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Weigh Up The Savings Of Building With Lightweight Construction Materials

Weigh Up The Savings Of Building With Lightweight Construction Materials

The benefits of building with lightweight construction materials may seem obvious but it really is worth looking closely at the differences that can be achieved in ease and speed of construction, cost savings, and results.

Top Benefits Of Building With Lightweight MaterialsReduced building costMuch faster constructionDesign flexibility, especially on difficult sitesReduced transport costsLower on-site labour and handling costsBetter for limited access sitesStrong environmental, acoustic and thermal qualitiesEnergy efficiency

Polystyrene building products have played an important role over the years in areas of Australian construction, ranging from essential energy saving insulation applications to superb finishing results that would be difficult or impossible to achieve with any other material.

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Beyond 6 Star: Foamex Expol Underfloor Insulation Helps Achieve PassiveHaus Certification Breakthrough

Beyond 6 Star: Foamex Expol Underfloor Insulation Helps Achieve PassiveHaus Certification Breakthrough

Polystyrene helps to achieve the highest results in insulating homes, and can also deliver 6 star performance at a significantly lower cost than other building products. One of the most cost effective ways to achieve optimum insulation in walls, roof and floor slabs, polystyrene acts by minimising thermal bridges between rooms and the exterior.

A demonstration of what can be achieved using Foamex polystyrene can be seen in the first certified Passive House (PassiveHaus) completed in Auckland recently. This project utilised Foamex Expol Underfloor Insulation to deliver on the stringent regulations of Passive House. This German energy rating system is even more rigorous than the tightest in our country!

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Challenging the norm for traditional construction

Challenging the norm for traditional construction

For years, we have referred to polystyrene as an alternative construction material, when in fact polystyrene has been around for over 60 years and is one of the most versatile and cost effective materials for building/construction applications because of its benefits in product, performance and recycling.

As pressures increase politically, environmentally and socially for zero carbon sustainable housing, the construction industry is now realising the potential of EPS as a preferred, long-term solution to new and increasingly demanding building regulations.EPS is now widely accepted as a key material to support the attainment of both thermal performance and the speed of build that will be required in order to meet these new demands.

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Retrofitting to increase your home's energy efficiency

Retrofitting to increase your home's energy efficiency

The National Construction Code contains within it a 6 Star Standard in relation to thermal performance of a home or its renovation. 6 Star’s is the baseline for any new construction to achieve a high level of thermal energy performance and to be deemed energy efficient. The challenge for existing home owners is to make their home more energy efficient to meet this 6 Star Standard.

Polystyrene can play a major role in retrofitting an existing home in order to achieve the performances that new houses feature, and become 6-star energy rating compliant.Heating and cooling can account for more than 40% of a household's annual energy consumption and has a significant impact on a household’s energy use and greenhouse gas emissions.Proper insulation allows you to cool or heat your home to a comfortable temperature, turn off your heating or cooling appliance, and keep that temperature steady by preventing the air from leaking out.Building insulation is the most cost-effective way for households to significantly reduce the global warming effect of greenhouses gases by drastically reducing their household CO2 emissions.

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Building green can increase asset value

Building green can increase asset value

A new report, World Green Building Trends 2016: Developing Markets Accelerate Global Green Growth, has reported that Australia’s growth in green building projects is being led by the low-rise residential sector. For home owners who are building green, the report also found that globally, building owners report seeing a median increase of seven per cent in the asset value of their green buildings compared to traditional buildings whether it is a new building or a refurbished or retrofitted green one.

The same report also highlighted that fifty per cent of Australian respondents said that reducing energy use and protecting natural resources were the top environmental reasons for building green. A UK 2013 report highlighted that energy efficient improvements can increase the value of your home by 38%. While this seems like a very high figure, houses that are more energy efficient are certainly easier to sell and often fetch higher prices.

