Persecutors of EIFS use cladding on its own office building ...

The Georgia Association of Realtors, of Atlanta, built its one-story headquarters building in 1979 with EIFS, a decision resulting in 22 years of low-cost, problem-free service, according to the association's executive vice president, Bob Hamilton.

In 1991, GAR built a 4,000-square-foot addition, again, using EIFS to complement the original installation. When a 1,000-square-foot section was added last year, GAR chose EIFS.

"The EIFS industry is thrilled by this development," according to Bernie Allmayer, spokesperson for EIMA. "The real estate industry has taken us to task on our product and by continuing to use EIFS on one of their own headquarters they demonstrate confidence in the product, despite what they may have said in the past. This is an excellent example of an older building clad with EIFS still meeting customer requirements."

This latest application is a carbon copy of the earlier EIFS installations except that it terminates 6 inches above the foundation as required under Georgia's new environmental code.

Last year, the association repaired a number of cracks in the upper half of the exterior wall before repainting the entire wall surface at a cost of $8,000. Other than that, the association has been spared any significant exterior maintenance costs over the past two decades.

"The exterior of both the original building, and the section added 10 years ago, remain in great shape. In fact, they still look like new," Hamilton said.

Part of the association's success in controlling exterior maintenance costs can be attributed to a 3-foot-wide roof overhang that, according to Hamilton, has worked well to protect the windows, doors and siding from rain and sun.

His maintenance staff checks the exterior of the building quarterly for signs of moisture intrusion or termites, and has not detected anything unusual. And to ensure that the building continues to project the proper image, Hamilton plans to continue repainting the EIFS surface every five years in its original cream color.

"When you look at the total maintenance picture, an occasional paint job won't break the bank. And as long as the cladding is doing its job, there's no reason to contemplate a change," Hamilton said.