A: Also known as rigid foam board or simply "foam sheathing," FPIS is a durable and versatile insulation material that is commonly installed as continuous insulation. Learn about it here, along with its many benefits and applications

A: Yes. Refer to the ANSI/ABTG FS200.1 standard and this FPIS Ci Resource Guide

A: First, buildings code provide robust and very effective provisions for fire safety related to the proper use and protection of foam plastic materials, including FPIS. Refer to Section 2603 and Chapter 14 of the IBC, and Section R316 of the IRC. The requirements vary based on construction type as is typically the case for building code fire safety provisions.  For technical information and guidance on fire safety and use of foam plastics, refer to the Fire Performance application page

A: This website offers many resources that serve as the basis for, rely on, and help implement provisions in the latest editions of the International Building Code (IBC) and International Residential Code (IRC) to ensure FPIS provides the intended moisture protection and drying potential for building wall applications. Some of these resources include:

  1. Wall calculators to help implement vapor retarder provisions of the IBC and IRC in coordination with the energy efficiency (insulation) requirements of the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC).
  2. FACTS Sheets and Quick Guides that help understand how foam serves to protect walls from moisture and comply with related building code requirements, including the following:
  3. Web pages devoted to moisture control topics, including water-resistive barrier and water vapor control applications of FPIS. 
  4. There is also an ANSI consensus standard that addresses moisture control and many other application topics for FPIS on above-grade walls.
  5. For applications on below-grade walls that serve to help control moisture for below grade spaces, refer to this Quick Guide for existing basement walls and this Quick Guide for foundation insulation.

A: Yes, for properly qualified FPIS water-resistive barrier systems. Technical information, code compliance data, and installation methods can be found here

A: Yes, you can attach various claddings through or over foam sheathing to a structural substrate. This topic is addressed with prescriptive provisions in the IBC (Chapter 14 or 26) and IRC (Section R703). These provisions address the major types of siding including, lap siding, vinyl siding, fiber cement siding, stucco, and adhered veneers. For code compliant cladding connections through FPIS refer to these Quick Guides for attachment to steel wall framing or wood wall framing.

A: There are several ways this can be done that supplement the manufacturer’s installation instructions, which are the primary source for guidance. Refer to the Window Installation application page for technical guidance on installation methods. For more comprehensive and standardized guidance, refer to Section 3.6 of the ANSI/ABTG FS200.1 standard.

A: Installation on foundations varies by foundation type, but all follow the same principles for proper installation and performance. Refer to this Quick Guide for an overview and details of proper installation and best practices for code compliance.

A: Thermal bridging is a major source of energy loss through building envelopes due to framing members, assembly intersections (e.g., floor-wall junctures), and other structural details penetrating the thermal insulation. FPIS is commonly used as continuous insulation that serves to insulate and block heat flow through various structural and non-structural thermal bridges. For information and guidance on use of FPIS ci to address thermal bridging, refer to this FACTS sheet and this application page

A: No. Modern foam plastics have innovated such that their global warming potential (GWP) is similar to that of other common insulation materials, reducing the GWP impact by 90% in recent years and up to 100 times less than product formulations (blowing agents) used in the past. Claims that foam plastics have high global warming potential are outdated. Use of foam plastics to insulate building envelopes provides net carbon payback within about a year of building operation and a cumulative savings of 100x to 300x over the life of a building. They are a climate solution, not a liability. For current information on the GWP and carbon emissions savings potential of foam plastic insulation used for building thermal envelopes, refer to various reports and data on the Sustainability application page. 

A: Yes. Foam sheathing materials when used on building thermal envelopes as continuous insulation are a like the “skin” which protects your body and internal organs. A properly design building thermal envelope and mechanical HVAC system is the key to enabling a healthy indoor environment for occupants, and even help control disease transmission. It also supports resilient, durable, and low-energy buildings that protect occupants from a sometimes hostile or unhealthy outdoor environment. Furthermore, it helps protect the environment from excessive operational (energy use) carbon emissions and pollutants over the life of a building. For more information, refer to the Healthy Buildings application page and the Sustainability application page.  


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