Exterior Insulation Finish System clad projects perform well when they are properly designed and constructed and they have had problems when they were not. As with all manufactured systems and products, there are proper uses and methods of application that must be understood and used by the designer, contractor and the owner. The author's first use of an Exterior Insulation Finish system was designed and constructed in 1978. That project's success and condition today exemplifies the proper design and use of the material. The author has investigated several projects in the last four years that have had problems. Through study of the problems, the design and the installation, the reasons for the problems were defined. The problems were of the type that do not condemn the system. They were the result of inadequate design, lack of understanding of the system use, and its interface with other materials or the failure of the installers to perform their work properly. These reasons for the failures and the way they could have been avoided are explained through the use of specific examples from the 1978 building and the problem projects.
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