A drainable exterior insulation and finish system (EIFS), which is lightweight and improves enclosure thermal performance at a relatively low cost, is a valid option for over-cladding existing underperforming façades. This article describes a process for evaluating the suitability of a drainable EIFS for over-cladding an existing façade and, if it is suitable, the steps for successful design and installation of drainable EIFS over-cladding. This article also describes steps for existing façade investigation, code validation, and the thermal improvement benefit of EIFS over-cladding; design, detailing, and specifying; and quality assurance/quality control (e.g., mock-ups and testing) before and during construction. The article will also touch on the important design considerations of fire resistivity, designing for drift and drainage, and missile impact resistance.
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