New R-Value Requirements

By:  Jim Nugent, Sales Representative – Architectural Products

With both ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers) and IECC (International Energy Conservation Code) updating their R value requirements and setting new standards for continuous insulation (ci), building owners and their managers, architects, engineers and contractors all have new requirements that need to be followed in order to meet codes.

I won’t claim that in this brief blog post I can succinctly communicate all the new standards for the various climate zones in the US, but I can offer a very simple way to find that information. Go to and search for tech bulletin eps1020 (ASHRAE standards) and tech bulletin eps1021 (IECC standards). These two documents will give you all the up-to-date R-value requirements for all the US climate zones in all forms of construction. How easy is that!

Now I can’t just stop there and not take a few paragraphs to explain how rigid EPS insulation is the right solution for meeting these new standards….

One thing you will notice with these new insulation standards is that R-value requirements are increasing. EPS has always offered the best value proposition of the three primary rigid insulations (EPS, XPS and Polyiso), so as R-value requirements increase so does the cost effectiveness of EPS. For below-grade, under slab, cavity wall and perimeter wall insulation, Foam Control Plus+ rigid EPS insulation offers the same compressive resistance and in-service R value as extruded polystyrene at a lower cost.

Another aspect of these new R-Value standards are requirements for certain minimums for continuous insulation or different R-values for out bound or in bound insulation.  Architects now have all new R-values to design with and these new R-value requirements will not be easily met with current “off the shelf” extruded polystyrene products found in local distribution.

One of the long standing benefits of EPS has been our ability to easily vary thickness and compressive strength to meet target R Values.

ACH Foam can be your single source for below-grade and perimeter insulation and your resource for understanding the new code requirements.

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