Located near America’s coldest city – Fairbanks, Alaska – Fort Greeley is home to the U.S. Army’s Cold Regions Test Center. With average winter low temperatures of -15° to -25° F, the base’s Sub-Arctic environment makes it challenging to keep housing for military professionals warm.
At Fort Greeley and nearby Fort Wainwright, Lend Lease (US) Public Partnerships has built 275 military housing units, with 45 new units planned at its North Haven Communities project. North Haven is a partnership between Lend Lease and the U.S. Army, a privatized military residential community that’s home to more than 1,700 service members and Department of Defense personnel. To help meet stringent LEED for Homes Silver Level energy efficiency requirements, the company used R-Tech® expanded polystyrene (EPS) insulation from Insulfoam.
“The EPS has been tested by the cold climate consultant for the project, and documented by REMOTE wall contractors as a preferred insulation product,” said Greg Starkey, Senior Construction Manager for Lend Lease. “Our research and cost comparisons to other insulations concluded that EPS provides the best exterior insulation results for the price. We chose Insulfoam EPS because it had extensive information available to help analyze the product.”
Lend Lease installed Insulfoam R-Tech IV EPS insulation on the housing units’ foundation perimeters, both vertically and horizontally (away from the house), to trap heat below the foundation slab. This was done to help keep the soil below the slab in a thawed state, noted Starkey, which helps to minimize the risk of seasonal frost heave. The bottom of the slab was also insulated with EPS to retain heat in the slab. Further, the company used the Insulfoam product on the homes’ exterior walls, helping to create a warm and comfortable interior environment, and energy-efficient housing, despite the bases’ location near the Arctic Circle.
EPS is the only insulation that can be used anywhere in the building envelope, and also provides the highest insulating R-value per dollar among rigid foam insulations. Insulfoam offers a range of durable, cost-effective EPS insulation products for homes, as well as commercial and institutional buildings. These include code-compliant InsulGrade R-Tech EPS insulation products for use on foundation walls and below concrete slabs, as were used in the Lend Lease homes. The products absorb less moisture than XPS insulation in the long term, and cost 10 – 30% less. InsulGrade R-Tech features a premium factory-applied laminate polymeric facer that is virtually impervious to moisture, keeps water from entering the insulation, and away from concrete foundations & slabs. The insulation is available in 4’x8’ panels and thicknesses starting at 3/8”, with compressive strengths from 10 – 60 psi, making it suitable for nearly any below-grade application.
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Stu Laidlaw, Insulfoam Territory Sales Manager