS can be designed to have predictable compression for walkways, loads and foot traffic.

Using your roof to create garden or outdoor living space can greatly reduce your heating and cooling costs. It can also help to reduce the Heat Island Effect.

A properly designed Geofoam Green Roof can increase the life span of the roofing system by
improving water flow, reducing ultraviolet exposure to the roof membrane and reducing insulation below the waterproofing membrane which lowers thermal roof stress.

Learn More

Roof Drainage: Keep your standards up and your costs down

Water removal has become a pillar tenant for good roofing practices. The faster the water is off the roof the better. The old rule of thumb, “… it should be off the roof within 48 hours or it is considered ponding water.” Why when I look at Google Maps satellite, do I see so many building with ponding water? Maybe the drains are plugged ? Really? I don’t think so.

Tapered EPS Roof Insulation Keep Standards up costs down


Before we delve into the “whys” we really should look at the effects of ponding water on the roofing system. Ponding water can have the following effects:

- additional loading to the structure
- additional time for moisture pathway to open and allow intrusion
- accelerated material degradation including reflectivity and sunlight magnification
- freeze/thaw pressure from moisture seeping into cracks
- insulation compression
- dirt and debris build up that can cause mold or plant growth
- safety issues - electrical or slipping and falling
- voids warranties

The effects of ponding roof can be a safety issue as well as a serious financial issue. If most roofers are aware of the hazards of ponding water then why are there so many roofs that do not drain well? What are the common causes for poor drainage?
- structural deck deflection
- weep hole’s on connected building sections too low
- no or poor structural slope
- poorly designed tapered insulation system
- cost cutting
- poor detailing
- drains/scuppers/gutters plugged

Drain too high Deck Deflection

After walking and inspecting millions of square feet of roofing, I have come to the conclusion cost plays a sad, but significant role. I believe roofers feel cost pressure from owners that do not fully understand the ramifications. I will share some examples.

  • A roof that has deck deflection issues, retrofitted for cost savings instead of torn off and the deflection was not addressed properly.
  • I referred “poor detailing” but what I really meant was that the good detailing was too expensive and the standard detailing was used as it was ok in the book. (example of this, HVAC units that stop the flow of water drainage and needed to be raised and saddles installed to divert water around the unit - not done… not in bid or too expensive or a pain/time to disconnect.)
  • Another one I hear is that Polyiso tapered insulation is to expensive and I can go with a 1/8” pitch, that should work.
  • Weep holes, I can’t go above the weep holes, its too expensive to modify or change.

I understand the competitive world of bidding but I have some recommendations that can
Keep Your Standards Up and Your Cost Down. I hear building owners constantly saying, “ I want things done right.”

RECOMMENDATIONS: Keep Your Standards Up and Your Cost Down
  1. Instead of using overpriced Polyiso, value engineer and use EPS for the tapered. - save money. Learn about cost saving in EPS
  2. Use 3/8” tapered as a minimum instead of standard 1/4” as it moves the water better and can overcome many of the detail or structural slope issues. Learn More
  3. Disconnect units and other projections for proper height requirements and proper water flow.
  4. Learn how to move weep holes which can offer the ability to increase insulation heights and have better drainage.
  5. Use EPS saddle and crickets to make sure water moves around units, projects and even between drains. Saddles can be a roofers best friend.

12 Reasons Why to Change Insulation - XPS vs EPS

I am often asked what is the difference between XPS (extruded polystyrene) and EPS (expanded polystyrene) insulation? Which one is better and why?

Many myths about rigid insulation have been spread over the years, especially concerning EPS. Some of these EPS myths refer back to an extinct product called bead board. Modern day Engineered EPS is so different and technologically advanced, it’s amazing some still get confused. EPS have made major advancements in chemistry, fusion, expansion, steam quality and TQM. Plymouth Foam, the leader in foam, has state-of-the-art proprietary manufacturing technology to make the product even better.


12 reasons Why EPs Better Foundation copy

Lab and field research have lead to new conclusions about the two rigid insulations especially in below grade applications. EPS rigid insulation is certainly been found to be superior to XPS in so many ways. The following is just 12 reasons why.

1) Higher R-Value Retention:
EPS does not suffer from the same plight as XPS in regards to “Off Gassing.” XPS has blowing agents that initially give it a higher R-value, but these gasses escape over time, lowering the R-value.

2) Durability

Engineered EPS can be made in various densities and can achieve compressive strength up to 8,640 lbs/ft and flexural strength up to 10,800 lbs/ft. It is amazing that such a light product, that is 98% air, is so strong.

3) Moisture Management

EPS insulation is non-hygroscopic and does not readily absorb moisture from the atmosphere. Its closed-cell structure reduces the absorption of moisture into the insulation material yet it can readily expel any absorbed moisture.

