Benefits of EPS Architectural Elements Over Precast 

For many years, precast has been a go to material for molded and prefabricated architectural elements. During that time, expanded polystyrene foam has seen increasing use in a growing number of industries, prized for its durability effectiveness and affordability. 

Now it is possible to use EPS in architectural design as well by creating an interior EPS base for the desired architectural elements that are combined with a wire mesh and cement mixture. This makes it possible to design all the available all the elements available in precast with this proprietary material, but offers an extended range of benefits that can make it a more suitable choice for your architectural application.

Material Specifications that Offer a Superior Performance

EPS is a thermoplastic foam. It is a rigid material on its own and is already extremely durable. When combined with concrete, it can take on exceptional strength as well, giving it all the advantages of both materials and enabling it to outperform precast concrete in the following ways:

  • Lighter Weight – A precast element is concrete all the way through, and may also require rebar for additional reinforcement. This makes these elements especially heavy. In contrast, EPS is nearly weightless. With an EPS core contributing an almost negligible weight and only minimal reinforcement required, EPS architectural elements have only a fraction of the weight, making them significantly lighter. This has multiple benefits including more cost effective shipping and an easier and more affordable installation that does not require extensive heavy machinery and manpower.
  • Thermal Resistance – EPS can withstand both extreme highs and extreme lows of temperature, making it suitable for wherever your property is located. EPS also has insulative properties which can be especially beneficial for wall panels and cladding.
  • Moisture Resistant – Moisture is one of the most pressing challenges with concrete, especially if you live in an area where there are freeze thaw cycles. Moisture in concrete will more quickly wear down the precast. As a plastic, EPS withstands exposure to water and over 90 freeze/thaw cycles without taking damage. As an additional benefit, EPS architectural elements are installed on the surface, often without breaching the building envelope with nails to reduce the risk of moisture problems inside as well.
  • Eco-Friendly and Safe – The manufacturing process for EPS foam and the fabrication process for architectural elements yields a safe product that does not produce VOCs, CFCs, HCFCs, and any other harmful emissions. It is also a 100% recycled product. This provides architectural elements that can be reliably used for green building.
  • Long Lasting – With their durability, these architectural elements will reliably last as long as precast without needing significant maintenance throughout their lifetime. They can better withstand weather, chipping, cracking, and damage from impacts.
  • Shorter Lead Times – Precast requires a significant lead time with the manufacturer to cure to full strength. Curing time alone can be in excess of a week, plus time for designing, mold building, pouring, and preparation for shipment. This can all lead to several months of required lead time, particularly for orders that involve a large number of pieces. With EPS elements, the time from order to shipment can be as short as 3 to 4 weeks, which can also be cost saving and provide much greater flexibility with the construction process.

In addition to these benefits, this proprietary architectural material still has the same customizability as precast with nearly endless options for which architectural elements are available in terms of designs, sizes, shapes, and styles. These features will give you an architectural element that has the appearance and capabilities of a high end precast element, but with a lower cost and easier assembly.
This customization enables our products here at PW Profiles to be suitable for properties of many different types, whether you have a luxury build or need a cost effective solution for a property renovation. When you are ready to get started, Patterson Whittaker profiles can share more about how you can substitute architectural foam for precast in your construction project.

©2024 Patterson Whittaker Architectural Profiles by E11World Multimedia Design & Development

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