DENVER, CO--(Marketwired - Nov 10, 2015) - In design and construction a key to success is continually looking for new ways to solve old problems. Sometimes innovations take the form of dynamic cantilevered glass boxes abutting from the sides of buildings that seem to float in space. Other times, innovation takes a much simpler, subtle stance by saving builders time and money or performing better than expected.
In the case of the headquarters offices for Wisconsin Vision Associates, a Burlington, Wisconsin-based medical goods distributor serving Optometrists across the United States, innovation came in an unexpected form, ACH Foam Technologies' Foam-Control® EPS Geofoam to be exact.
During the initial site investigation process, engineers were faced with significant grade changes of more than 17 feet on the building site. Typically, the solution would be to either to add and compact additional fill soil to bring the lowest side of the site flush with the highest side or do the opposite and remove the excess soil and bring the highest side down to match the lowest. Either way, there would be significant time and money invested in work that ultimately wouldn't have any noticeable value to the finished project.
Rather than fill the void with soil, engineers decided to use EPS Geofoam, lightweight geotechnical fill material with high compressive strengths. At about one-percent the weight of traditional earth materials, this cellular plastic material has a high compressive resistance up to 18.6 psi at 1% deformation and also reduces lateral loads and bearing loads. Lightweight and extremely easy to install using non-specialized labor, the construction team on the project assembled more than 470 cubic yards of ACH Foam Technologies' geofoam in just three days, eliminating the need for costly and time consuming earth work.
While this subsoil support component has been a staple of heavy civil construction, general contractors in the vertical construction market are just beginning to realize the immense benefits of this product. In addition to this innovative use of EPS Geofoam, the design team also incorporated another ACH Foam Technologies product in a much more traditional application, roofing insulation. Available in a range of R-Values from 4.2 to 4.5 per inch at 75°F, Foam-Control's Flat EPS Roof Insulation is compatible with loose-laid and attached single ply-membranes, conventional built-up roofing and modified bitumen systems. In the case of Wisconsin Vision Associates new facility, Type VIII EPS provided the highest R-Value making it an ideal choice to help reduce heating costs during Wisconsin's frigid winter weather. A key advantage of EPS insulation is that unlike polyisocyanurate insulation products, the product's R-Value remains constant overtime, whereas polyisocyanurate products decrease in R-Value overtime as the product off-gases its blowing agent.