I recently conducted a webinar about continuous insulation in exterior wall assemblies, a topic that has achieved white-hot status among design professionals of late. Due to (fairly) recent CI energy code requirements and adoption of said requirements by state and local jurisdictions, design professionals have found themselves a bit flat-footed in understanding how to get this into their buildings. There is a lot to know to be able to effectively and correctly wedge CI into all of the existing cladding systems commonly used on buildings. The webinar I conducted presented information about CI systems, types of insulation, attachment/fastening methods, and building and energy code compliance. It was a great success.
One question that came up after the webinar was presented stumped me: “Why wasn’t EIFS mentioned in the presentation?” I had no answer. It certainly wasn’t an intentional omission. Many of the basic ingredients of EIFS were shown and/or addressed during the webinar (insulation types, attachment methods, stucco, etc.) but the term “EIFS” never came up. As I thought about it, I came to the realization that EIFS, having been around for decades, the original CI system—if you will—did not come up in the webinar because it would have been stating the obvious. Indeed, the first two letters stand for Exterior Insulation. Equating EIFS with CI is like “Contents Are Hot!” on a coffee cup.