An Exterior Insulation Finishing System (EIFS), also known as EWI (Exterior Wall Insulation Systems) or External Thermal Insulation Composite Systems (ETICS) is a type of cladding system that provides exterior walls with an insulated finished surface and waterproofing in an integrated composite material system. Put another way, an Exterior Insulation Finishing System / External Thermal Insulation Composite Systems can be defined as an ideal energy efficient thermal wrapping or facade insulation applied to the exterior surfaces of a building which is then finished with a long-life, decorative and protective wall coating that can be installed on any type of construction.
In the construction industry, there are a number of versions of EIFS / ETICS. The most basic and common EIFS / ETICS is called a barrier EIFS, also known as traditional or conventional EIFS / ETICS, which is applied to a solid wall (brickwork, blockwork, pre-cast panels and the like). Another type is called EIFS / ETICS with drainage, which is a barrier EIFS / ETICS to which a water drainage capability has been added. This is done mainly for wood structures.
Sectional view of typical EIFS / ETICS facade insulation on a solid wall
Sectional view of typical EIFS / ETICS on a wood substrate
While similar in appearance to stucco (or conventional rendered plaster), EIFS / ETICS is an exterior wall cladding system that consists of components and installation requirements very different from traditional stucco. EIFS / ETICS also requires very different care and maintenance than its “look-alike” cousin, traditional stucco.
To function properly, EIFS / ETICS needs to be architecturally designed and installed as a system by trained applicators.
EIFS / ETICS Components
While giving the appearance of stucco (or conventional rendered plaster), EIFS / ETICS is actually a multi-layered wall system that consists of the following components:
The History of Terraco EIFS / ETICS
Terraco first launched its EIFS / ETICS systems in Turkey and Korea in the 1980s, which was then expanded to Russia, China and the Middle East during the 1990s. Today Terraco offers 3 different EIFS /ETICS systems – EIFS Alpha, EIFS Polar and EIFS Perma – the difference being the type of insulation materials used in each system. Terraco also offers a system for insulated concrete form – ICF Zenith.
History of EIFS / ETICS
By the turn of the century, in Europe, the decisions by numerous governments to introduce an energy rating system on buildings supported by government aided funding / rebates has seen as rapid growth of EIFS. While the use of EIFS over stud-and-sheathing framing (instead of over solid walls) is a technique still used all over North America, certain parts of Europe and the Pacific Rim.
The EIFS / ETICS industry now faces the challenge of formulating fire-resistant Exterior Insulation Finishing Systems, through the use of incorporating fire retardant materials and / or fire breaks in the system, something Terraco has been focussing on for quite some time.