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Expanded Polystyrene is Growing in the Construction Industry with the Rise of Pre-Fabricated Housing

Lightweight expanded polystyrene is an ideal material for pre-fabricated building systems thanks to its structural strength, longevity and superb thermal performance.

One of the main trends gaining traction in the construction market is the use of pre-fabricated Structural Insulated Panels (SIPS). This popular building method utilises a technique where sections of buildings can be made offsite and then shipped directly to the building site to be quickly craned into position and bolted together. This significantly cuts down on construction times when compared to traditional brick and mortar methods and therefore reduces costs of manpower required during building phases.

Pre-fabricated systems typically comprise of a range of interlocking panels each of which is effectively a sandwich of grey EPS glued between an outer and inner board material like OSB which is specified according to the building needs. Panels can also integrate both window and door cassettes and electrics and plumbing to speed construction further, once the walls are locked together roof and ceiling panels can be added This allows for the bulk of the construction work can be done off site. Pre-fab systems that combine EPS benefit from:

  • Excellent insulation (grey EPS is 0.03 W/mK)
  • U-values of 0.1 or better can be achieved
  • EPS is easy to cut and shape
  • Easy on-site handling
  • Long life (will not deteriorate)

 Using EPS as part of a pre-fabricated building system lowers CO2 emissions, when transporting building components to construction sites, EPS offers an exceptionally lightweight solution to so many applications in construction. This is not surprising when you consider that, EPS is effectively 98% air!