Exterior Insulation and Finishing System (EIFS) is an insulating, decorative, and protective finish system for exterior walls that can be installed on any type of construction. It is the only exterior wall covering that insulates and provides weather protection in a selection of shapes, colors, and textures that can replicate almost any architectural style or finish material, or stand by itself as an architectural finish. EIFS is wall cladding that utilizes stiff insulation boards on the outside of a wall and a plaster-like exterior covering. EIFS employs organic polymeric finishes reinforced with glass mesh. EIFS can be effective for both new construction and recladding applications, as an energy-efficient, economical wall covering. After World War II, buildings throughout Germany were damaged and in need of resurfacing. EIFS originated in Germany and came to the U.S. in the late 1960s.
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EIFS, if installed properly, makes the building energy efficient. The EIFS costs more initially; however, it pays for itself over time. Structures with EIFS can save between 20% and 30% on energy bills as per the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Aesthetics and creative freedom are the perks offered by EIFS. Expanded polystyrene (EPS) is a part of the system that can be cut or molded to create several shapes such as arches, columns, window details, and sculptures. EIFS costs less than traditional insulation materials. It does not encroach upon the interior area, as it is fitted on the outside. EIFS can be installed in extremely hot or cold places that otherwise are unlikely to accommodate construction. EIFS installations are technically challenging. Inexperienced workers plus fast-tracked construction can compromise the quality of EIFS. This could result in leak or holes in EIFS or worse. This is the primary restraining factor for the EIFS market.
Based on design, the exterior insulation and finish system (EIFS) market can be segmented into class Polymer based (PB), class Polymer Modified (Polymer Modified), Direct-applied Exterior Finish System (DEFS), and EIFS with drainage. Class PB is also known as ’soft coat’ EIFS. It utilizes adhesively fastened expanded polystyrene (EPS) insulation with glass fiber reinforcing mesh embedded in a nominal base coat. Class PB represents the majority of EIFS used in North America. Class PM is also known as ’hard coat’ EIFS. In class PM EIFS, reinforcing mesh is mechanically attached to the extruded polystyrene (XPS) insulation, over which a thick, cementitious base coat is applied. Class PM EIFS was developed for improved impact resistance. DEFS is an EIFS without insulation. DEFS are mainly used for soffits, stairwells, and high-impact prone areas that don’t require insulation. EIFS with drainage is also known as ’rain screen EIFS’.
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Key players operating in the exterior insulation and finish systems (EIFS) market are BASF Corporation, RMAX, Dryvit Systems, Inc., Parex USA, Inc., Sto Corp., Lafargeholcim Ltd, The Dow Chemical Company, Saint-Gobain Weber, and Aliva UK Ltd.
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