Tags: #architecture #buildingcodes #buildingdesign #buildingenclosures #buildingenvelopes #buildingmaterials #buildingscience #EIFS #innovation

EIFS advocacy and stemming the tide of jurisdictional exclusion. These things pertain to the here and now. Still, it’s never too late to innovate for the EIFS of tomorrow. 

The efficacy of any enclosure system demands quality materials, smart design, and craftsmanship. One can compensate for the other but it takes a three-legged stool to stand. So, starting with materials tested with greater rigor, longer duration, and increased resolution simply makes sense. Here are a few ideas that I’ve been promoting for years. It’s time to quicken the pace and sharpen our thoughts. 

  1. Purge the idea that standards such as ASTM E2273 and ISO 17738 are relevant. These methods measure displacement, not drainage. Indeed, rates such as 0.29 lb/min and 0.237 lb/min bias results toward higher drainage efficiencies. Think latent, cohesive water – not water cascades. 
  2. In keeping with Item 1, innovate AWBs with low water absorption and better continuity. EIFS is stuck in a pure acrylic and vinyl acetate world. It doesn’t have to be.
  3. In keeping with Item 2, address sheathing fasteners with a method that is more complete and more reproducible. Obviously, I have some ideas.
  4. Fire Spread & Fireblocking: Some jurisdictions have stepped into standards that are suspect and challenging – potentially exclusionary – even for ‘non-combustible’ materials. This task requires a combination of methods and some clever thinking. But it’s certainly achievable. 
  5. Innovate for colder climate. Temperature constraints are too tight. Advantages await adhesives and base coats that widen margins – or systems that take an entirely different approach. 
  6. Innovate crack-spanning parging systems that don’t crack and that accommodate the AWB; or it itself is the AWB. 
  7. Sealants: This one I carry over from last week’s post. Embrace the idea that EIFS cannot exist – that it cannot be continuous – without sealant joints. Own it. Warranty it.