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Using polystyrene solutions to beat the summer heat

Using polystyrene solutions to beat the summer heat

 

Find yourself sticking gel packs in between your bed mattress and fitted sheet this summer when trying to get to sleep? Good housing insulation can help regulate the indoor temperature of your home so it doesn’t feel like a sweat box each summer evening.Polystyrene is a natural insulator against temperature and noise. Not only does polystyrene insulation stop heat from entering the home, it also regulates the temperature inside the home by not allowing the cooled air to escape. It is estimated by the Australian Department of Industry and Science that insulation could save you up to 40% in heating and cooling bills. That’s because proper insulation allows you to cool or heat your home to a comfortable temperature, turn off your cooling or heating appliance, and keep that temperature steady by preventing the energy from leaking out.With proper insulation, you’ll be able to cool or heat your home to your desired temperature, and have your insulation keep that temperature consistent by preventing the energy from leaking out. This means that you’ll save on your energy bills as you’ll be less reliant on your energy or cooling solutions as the insulation will keep the cool air in for longer!

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Achieving maximum star rating for your construction with Foamex Expanded & Extruded Polystyrene

Achieving maximum star rating for your construction with Foamex Expanded & Extruded Polystyrene

A six-star rating in construction indicates that a building achieves a high level of thermal energy performance. 

Choosing construction materials to ensure the building will meet the crucial six-star rating is of the utmost importance for architects, builders, and specifiers. Foamex expanded polystyrene is a high performance construction material that can play a major role in a six-star energy rating for your building project.The main benefit of aiming to achieve high star ratings is to build more energy efficient homes which in turn can have a direct impact on the cost of heating and cooling your home.Houses built in 1990 averaged about one star on the NatHERS scale, the house ratings scale system which uses computer simulations to determine the potential thermal comfort of Australian homes on a scale of zero to 10 stars.Before the introduction of national energy efficiency regulations for houses in 2003, less than one per cent of Australian houses achieved six stars. From November 2011, 6-Star equivalent became the minimum requirement for construction across Australia. Many well designed houses are now being built that are rated at seven stars or more.Foamex expanded polystyrene has recently been used to help building projects achieve 8+ stars. Positive Footprints, designers and builders of environmentally sustainable homes, used Foamex's Styroboard™ Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) to complete a construction project that achieved 8+ star rating.

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Polystyrene helps to make movie magic

Polystyrene helps to make movie magic

 

Make up and costumes are all part of creating the theatre of special effects that goes hand in hand with making movies and television. The set and props are also a major feature in creating the right setting and often transporting the viewer into far away lands and times.Polystyrene has long been used as an ideal material for building movie sets and TV props. Its lightweight and moisture resistant nature makes it long lasting, easy to transport and easy to work with (shame the same can’t be said about working with children or animals!). Did you know…

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Onsite polystyrene C&D recovery saving waste from landfill

Onsite polystyrene C&D recovery saving waste from landfill

Construction and Demolition (C&D) waste represents a huge amount of waste generated, however at 66 per cent, it also represents the most recovered waste of the three main waste streams.  

Foamex are proud to actively contribute to the recovery of Foamex Diamond Pod waste material from construction sites.  Foamex EPS in the form of Foamex Diamond Pod void formers are delivered to the construction site in a responsible manner and is tied down in accordance to industry approved methods to prevent damage or blow aways. 

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Theme your Christmas party with polystyrene props

Theme your Christmas party with polystyrene props

 

Whether you are hosting a corporate Christmas party for 300 or a small intimate gathering for your nearest and dearest, coming up with a fun Christmas party theme can help make your event a success.Many of the most popular trends in Christmas party themes for 2015 can be created with polystyrene props laser cut to precision by Foamex.Some popular 2015 Christmas party themes include:Scandinavian winterThanks to the huge success of Frozen, Scandinavian Winter themes are top of the list for 2015 Christmas party themes. You can complete your theme with polystyrene hanging snowflakes, a giant snow covered tree and even create a winter sled and ice castle, all out of laser precision cut polystyrene.Masquerade BallThrowing an elegant Christmas Masquerade Ball can be a glamourous way to thank staff and suppliers for all their hard work throughout the year. Bring you Venetian theme to life with larger than life Venetian masks or even build an opulent Venetian palace for guests to enter the ballroom through, all with polystyrene.Pirates of the CaribbeanCelebrate the fun of Captain Jack Sparrow with a Pirates of the Caribbean party. A pirate theme can be a lot of fun – it gives people a chance to not only dress up, but also act the part – who doesn’t enjoy talking like a pirate? Treasure chests full of gold coins, skull and bones, and even palm trees can all be made from polystyrene and cut to precision.Make your 2015 Christmas party theme a roaring success by adding oversized polystyrene props to the event. All these props can be created and sculpted by Foamex using expanded polystyrene – ready to bring life and flair to this year’s Christmas Party.

