From the Initial Look to Future Considerations

Why EIFS Has Become a Popular Choice for Hotels and Resorts

From JPCL, September 2017


When owners and designers select exterior building finishes for hotels and resorts, appearance is a top concern, but energy codes, budget and regional weather conditions also affect their choices. Exterior insulation and finish systems (EIFS) offer a viable solution, as shown in several examples....

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Tagged categories: Aesthetics; Brick; Building Envelope; Building envelope; Building facades; Building owners; Cladding; EIFS; EIFS Industry Members Association (EIMA) ; Energy codes; Hotels; Insulation; Stucco

Comment from Tim Evans, (10/13/2017, 11:41 AM)

Interesting, but it reads an awful lot like a sales pitch, rather than a technical article. Given recent history, it does seem there should have been at least some mention of fire safety. A few cons thrown in with the pros would also have improved the article.

Comment from Robert Bullard, (10/13/2017, 1:44 PM)

Hurricanes Matthew and Irma wind borne debris left their EIFS marks in Florida.

Comment from Tom Schwerdt, (10/19/2017, 8:13 AM)

Ugh. Total sales pitch. At least give the historical downsides (for example, water intrusion destroying the building structure behind EIFS) - and how those problems are avoided with a modern approach. I'm afraid this "Hey EIFS SOLVES ALL PROBLEMS - CHEAP!" approach without giving a heads up on the limitations/best practices will cause overconfidence in the material, and result in additional failures in the future.

Comment from Dick Piper, (10/26/2017, 11:39 AM)

The article is a sales pitch and not worth anything. I am sure that there is considerable hurricane damage to EIFS buildings, but what I am more concerned about is the hail damage I have seen on at least four hotels in Texas. An exterior siding material marketed to commercial buildings should not be damaged by hail!!!

Comment from Scott Robinson, (10/26/2017, 2:07 PM)

Tim, thanks for taking the time to read the article. While I disagree that it sounds like a sales pitch, it also wasn’t supposed to be a technical article. The article takes a look at the direction of hotels and resorts, and highlights the growing popularity of EIFS through recent cases. Each of the cases simply highlight the reasons EIFS was selected.

Comment from Scott Robinson, (10/26/2017, 2:08 PM)

Robert, I’m sure you’re correct and that those hurricanes caused damage to a variety of buildings and structures. As for Irma, that hurricane occurred after I submitted this article, but we are monitoring the results. The fact is that many buildings can stand up to sever winds and storms, EIFS included. The reason the section is cited with an article is to share that story. While the building wasn’t left untouched, as I included, it showed an example of a building that could’ve been damaged much worse.

Comment from Scott Robinson, (10/26/2017, 2:15 PM)

Tom, no one can include everything, and this article never intended to be a historical piece on EIFS, your comment even seems to note that today EIFS is different. The article takes a look at the direction of hotels and resorts, and highlights the growing popularity of EIFS through recent cases. Since you mentioned “water intrusion” I would point to an article published a couple years ago in D+D pertaining to testing completed at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory on that exact topic. To address the quote, you included and some of the other comments, the article clearly states that there are attractive other cases that aren’t EIFS and that EIFS “can” be the solution, which is clearly documented in these recent cases. I have to argue that we’ve largely moved beyond what you’re talking about.

Comment from Tom Schwerdt, (10/30/2017, 9:04 AM)

Scott, thank you for responding. To address "no one can include everything" - I was not commenting on the overall volume of information presented, but rather its one-sided nature. Even in your response you really didn't address widespread prior issues with EIFS, other than the standard refrain of "This time it's different!"

Comment from Scott Robinson, (10/30/2017, 1:58 PM)

Tom- I appreciate that we're probably going to disagree on this, but we and other others have pointed to moisture intrusion issues from decades ago in other articles and posts. There does come a point, when we have to assume people have done their homework. Agree or disagree, the article's purpose was to talk about some recent hotels and resorts relating to EIFS. This was not a historical look at EIFS, a look at pros and cons to this single exterior wall cladding system, or anything else.

Comment from Jay Ammon, (4/23/2018, 7:40 AM)

After many years as a building envelope architect, and an expert witness often testifying against EIFS, I have done a 180 on this facing system. The writer of this article correctly identified one of the major benefits of EIFS, the requirement for continuous insulation. We have evaluated many buildings where thermal breaks formed vertical condensation lines on the face of the stucco. This causes algae staining which detracts from the building's appearance and increases maintenance cost. Of course, the thermal efficiency of the wall is significantly reduced with thermal breaks. In this article, I did not see the most important advantage of new EIFS assemblies, its drainability. The air barrier, water barrier, and vapor barrier (if necessary) is applied behind the EIFS. Any face barrier assembly exposes the barriers to weather elements, resulting in steady deterioration and requiring periodic re-sealing. The barriers behind the EIFS will be protected from direct contact from the weather elements and will remain effective indefinitely. The other feature of the new EIFS assemblies is the option to select the high impact surfaces. Resistance to wind-blown debris is critical in those regions, such as Florida. Resistance to vandalism is also important in many building types such as high schools. We recently set up several exterior wall finish mock-ups for a Florida high school, including a traditional stucco, stucco over wire lath, and a high-impact resistant EIFS. The doubting facilities project manager and I hurled several missiles at the mock-ups, including a re-bar and padlocks (A favorite weapon of the students for wall vandalism.) Each of the missiles bounced off each finish, with absolutely no more damage to the high-impact EIFS. The slight flexibility of the EPS may have contributed to the lack of EIFS damage. No one product will be appropriate everywhere but we are completing many successful projects with the high-impact, drainable EIF assemblies.

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