What are the Benefits of Utilizing Exterior Finishing and Cladding Systems (EIFS) for Your Project?

Envelope solutions such as cladding systems are an essential part of a building’s design as they provide protection against the elements while also helping to maintain the building’s internal temperatures. You can think of cladding systems like the skin of a building. They consist of multiple layers of materials connected to the building’s sheathing or primary structure.

When it comes to enhancing the durability and efficiency of a commercial building, EIFS (which stands for Exterior Insulation and Finish Systems) is one of the most effective cladding systems you can find. These systems have become an integral framing element. They’re highly effective at extending the longevity of a building, and their flexible design options allow them to be used without jeopardizing the building’s appearance or design. Over the last 30 years, EIFS has become one of the most popular cladding solutions in construction.

What Is EIFS?

EIFS is a type of cladding system consisting of a layer of polystyrene boards, a layer of fiberglass mesh, a reinforced base coat, and a decorative finish. The insulation board is attached to a building’s frame with adhesives or metal fasteners. Today, most EIFS has a drain plane between the polystyrene boards and the insulation board. This innovative cladding system was first introduced in the late 1960s.

Why You Should Use EIFS On Your Commercial Building

As a large-scale framing subcontractor that specializes in cladding systems, Unique Building Group (UBG) highly recommends using EIFS on your commercial building. Here are some of the main benefits:

  • Durability
    EIFS is engineered to be extremely resilient. It’s able to easily withstand and protect the building from rain, snow, ice, and hail. When compared to traditional stucco, EIFS is flexible. It’s less likely to crack or crumble due to temperature changes or shifting foundations. Because it includes a layer of fiberglass, it’s also extremely impact-resistant.  It will protect your building from both severe weather and projectiles. Most EIFS today include a drainage system that eliminates moisture before it can enter the wall. Because it’s water resistant, it’s also able to resist mold and mildew. It’s the best option for buildings located in humid climates.
  • Energy Efficiency
    EIFS is one of the most energy-efficient solutions out there, and investing in this cladding system will likely result in lower utility bills. The insulated fiberglass layer helps keep prevent air from escaping the building. EIFS meets the North American Continuous Insulation Requirement and can add an additional R-Value of 5 to 5.6 per inch. Combine this with standard insulation, and you can easily achieve an R-value of 16 or higher.
  • Ease of Maintenance –  EIFS looks great for decades. There isn’t much you need to do to maintain the look and quality. Just a simple rinse with a hose is all that is needed to remove any dirt and debris. Because they’re created with 100% acrylic binder, they don’t fade or discolor easily. 
  • Versatility –  One of the reasons architects choose EIFS is because they can easily be customized to meet design requirements, and they look great. EIFS looks a lot like stucco, but it’s much more versatile. It’s available in a wide range of colors and textures.  
  • Cost-Effective
    EIFS isn’t the cheapest cladding system out there. It’s often more difficult to install than other envelope solutions, which results in higher labor costs. However, its many benefits add up to significant cost savings in the long run. The lower energy bills and reduced maintenance costs will add up over the course of several decades, which makes EIFS a great investment.
  • Fire Resistance
    The fire-resistant nature of EIFS also helps to improve the safety and protect the structure of a building. Because EIFS is made up of non-combustible materials and its insulation board reduces heat transfer, the entire system is very fire resistant. In the event a fire does occur, EIFS may help to limit the spread. 

EIFS can be complicated to install. To be effective, EIFS must create an air-tight barrier against the sheathing. Installing it requires specialized knowledge and skills, and as a result, this work should only be done by a qualified subcontractor. Failure to install EIFS correctly can result in significant damage to the building. You want to always make sure you’re working with an experienced framing or envelope subcontractor.

If need a reliable framing subcontractor to install cladding systems on your commercial building, look no further than UBG. We have specialized in large-scale framing and building envelope solutions for more than 30 years. You can be confident that we’ll complete your project on-time and on-budget — no matter how complicated.