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Get Spooky On Halloween with Foamex Styroboard XPS

Get Spooky On Halloween with Foamex Styroboard XPS
Halloween Gravestone_5

The end of October marks the spookiest occasion of the year – Halloween. And whilst the night of frights is not native to Australian shores, there is a still a bit of fun to be had when you throw Foamex into the mix.

Creating Halloween props (or props for any occasion) add to the sense of fun and can theme an otherwise empty space just how you want it. Tombstones, axes, coffins and more can all be created from Styroboard XPS. 

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Long term performance and durability of Expanded Polystyrene for civil engineering projects confirmed

Long term performance and durability of Expanded Polystyrene for civil engineering projects confirmed

 

Expanded Polystyrene blocks have been used in construction and building projects for over forty years, uses ranging from civil engineering applications such as bridges, roads, and carparks to their use as insulation in residential and commercial buildings as well as cold storage.One such project that has been monitored and reported on over many years is the Norwegian Public Roads Authorities. In 1972, they adopted the use of EPS as a super light filling material in road embankments.The first project involved the successful reconstruction of road fills adjacent to a bridge founded on piles to firm ground. Prior to reconstruction the fills, resting on a 3 m thick layer of peat above 10 m of soft marine clay, experienced a settlement rate of more than 200 mm per year. By replacing 1 m of ordinary fill material with two layers of EPS blocks, each layer with 0.5 m thickness, the settlements were successfully halted. When placed the EPS blocks had a density nearly 100 times lighter than the replaced materials. Since then authorities in several countries have also found the method advantageous for building roads across soft ground and for other construction purposes where low loads are essential. In addition to reduced vertical loads, advantages from using EPS may also include reduced horizontal loads, simplified designs, foundations on EPS and increased speed and ease of performing construction activities. The method is now in common use in several countries in Europe, Asia and North America. At present more than 350 road projects involving EPS fills have been completed in Norway with a volume of totalling some 500,000 m3 of EPS blocks.The extensive use and testing of Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) as a lightweight filling material for civil engineering projects such and road embankments and bridges in Norway and many other regions has seen both a wider use on a global scale and the introduction of a number of different design applications. These tests show that in addition to reduced vertical loads, advantages from using EPS may also include reduced horizontal loads, simplified designs, foundations placed directly on EPS blocks and increased speed and ease of performing construction activities.As the innate cellular structure of expanded polystyrene makes it dimensionally stable, EPS will not deteriorate with age when protected in situ from direct contact or exposure with solvents, temperature extremes, incorrect mechanical load and UV light. The study undertaken in Norway monitoring the effects of time on the performance of EPS have concluded that no deficiency effects are to be expected from EPS fills placed in the ground for a normal life cycle of 100 years.

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Australian made Extruded Polystyrene (XPS) for guaranteed strength and durability

Australian made Extruded Polystyrene (XPS) for guaranteed strength and durability

Foamex Polystyrene is continually leading the way in developing innovative, green building products that deliver superior performance and strength, and Styroboard XPS is a testament to this innovation. 

Foamex’s Styroboard XPS is 100% Australian made and produced on extruding machines in our state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Victoria. With Styroboard XPS you can be guaranteed of the high quality, strength and durability of these polystyrene boards. Due to its high compressive strength and superior thermal performance, Styroboard XPS has long been the material of choice for home builders, architects and specifiers across the residential, commercial and industrial sectors. A strong, yet lightweight and flexible insulation solution, Styroboard XPS is resistant to water absorption and maintains its its thermal and physical properties, even in inclement weather, making it a perfectly robust building material.Styroboard XPS is produced with no refrigerants and is HCFC free, making it a truly green building product. With Styroboard XPS you can reduce fluctuations and limit external temperature influences, meaning less need for reliance on air-conditioning and electricity.

