How to Meet Today’s Building Codes with the Right Continuous Insulation

A cutaway drawing of the protective layers of StoTherm ci XPS insulation with  an exterior Lotusan coating.

A cutaway drawing of the protective layers of StoTherm ci XPS insulation with an exterior Lotusan coating.

Many of today’s building designers and owners find themselves contending with the need for an advanced insulated wall cladding that meets the country’s increasingly rigorous IBC building codes such as Title 24, IBC, IECC and ASHRAE 90.1. What they want is efficiency, durability and a flexible range of exterior appearances. Sto’s answer? StoTherm® ci XPS continuous insulation.

StoTherm ci XPS is an integrated, continuous-insulation wall system that is air & moisture-controlled, thermally-efficient and highly durable. It helps cut energy costs, reduces maintenance expenses by extending the building life cycle and adds value by offering designers a variety of aesthetic options thanks to a wide range of decorative and protective finishes available in virtually unlimited colors. It checks all the boxes on today’s exterior specifications requirements list.

You’ll find more specification information on both ARCOM Masterspec Section 072419: Water-Drainage Exterior Insulation and Finish System (StoTherm ci Wall Systems – EIFS) and BSD Speclink-E Section 072400: Exterior Insulation and Finishing System (StoTherm ci systems).

The newly-renovated Nippert Stadium at the University of Cincinnati incorporated StoTherm ci XPS in several of the wall structures.

The newly-renovated Nippert Stadium at the University of Cincinnati incorporated StoTherm ci XPS in several of the wall structures.

StoTherm ci XPS is a highly energy-efficient system thanks to the combination of a fluid-applied StoGuard air & moisture barrier and extruded polystyrene insulation with installation-friendly components that eliminate heat-dissipating thermal bridging from mechanical fasteners and minimizes heating and cooling costs. It requires only one trade to install the entire system, which both cuts the time to build and lowers overall construction costs. And its low allowable deflection value of L/240 compared to L/360 for stucco and L/620 for brick facilitates lightweight construction and produces a lower cost per square foot.

This makes the StoTherm ci XPS system an ideal alternative to stucco and brick systems. Why? Faster, easier installation; high durability with a maintenance-friendly exterior finish that looks great and lasts. The economics are favorable, too; XPS material costs are typically lower than insulated stucco, brick or metal panel.

StoTherm ci XPS is part of StoCorp’s range of continuous insulation systems including EIFS, Stucco, Cement board stucco and Sto Panel (prefabricated) wall systems. The latest news is that the company is now partnered with two of the insulation industry’s leading vendors, Owens Corning and Dow as suppliers for a key component of the StoTherm ci XPS system. This now means that Sto customers will have two options when choosing the durable, high-R-value rigid foam insulation that resists water absorption and significantly contributes to the Sto ci wall.

This development makes it even more apparent that today’s StoTherm ci XPS is a true problem-solver. The news for architects and contractors is that the product now deserves a second look.


PACE Spurs Building Upgrades for Energy Savings

Now there's financing available to cut energy waste in buildings of all types and sizes.

Now there's financing available to cut energy waste in buildings of all types and sizes.

PACE, which stands for Property Assessed Clean Energy, is a simple and effective mechanism for financing energy-efficiency retrofits and renewable energy upgrades that might not otherwise be affordable for commercial, residential, industrial, and agricultural buildings. PACE financing overcomes the upfront cost barrier these upgrades can pose by providing 100% of the financing for such projects.

The financing is paid back via property tax assessments that can stretch as long as 20 years. In most instances, the related energy savings more than pay for the assessment. Through the use of innovative PACE funding, new energy-efficient heating and cooling systems, insulation, solar and lighting improvements can be immediately rendered cash flow positive.

PACE funding has soared, as owners recognize the opportunity to increase their bottom line by reducing energy costs, to enhance the value of their property and do their part to offset greenhouse gas emissions. Since three quarters of the electricity generated in America is used to heat, cool, illuminate, and otherwise operate buildings, it’s not surprising that Scientific American magazine named PACE one of 20 “world changing” ideas.


Can Green Buildings Make Us Smarter?

Green is good -- outside or inside an occupied building.

Green is good -- outside or inside an occupied building.

A recent study published by Environmental Health Perspectives (EHP) suggests that Green Buildings create optimized conditions for health and productivity. In a series of experiments, indoor environmental quality (IEQ) factors for both “green” and “conventional” buildings were simulated in a controlled environment that included office workers, and the researchers measured variables such as carbon dioxide variation, ventilation and exposure to volatile organic compounds in the building atmosphere.

The results? On average, cognitive scores for the two groups of workers were 61% higher for those working in a building with green features than with conventional construction.  In other words, green building can potentially deliver a smarter workforce.


Energy Efficient Buildings Key to Combating Climate Change

energy efficient building

Renovating the Federal Building in Portland, Oregon cut energy usage by 45% and water consumption by 60%.

A new report from the U.S. Green Building Council and the American Sustainable Business Council concludes that energy-efficient buildings are one of the most effective and economical ways to reduce the nation’s carbon footprint in response to global warming. That’s because buildings account for more greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. than any other source, including transportation and industry. The report probes the economics of green buildings and their value in mitigating greenhouse gas production, suggesting that brick and mortar solutions to the climate challenge make for good economics in the long run.


FAQs: Exterior Insulation and Finishing System (EIFS)

EIFS, continuous insulation

The Shops at 5th and Alton in Miami Beach, Florida show the commercial design potential of today's continuous insulation systems.

In the U.S., the International Building Code and ASTM International define Exterior Insulation and Finish System (EIFS) as a non-load-bearing, exterior wall cladding system that consists of the following: an insulation board attached either adhesively or mechanically, or both, to the substrate; an integrally reinforced base coat; and a textured protective finish coat. Prior to 2000, EIFS were barrier systems, meaning that the EIFS itself was the weather barrier. After 2000 the EIFS industry introduced the air/moisture barrier that resides behind the foam.

Today, EIFS is one of the most tested claddings in the construction industry. Research conducted by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and supported by the Department of Energy, has validated that EIFS is the “best performing cladding” in relation to thermal and moisture control when compared to brick, stucco, and fiber cement siding. In addition EIFS is in full compliance with modern building codes, which emphasize energy conservation through the use of ci (continuous insulation) and a continuous air barrier. Their growing popularity is related to the desire for energy efficiency combined with design flexibility.


The future of the home insulation market

Residential insulation sales are projected to increase $10.3 billion -- a total of 6.6 percent from 2015 to 2019.

Residential insulation sales are projected to increase $10.3 billion -- a total of 6.6 percent from 2015 to 2019.

Insulation is critical when it comes to retaining heat in your home and saving money on energy expenses. Sto Corp can provide superior insulation by analyzing each unique build and providing a case-specific approach to delivering the best results for a given residence. However, as the market evolves, the way that continuous insulation is prepared and distributed will change along with it.