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The KORE Blog

6 Reasons to Choose EPS over PIR Insulation

Posted on Tue, Jul 11, 2017 @ 12:32 PM

EPS for Low Energy Home.jpg 

 

With the lack of raw material to support the manufacturing of PIR insulation, you may have been faced with shortages and unfulfilled orders for your project's insulation needs. You may have also experienced increase prices as the demand continues to outweigh supply of this material. You can learn more about the PIR supply shortage in this short video.

Luckily, there are alternatives available that offer high thermal performance at a cost savings of up to 20 percent. Even better, these alternative materials can be used towards a whole-home insulation solution without major changes to your plans.

Enter Expanded Polystyrene

Expanded Polystyrene, known as EPS or airpop, has been in use for decades. It is a versatile material that is used for numerous products, including insulation, packaging, safety equipment, artwork and even civil engineering applications. Many every day products are made from EPS using both new and recycled material. 

KORE has been manufacturing EPS for the Irish and UK markets for over 20 years. Applications for EPS include:

Our bespoke manufacturing process enables us to meet the needs of just about any project. Product densities, thicknesses and sizes can be customised to individual plans or drawings, while our foundation system can be supplied fully engineered. Let's take a look at some of the benefits of EPS as an alternative to PIR insulation.

1. EPS is an extremely durable material

Expanded polystyrene will last the lifetime of any building where it's installed. The thermal performance of EPS does not degrade over time, meaning the U-value you first achieve with EPS will not change. Unlike other insulation materials, like PIR, EPS does not off-gas, meaning the thermal conductivity stated on the Declaration of Performance certificate is what you'll receive. 

In addition, EPS is rot-proof, mould, water and moisture resistant due to it's closed cell matrix of 98 percent air and 2 percent EPS. A flame retardant is added to all the EPS we manufacture.

2. EPS is cost effective

The PIR shortage has meant supply cannot keep up with demand. Lead times are currently several weeks and limits may be placed on the quantity that can be purchased. As a result, the price of PIR has risen in many markets. 

Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) has been left completely unaffected by the shortage of PIR insulation, as the manufacturing of EPS requires different raw materials. The cost difference between EPS and PIR can be as high as 20 percent, meaning you should see a substantial savings when you make the switch to EPS. 

3. EPS has short lead times

Many of our EPS insulation solutions can be manufactured and delivered to site in just a few days, meaning your project won't be held up while you're waiting on material to become available. We can even accommodate most urgent requests without compromising on quality.

KORE delivers throughout Ireland and the UK, and our network of KORE Fill Cavity Wall Insulation installers reaches every county in Ireland. When you place an order with our sales team we will confirm a provisional delivery date and follow up throughout the course of the order to make sure it stays on time.

4. EPS offers high thermal performance

The thermal performance of EPS is only limited by its thickness, meaning you can achieve low U-values simply be increasing the thickness of insulation. With proper planning and design, KORE EPS easily meets and exceeds Ireland's Building Regulations for all common insulation applications.

Unlike PIR insulation and other materials, EPS does not off-gas over its lifetime, meaning the thermal conductivity will not change as the building ages.

Learn more about the thermal performance of EPS when compared to PIR insulation for floor and cavity wall insulation applications.

5. EPS can keep thermal bridging to a minimum

KORE's Insulated Foundation is a fully engineered foundation system made from Expanded Polystyrene. By wrapping the entire foundation in a continuous layer of EPS, thermal bridging at the wall-to-floor junction is virtually eliminated. EPS is provided in different grades as specified by the engineer, depending on the plans and drawings submitted to us during quotation. KORE's Insulated Foundation System is a bespoke solution, designed and engineered to your specific project. See how easily the foundation system installs in our latest time lapse video. 

6. EPS is a stable material

Expanded Polystyrene is an extremely stable material, containing no CFCs or HCFCs. It is chemically inert and can be safely handled on the jobsite without requiring specialised equipment. As stated, the performance of EPS will not degrade over time, providing a consistent thermal performance for decades.

EPS is sustainable and can be recycled when its useful life has been reached. 

Insulate with Expanded Polystyrene

Whether you're retrofitting an existing building or planning a new build, EPS can help you achieve your low energy goals at a cost that is much less than our competitors. Request a free, no obligation quotation, or sign up for a free insulation CPD seminar today. 

Tags: EPS, PIR

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