EIMA has joined with its industry allies in protesting the manner in which a report of Underwriters Laboratories (UL) has been allowed be used as the basis for a code change that would essentially ban the use of foam insulation for EIFS and other exterior wall cladding such as vinyl siding. The report was based, in part, on a series of fire tests that were conducted at UL’s Northbrook test facility.

The results of these tests were reported in UL’s report “Study of Residential Attic Fire Mitigation Tactics and Exterior Fire Spread Hazards on Fire Fighter Safety.”

This report is a compilation and analysis of 32 wall fire tests, three eave/wall fire tests, eight full-scale attic fire tests and three knee wall and attic field experiments.

Since the publication of the test report, EIMA and its allies have questioned some of the specific test fire parameters and the appropriateness of the construction materials used especially with respect to their actual use.

In the letter that was sent to UL, the question was raised how a project funded through the Firefighters Grant Program with the intent of improving firefighting tactics and standard operating procedures to improve fire fighter safety became focused on regulation of building materials through the building code.

This report was used as the basis for a code change proposal that was offered during the 2015/2017 Code Change Cycle for Group A codes that includes the International Building Code.

This code change proposal was defeated at the last hearing, and EIMA will continue to speak against and oppose these kinds of proposals.