Double the Energy Efficiency
with EIFS!

Exterior Insulation and Finish System (EIFS) is a building product used to provide exterior walls with a finished, insulated surface and waterproofing in an all-in-one layered application. Although often called "synthetic stucco", EIFS is not stucco. Stucco, in its traditional form, provides no insulation and forms a very hard and solid wall therefore not providing any water drainage either. EIFS is a lightweight synthetic wall cladding that includes foam plastic insulation and thin synthetic coatings.

EIFS can be used on a wide range of buildings, including homes, apartments, condominiums, high-rise buildings, offices, malls, shopping centers, hotels, motels, clinics, government buildings, and so on. It can also be used to create facades and soffits on shopping centers, and for decorative purposes. EIFS can be used on new buildings and also can be installed on existing exterior walls, called "retrofitting", to upgrade the appearance and provide insulation, without affecting the activities indoors during the renovation.

The most basic EIFS is made up of these 3 layers:

  • A layer of foam plastic insulation.
  • A reinforced layer that is applied onto the face of the insulation, consisting of a fiberglass reinforcing mesh embedded in a cement-like adhesive.
  • A final topcoat, or finish, which is a colored, textured paint-like material. A wide range of colors and textures are available as well as custom colors. Available textures include smooth surfaces, rough "stucco-like" textures, embedded stone chips, multi-color (granite-like mixtures,) and even brick-like treatments.

Energy Efficiency

If you've ever felt the comfort of being wrapped in a warm blanket on a cold winter night, you have some idea of what EIFS can do for a home or building.  EIFS literally wraps the exterior in an energy-efficient thermal blanket. By insulating outside the structure, EIFS reduces air infiltration, stabilizes the interior environment and reduces energy consumption.  By contrast, traditional "between-the-studs" insulation, no matter how thick, leaves "thermal breaks" -- gaps where heat and cold pass more freely between the outdoors and the space within -- at studs, wall outlets, wall joints, and elsewhere.

In fact, EIFS can reduce air infiltration by as much as 55% compared to standard brick or wood construction. What's more, EIFS adds to the "R-value" of a home or building. When combined with standard wall cavity insulation, this extra layer can boost wall insulation from R-11 to R-16 or more.  Another point to keep in mind on new construction: Due to the energy efficiency of EIFS, it may be possible to specify lower-capacity heating and air conditioning equipment without sacrificing anything in terms of interior comfort


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