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Expanded polystyrene is an organic material manufactured from crude oil by-products. The manufacturing process consists of the expansion of polystyrene beads in a mould, which contains an expanding agent, pentane. When submitted to water vapour, the beads expand until they completely fill the mould. During the expansion process, the expanding agent dissipates and air is introduced to the cell structure. The final product is a rigid insulation comprised of a closed cell structure consisting of 98% air.

What is EPS used for?

EPS is widely used in packaging applications for the transport of produce, seafood and fragile items. EPS is also becoming a popular material for use in building and construction applications. Examples include geofoam, a light-weight void filler, insulated panel systems, wall cladding systems and concrete slab footing systems known as waffle pods.

What are the benefits of using EPS?

EPS is widely used in many everyday applications where its light weight, strength, durability, thermal insulation and shock absorption characteristics provide superior benefits over other materials. These characteristics, combined with its versatility, performance and cost effectiveness have made EPS a packaging and building material of choice for over 50 years.

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“It’s one of the most rewarding experiences of my career,” says David Carolan, Founder and CEO of Solid Green Companies, describing his company’s participation in the rebuilding of several homes after the forest fires that devastated Bastrop, Texas, in September 2011, destroying 67 homes. “I’m happy we could step in and quickly help with the rebuilding process. Thanks to our unique wall and roof system we were able to rebuild several homes is just 60 days.”

American Builders Quarterly reported on this story, sharing details of how such a fast build of quality homes was possible, including the ability to get the wall and roof system ready to install in record time. The system allows builders to construct homes and offices approximately 25 percent faster by reducing the work it takes to prepare walls.

As David explains in the article: “From a builder’s perspective, it’s a lot like getting a truss package. You send us the plans and order the system so it hits the jobsite just after the foundation is complete, then you unbundle it and get to work.”

The article also mentions that the wall and roof system is not just appropriate in natural disaster situations, but also in typical building situations — such as homes for oil company workers in Eagle Ford Formation, Texas. “We were able to build the four multiunit apartment buildings the company needed to house its workers in less than 75 days,” said David. “This helped the company keep their project running, with no down time.”

Read the Full Article

See the Final Structure

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Solid Green Systems manufactures a patented residential and commercial exterior wall and roof system made of EPS foam and light-gauge steel. Below are some of the technical features that sets us apart:

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Solid Green Systems Among 13 Companies Up for the Intel Environmental Responsibility and Sustainability Award

It’s been a busy third quarter at Solid Green Companies — with new building projects launching, new partnerships forming, and our Founder’s appointment to the Board of the Net-Zero Energy Council. Plus, we recently learned that we have been nominated for a Greater Austin Business Award sponsored by the Austin Chamber of Commerce.

Solid Green Companies is up for an Intel Environmental Responsibility and Sustainability Award. This award is for any organization in any industry that demonstrates an alignment with clean energy or clean technology practices. It is one of nine categories of business awards. Solid Green Companies is one of 13 businesses up for an award in this category.

Intel Environmental Responsibility & Sustainability Award

  1. Banyan Water Inc
  2. CLEAN AIR Force of Central Texas
  3. Compost Pedallers
  4. Lone Star Clean Fuels Alliance
  5. Solid Green Systems
  6. car2go
  7. incenergy
  8. MHD Enterprises
  9. AMD
  10. Green Mountain Energy Company
  11. HID Global
  12. Rackspace
  13. TG

The Austin Chamber received 430 nominations for all of the Business Awards. Of those submissions, 100 finalists were narrowed down in the 13 categories.

“The Austin Chamber of Commerce is proud to recognize businesses in our community who are leading the way in diversity, innovation, and prosperity for the Central Texas economy,” said Phyllis Snodgrass, Chief Operating Officer, Austin Chamber of Commerce. “We are impressed with our finalists and look forward to honoring our winners in August.”

“We are honored to be a finalist for the environmental award,” said David Carolan, Founder and CEO of Solid Green Companies. “It’s wonderful to be included among other companies in Austin dedicated to issues we believe are essential to quality of life on our planet, environmental responsibility and sustainability. It’s encouraging to find so many other companies working toward a better world for everyone.”

Winners for each category will be announced at the 2014 Greater Austin Business Awards ceremony, which will be held Wednesday, August 27 at 6:00 p.m. at the Hilton Austin.

See the full slate of award nominees here.

According to the scientific results of a study conducted by the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), top-performing wall systems contain EPS foam.

The lab’s study summary stated: “The best-performing wall system was the EIFS wall consisting of 4 inches of expanded polystyrene insulation board without any interior stud insulation (no fiber glass). This wall outperformed all other walls in terms of moisture while maintaining superior thermal performance.”

Read more in a government study here.

Read the full report here.

Permission to repost article granted by buildings.com

Expanded polystyrene (EPS) delivers a substantial reduction in greenhouse gas emissions when used to insulate homes, according to data added to the U.S. Life Cycle Inventory (LCI) database by the EPS Molders Association. The LCI database is maintained by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

The data was derived from a study that calculated the resources used and emissions produced in the manufacturing and delivery of EPS foam insulation. The study concluded that EPS insulation will reduce a building’s energy consumption to an extent that far outweighs the environmental impact of manufacturing the building material.

The study was conducted by Franklin Associates, which provides LCA and Solid Waste Management consulting services.

Read the Reuters article on the EPS research

Read the EPS Molders Association press release here:

EPS Molders Press Release

A recent report by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Building America Program, Moisture Management for High R-value Walls, explains the moisture-related concerns for high R-value wall assemblies. It focuses on how various walls handle three main sources of moisture – construction moisture, air leakage condensation and bulk water leaks.

To evaluate the potential for moisture problems in these walls, R-40 walls were evaluated in six U.S. cities (Houston, Atlanta, Seattle, St. Louis, Chicago, and International Falls) representing a range of climate zones (2, 3, 4C, 4, 5A and 7, respectively). Eight wall types were analyzed, divided into four categories:

  • Advance framed wall insulated on the exterior
  • Double stud wall with different cavity insulations
  • SIP wall with 11.5 “of EPS insulation
  • CMU (concrete masonry unit) wall with EIFS insulation

The peak annual moisture content of the wood-based exterior sheathing was used to comparatively analyze the response to the moisture loads for different wall assemblies in each given city. Walls that experienced moisture contents between 20% and 28% were identified as risky, whereas those exceeding 28% were identified as very high risk.

Read the Full Article and Download the Report from the EPS Industry Alliance.

Solid Green Systems is announcing the launch of their patent-pending technology. Their building system is based on a foam insulated panel manufactured from expanded polystyrene (EPS), a byproduct generated in the refining of crude oil. When combined with light-gauge metal framing, the EPS adds rigidity in the exterior walls and roof. The resulting patent pending system provides superior insulation, vapor barrier and sound barrier while reducing air infiltration to result in unparalleled energy efficiency.

David Carolan, Founder and President of Solid Green Systems believes their building system will help meet the growing demand for green and energy efficient structures “As the alternative building market grows at 30% or greater ann...

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