4) 100% R-Value Warranty
Due to the R-value stability of EPS, Plymouth Foam offers a lifetime limited 100% R-Value Warranty. XPS offers a 90% R-value warranty.

5) No Harmful Chemicals
EPS does not have VOCs or other harmful chemicals in its product. XPS use of chemical HFCs has been deemed to have a high GWP.

6) Cost Advantage
R-value cost per inch is far less in EPS insulation vs XPS Insulation. Value engineering can be used to save $1,000s on projects.

7) Superior Bonding
Due to the manufacturing process, EPS and XPS provide a far different exterior surface. EPS cell structure provides superior bonding.

8) Made in USA - Made in Wisconsin
Plymouth Foam’s EPS is made in Wisconsin and brings jobs, reduces taxes and helps create a better economy for our state. Made in USA.

9) Customizable
Engineered EPS is superior in customizing thickness, lengths, shapes, tapers, chases and can even have reflective laminates attached.

10) Smoke Development
ASTM E84 test method for burning characteristic show that typically EPS has a lower smoke development than XPS.

11) Lower GWP
EPS, the safe insulation, has a lower Global Warming Potential than XPS. Transportation costs are usually lower also lowering GWP.

12) Recycle Accessibility
With over 200 EPS recycling centers in the United States it is easy to see that not only is it 100% recyclable, but it easy to do.
(Learn More about these 12 reasons)

As EPS continues to grow even more popular and gain market share, competitors have continued to spread these old myths. The bad news for them is
these myths have been BUSTED. Numerous studies done around the world are proving that EPS is not only “the safe insulation” but that it holds its R-value better, is extremely durable, great in freeze-thaw cycling, has great drying potential and outperforms all other rigid foam insulations.
(Get the 12 Reasons Brochure)

The Secret Moisture Control Leak - a dynamic new strategy.

The majority of recent technical discussions in building construction have been around Moisture Management. Many articles have been written on drainage plains, building enveloping and vapor retarders. The goal for moisture management is to keep a building lasting longer and performing properly. One area of moisture control or moisture management that has been neglected is foundation insulation.

Foundation insulation may be easy to overlook as many building professionals may be going under to old adage, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." The serious reality is that in cold weather climates any structure that has a foundation that touch soil such as basements or frost walls needs to viewed differently in regards to moisture management.

Foundation insulation can be used for a variety of reason but the most important is R-Value. This is where it gets interesting - what does Moisture Management have to do with R-Value? Its all about building performance in real world applications.

We can explore permeability and the Laws of Thermodynamics and go very technical but for now most people know that when insulation gets wet, the R-Value of the insulation is reduced. This lowering of R-Value is a performance issue.

Moisture Management Stop the insanity

A new way to view and understand foundation insulation comes from a moisture study. This study looked at the two most commonly used insulation for below grade - XPS (Extruded Polystyrene - pink or blue) and EPS (Expanded Polystyrene - white). Three relevant items of note come from that study. First, XPS lost about 1/2 of its R-Value below grade and EPS held almost all of its R-Value. Second, it was found and further studied that EPS takes on a little more moisture than XPS but EPS insulation has the ability to dispel it. Third, for some anomaly in physics, that we don’t quite understand, EPS even with moisture, tends to hold its R-value. (Learn More from the research)

So now that we know what happens to insulation below grade how does that all tie back into Moisture Management? If you are not going to 100% envelope or water proof your below grade insulation or below grade wall system,
EPS insulation should be used 100% of the time. Remember, the goal of Moisture Management - keeping a building lasting longer and performing properly - Its all about performance. If you want your below grade insulation performing properly and its going to be left “unenveloped," the best Moisture Management choice is EPS.

Plymouth Foam Takes on Recycle Challenge

Recycle Today for a Better Tomorrow - Plymouth Foam is living that statement by expanding it's recycling program. Plymouth Foam has always done recycling but now it is opening up a Consumer Recycle Center, in Plymouth, WI to the general public. In fact, it doesn't even have to be Plymouth Foam's Expanded Polystyrene. The new Consumer Recycle Center was opened on April 22, which was Earth Day.

Plymouth Foam Recycle

What if you're a contractor and you want to recycle your foam? Plymouth Foam has a program to help with larger quantities of EPS Foam. (Learn More - How to) Plymouth Foam encourages recycling of construction EPS. "The biggest challenge is educating contractors on how to recycle foam."

