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New University of Iowa Building Meets Challenges with Foam-Control Plus+ EPS Insulation

Just one year ago, ACH Foam Technologies changed the insulation industry by releasing Foam-Control® Plus+®, an architectural grade expanded polystyrene (EPS) insulation. With a range of high compressive strengths and high R-values, Foam-Control® Plus+® is a premium grade insulation, available at a lower cost than other rigid foam insulations.

When the University of Iowa decided to build a new center for tennis, recreation, and the band, they turned to Foam-Control® Plus+®. The builders needed to protect the rec center from the intense Iowa winters and summers. The contractor on the project, Jim Seelman, chose Foam-Control® Plus+® for its price. Foam-Control® Plus+® is more cost-effective than extruded polystyrene (XPS) alternatives.

Along with its lower price, Foam-Control® Plus+® offers better long-term thermal performance than XPS insulation because of its ability to maintain its R-value over time. Moisture diminishes the R-value of all polystyrene resins, whether expanded or extruded. But EPS based insulation, such as Foam-Control® Plus+®, has a higher permeability than XPS and releases moisture more easily. This means that over the life of the product, EPS insulation actually holds its R-value better.

For the rec center, which is about the size of a football field, Seelman needed 80,000 square feet of under-slab insulation. The product arrived just as Seelman wanted it: uniform. In one long day -- from 8 am to 1 am -- Seelman's team laid out the under-slab insulation for the entire building. This was no easy feat. It was made possible through hard work and the fact that each piece of ACH Foam's scored Foam-Control® Plus+® 250 was ready to install.

The evenness of the product was crucial. In Seelman's application, Foam-Control® Plus+® insulation was installed below-grade, and any inconsistencies would lead to an uneven foundation. The material was also durable. Seelman's team was able to install a six-inch rock base on top of the insulation, and none of the panels broke. ACH also stored Seelman's material until he was ready to install it.

In every stage of the process, Foam-Control® Plus+® was the right choice for the University of Iowa: it was more cost-effective, easy to install, and over time, will hold onto its R-value better than alternatives.


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