June 21, 2007 An Oak Ridge National Laboratory study shows that a newly redesigned generation of Exterior Insulation and Finish Systems, or EIFS, walls perform better than several other wall types tested for moisture and thermal performance.
EIFS walls use foam insulation, fiberglass mesh and performance-engineered coatings as an alternative to various other cladding systems. ORNL researchers teamed with construction industry EIFS partners to develop "water management systems" that greatly improve durability, moisture management and thermal performance of the EIFS walls.
The 15-month ORNL study conducted in the Southeast showed EIFS outperformed walls made of brick, stucco, concrete block and cement board in moisture protection and temperature control. The data are being used to benchmark a computer simulation, called a hygrothermal model, to predict wall thermal and moisture performance.
The work is funded by the Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and the non-profit EIMA Industry Members Association.
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