Plymouth Foam is working on educating the public that EPS is "the Safe Insulation" and is 100% recyclable. In fact, in 2013 over 34% of post consumer EPS was recycled, that is over 127 million pounds. (
Learn More about Why EPS is so Green)

Plymouth Foam Recycle Center
1800 Sunset Dr.
Plymouth, WI 53073


Swimming Pool Geofoam Project -not too deep to revitalize

Pool 1

The Ashwaubenon Community and School District faced a dilemma - what do you do with an indoor pool that is over 48 years old and has outlived its expected life? Think “outside of the pool” and fill it in with Plymouth Foam’s Durafill GeoFoam and give new life to the building!

Restoring this aged pool was not a viable option as there were too few of lanes and replacement parts were no longer available. The community decided to build a new pool, but what do you do with the old one?

The building that housed the pool was still in good condition. Filling it in with Engineered EPS Foam and pouring 5” of concrete on top “gives this building a new purpose.” This new area will be used as a commons area with tables and chairs for students to eat lunch.

Like all schools districts, needs change. Filling the pool in with foam has a number of possibilities for the district. Foam can be removed and the area can be repurposed for maybe stadium seating or a performance stage. The possibilities are endless.

Pool 2

Filling in a pool sound easy, but reducing in-fill weights and loading pressures of traditional fills such as gravel or stone can be impractical or unachievable. Geofoam to the resue, however filling in a pool with different depths and various slopes is not an easy task.

Boldt Construction’s design team working together with Plymouth Foam Geofoam Consultant, John Calkins, and was able to offer DuraFill Geofoam blocks that were manufactured in various sizes to fit to the contour of the pool. The pieces were labeled and shop drawings were used to install the pieces. Boldt Construction was the general contractor and they “did an excellant job of making the pieces work and come together.”

Using a local contractor and a local manufacturer has many benefits for the local ecomony. Tax money collected for the school district is being spent locally and benefits from the “local multiplier effect.” This multiplier means the money is recirculated 3-5 times in the local economy and is a key tool for creating more local jobs. The school district saved money on transportation cost since the manufacturing facility is less than 75 miles away - now that is “thinking outside the pool.”

How Did I Save $1000s on My Construction Project

Breaking away from the norm and thinking out side the box is what Lumber Sales & Products, Jackson, Wisconsin strived to accomplish. Using a wood stove and in-floor heating is beyond normal construction and took special design and engineering.

Instead of using the traditional pink or blue XPS insulation, Engineered EPS was used as the insulation beneath the concrete to dramatically help save energy. Not only does the EPS work better, but the cost savings was almost 30%. The cost savings for just the insulation was over $15,000. In addition, the saving on the supply lines, using EPS, was $7 per linear foot.


20160812_134031


Often these types of projects are specified using XPS insulation because of the myth that EPS is not as good or somehow the hot water running through the pex will melt the insulation. The reality is EPS is a far better product in this application and the cost saving is just an additional benefit. Once the merits of Plymouth Foam Engineered EPS systems are reviewed, the substitution is usually welcome and accepted.
Read the entire Job Profile

Steady Wins the Performance Race

In high school, I remember watching the track team race around the track. One runner Peter, a farm kid, was fascinating to watch as he always grabbed the early lead. Peter always looked so fast but in the end he would typically finish in 3rd or 4th place. In that moment, early in the race, Peter looked like a world class athlete that would easily win gold at the Olympics. In those early moments, that frozen time, the measure of performance was perfect.

Thirty-six years later and I see the same thing happening in the rigid insulation market. Its like watching Polyiso, and XPS insulation running just like Peter, getting off to a tremendous lead regarding R-value, but then fading out at the end. That perfect moment in time is when that R-value gets measured and they look like superheroes but in reality they just “blowhards.” Pardon the pun as the blowing agent escapes and lowers the r-value. (
LEARN WHY)

Battle of the Polystyrenes


When it comes to below grade or roofing insulation, Polyiso and XPS start out with really good R-value numbers but they don’t last (LEARN MORE). Unfortunately, you pay for these early performance numbers, sometimes as much as 50% more. Paying for performance isn’t bad but not knowing that the product will fade out is a different matter.

The old idiom, “slow and steady wins the race” really holds true in insulation. EPS might start out slow (or lower r-value) but is consistent through its life and ultimately wins the race. Not only does EPS (Expanded Polystyrene) have a steady consistent R-Value but when compared with XPS and Polyiso, it also performs better in the field. XPS and Polyiso, when wet, hold the moisture and loss much of its r-value. EPS has the ability to hold its r-value and even expel moisture under exsiccate conditions.

Next time, when you’re looking to specify or install insulation on a project, remember that Polyiso and XPS look great at the beginning but EPS is the steady performer and the best value in rigid insulation. Your customer deserves the winner - EPS.

