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Cite this document
Exterior insulation and finish systems (EIFS) can provide a durable, water-resistant covering for a variety of building types. However, as with any cladding material, considerations during design and workmanship during construction are the primary factors in determining the success of an EIFS-clad building. Among the important factors to consider in the design of EIFS cladding is that the EIFS is only one component of the overall building enclosure system, which includes roofing, windows, sealants, possibly other cladding materials, and many other elements. During the design phase of a project, careful consideration must be given to the compatibility of other enclosure components with the EIFS. In addition, detailing of the interfaces between the EIFS and these components, typically referred to as integration details, is critical in achieving the expected building performance and durability of the exterior cladding assembly. During the construction phase, coordination of various trades, including the EIFS installer, is essential to ensuring successful installation of these integration details. Over the past 15 years, the author has had the opportunity to evaluate a variety of EIFS-clad buildings that exhibit successes and failures of these integration details. More recently, the author has performed peer reviews for design architects and has provided consulting services to assist contractors with potential compatibility issues and with developing integration details. In this paper, the author will discuss several common problematic interfaces between EIFS and adjacent construction. Design principles and other considerations for improving the function of the exterior building enclosure at these interfaces will be explored. Several case studies, including positive and negative examples of design and construction details, will be used to illustrate concerns with their integration. In addition, the paper will identify and discuss facets of several of the standards that have been developed by ASTM International (ASTM) to assist designers, consultants, and contractors in the development of integration details and the determination of their compatibility.
exterior insulation and finish systems (EIFS), details, compatibility
Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc., Duluth, GA