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Made In Hollywood Blog

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March 15, 2010 – 8:22 pm

The R.O.I.

- Posted in Architectural, Extended Portfolio, Polystyrene Uses by Fran

Expanded polystyrene wall insulation being fitted to a new building

Expanded polystyrene wall insulation being fitted to a new building

The ROI acronym has something to do with  “Return on Investment” and it is based in the “Republic of Ireland”, but the ROI in this blog post is to do with the Role of Insulation. So now that I’ve broken the ice, I will continue, and things will hopefully become a little clearer.
‘Breaking the ice’ is actually a very apt description with the very cold conditions we have been experiencing this winter. When the weather gets cold, we focus on keeping warm both inside and outside; putting on an extra layer is nothing new, but it is when you are putting it on a building.

The SEAI, the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (formerly known as the SEI) was set up by the government in 2002 as Ireland’s national energy agency. It provides information and education in sustainable energy use and conservation. It also provides financial assistance in the form of grants, an example being the Home Energy Saving (HES) scheme. This scheme provides grants to homeowners who are interested in improving the energy efficiency of their home by allowing them to upgrade their roof insulation, wall insulation and other energy-saving devices.

Cement boards fitted to a steel framed building before external wall insulation is applied

Cement boards fitted to a steel framed building before external wall insulation is applied

One of the ways people can improve the efficiency of their home and keep them warmer, is by adding a layer of external wall insulation (EWI). Put simply, this is achieved by securing sheets of expanded polystyrene foam (EPS) to the outer walls of a building and then applying a plaster finish. An advantage of putting the insulation on the outside means the internal living space is unaffected.
This technique isn’t restricted to existing buildings, it can be used on new buildings too, and not just on houses. Commercial and industrial buildings use a similar technique where EPS insulation sheets are fastened to cement boards that are attached to a steel framework.

Expanded polystyrene mouldings used on the exterior of the Citywest Convention Centre

Expanded polystyrene mouldings used on the exterior of the Citywest Convention Centre

The Citywest Convention Centre used this construction method in their new events facility. Not only was polystyrene used to insulate the exterior of the building, it was used to create architectural profiles and mouldings. The bands, window surrounds and eave detail were all created with our CNC hotwire machines and were attached to the building and plastered in the same way the insulation was finished. You can see more example of the work we carried out on the building in our portfolio section.

So the Role of Insulation, in this case, Polystyrene, was a dual role. It was used to insulate the external walls of the building and to provide a lightweight design detail to this impressive exhibition venue.
It will hopefully make a good Return on Investment for the owners and will be one of the most popular conference centres in the Republic of Ireland, but not in the other ROI, which is an airport code for Roi ET, which is in Thailand.