Value Engineering - A Win-Win Strategy

Recently, much has been written on the new r-values of polyisocyanurate insulation spurred on by the NRCA Tech Talk. What hasn't been talked about is what does it mean for the consumer? or What opportunities are available for advanced roofing contractor that are willing to educate clients? or How can a Win -Win scenario be used to Win More Jobs?

Experience in the industry has shown that it takes designers and architects several years to catch up and change their project specifications based on new information. This opportunity window allows for roofing contractors to provide a wonderful service and offer "Value Engineering." (Get a copy of - "
Value Engineering Tips and Tricks for Roofing")

The recent research has shown that polyisocyanurate (ISO) insulation provides an R-value of 5 R/inch at 40ºF and 4 R/inch at 25ºF. Contrast that to Type VIII Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) that has an r-value of 4.2 R/inch at 40ºF and 4.4 R/inch at 25ºF. Now, take into account that the cost difference between ISO and EPS insulation. ISO Insulation can cost up to 60% more. This really spotlights EPS as the best r-value/inch value. Substituting EPS insulation in for ISO in a value engineering premise is quite simple as the numbers speak volumes. The real trick is how it can be accomplished in an environment that is so "Pro" ISO?

Ultimately, the building owner can win by saving money and yet the contractor can win by proving his professionalism and closing more work - a real Win-Win.



LTTR - What does long-term R-value mean

What is your definition of long-term - 5, 10, 25 years? How should we judge the R-value of insulation long-term? LTTR (Long-Term Thermal Resistance) is a measure to quantify a comparative method of R-value in an attempt at trying to help architects, specifiers, builders, inspectors and owners. This measurement is achieved by the test methods ASTM C1303 or CAN/ULC-S770. I applaud the effort of developing these testing to quantify thermal performance, however a major adjustment may need to take place or at least the building industry need to understand these measurements - what they are and what they are not.

Early this year, the National Roofers Contractors Association, made a recommendation to it's members that Polyisocyanurate Insulation revise "its design in-service R-value recommendation to 5.0 per inch thickness." This declaration was the second time Polyisocyanurate's R-value was downgraded in the last 2 years. For some of us "Energy Aficionados," who understand the principles of insulation off-gassing, determined it was time to re-examine LTTR testing (
View Technical LTTR Bulletin).

LTTR really looks at Long-Term Thermal Performance of insulation as 5 years. Do we expect a building to last only five years? How is 5 years a true quantitative analysis of R-value performance?

We do not replace insulation in a building every 5 years, why would we think that is long-term? Most building in the U.S. are built to last 50 years, some 100 years. Long-term R-value should be figured at 50 years… right? We know off-gassing continues to happen after 5 years. Let's re-evaluate what we are doing as an industry and modify Long-Term Thermal Resistance to at least 50 years.

Gold-Wall Worth its Weight in Gold

The "Code Friendly" term for today's designers is continuous insulation. For good reason, continuous insulation provides a solid plane of insulation and a consistent r-value which help with all the new energy codes. One of the best products on the market today to provide continuous insulation is Plymouth Foam's Gold-Wall. Gold-Wall starts with the benefits of EPS rigid foam insulation and combines it with embedded 25 gauge steel studs which providing a superior insulation system.

Gold-Wall has many application possibilities. It can be used to "insulate and fur out" concrete block, poured concrete, pre-cast, tilt up or almost any other masonry installation. Gold-Wall works well on walls, roofs, ceilings, shafts, stairwells, basements and can provide a more efficient insulating system. Gold-Wall can even be used in residential wall application to provide more r-value on the exterior wall, yet provide a fastening surface for claddings such as cement board. The application possibilities almost seem endless. Gold-Wall has so many uses and benefits it is no wonder why it is a Top Construction Product.

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Unlike traditional Z-furring Gold-Wall offers a plethora of advantages:
  • Eliminates Thermal Bridging and Increases R-value
  • Faster Installation which Reduces Labor Costs
  • Dimensionally Stable R-Value Due to No Off-gassing
  • Strong Studs for Secure Placement
  • Eliminated Adhesive Issues and Bonding Weakness
  • Ready for Drywall or other Claddings Installations
  • Can Easily Accommodate Wiring and Electrical Boxes
  • Provides a Vapor Retarder Perm Rating of 0.07
  • Dual Polymeric Facers to Increase Durability
  • Help Eliminate Mold Issues due to Condensation

Gold-Wall has one more new advantage,
Graphite Polystyrene (GPS). Gold-Wall now comes with the addition of GPS insulation as an option, which provides even more r-value. GPS insulation infuses graphite particles into the polystyrene cell structure allowing it to reflect and absorb energy providing an even more energy efficient product.

Learn More about Gold-Wall.