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Foamex XPS contributes to Canberra’s first Passivhaus project

Foamex XPS contributes to Canberra’s first Passivhaus project

The Jerrabomberra Tennis Facility is a showcase of Passive House (German: Passivhaus) and Low-e technologies encapsulated within a factory pre-fabricated high-performance building. 

Laros Technologies completed the tennis facility, affectionately known as the architectural esky, as a pro-bono project and showcased the complete suite of Passivhaus solutions. As such, they invited Foamex to assist with the supply of 200-m2 of 50mm high-performance Foamex XPS rigid insulation board as seamless under-slab insulation solution for this simple but special building.

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Properties of Expanded Polystyrene

Properties of Expanded Polystyrene

Expanded polystyrene is widely used in building and construction as its inherent strength, durability, and thermal insulation properties make it an ideal choice for energy efficient buildings.

Foamex polystyrene building products make a major contribution to the quality, safety, and cost-effectiveness of construction as well as contributing to the sustainability of completed projects.Light WeightComprised of about 98 percent air, expanded polystyrene is extremely lightweight, making it ideal for transport and installation. According to Expanded Polystyrene Australia, the lightweight nature of expanded polystyrene means energy consumption for transport fuel is also reduced and vehicle emissions minimised – all contributing to minimising global warming.Moisture ResistantEPS is a closed cell material and does not readily absorb water. Even when subjected to prolonged saturation in water, EPS will still maintain its shape, size, structure, and physical appearance and will retain 80% of its thermal value.DurabilityThe cellular structure of expanded polystyrene makes it dimensionally stable and therefore does not deteriorate with age. A study undertaken in Norway monitoring the effects of time on the performance of EPS have concluded that no deficiency effects are to be expected from EPS fills placed in the ground for a normal life cycle of 100 years.Thermal EfficiencyWhen compared to brick veneer, there’s no doubt that expanded polystyrene has superior thermal properties. This is quantified through the “R-value” of the two materials, or thermal resistance, which is an approximate measurement of how much the material impedes the transfer of heat.According to the Australian Government’s Your Home website, traditional brick veneer walls offer a R-value of 0.45 which does not meet the recommended levels of thermal resistance according to Choice. Depending on your choice of thickness for expanded polystyrene, this translates to being only between 18% and 45% as effective as expanded polystyrene which has an R-value of up to 2.78.VersatilityEPS can be manufactured to almost any shape or size, or it can be easily cut and shaped when required to suit any application. Widely used across a number of building applications, Styroboard EPS is a versatile and well proven construction material.On-Site Ease of UseFor building and construction applications, EPS is widely considered to be one of the easiest materials to install on site thanks to its versatility and lightweight properties.Environmental SustainabilityThe manufacture of Styroboard EPS produces no ozone depleting gases and uses no chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs).

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Benefits of foam insulation panels for building and renovating

Benefits of foam insulation panels for building and renovating

Foam insulation panels for building and renovating are a well-tested and proven modern building technology that offers builders and home owners a wide range of benefits. 

Expanded polystyrene building sheets are a highly versatile material ideal for the building and construction industries. 

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Waffle Pod Slab to help achieve 6-star rating

Waffle Pod Slab to help achieve 6-star rating

 

Waffle pod slab build houses are becoming just as common as traditional pour slabs as home owners and builders try to achieve important 6-star and above ratings. The main benefit of aiming to achieve high star ratings is to build more energy efficient homes which in turn can have a direct impact on the cost of heating and cooling your home.Industry body Expanded Polystyrene Australia cite the use of waffle pod systems to have contributed to a revolution in slab construction methods as well as to the Australian construction industry building more energy efficient houses.“The inclusion of EPS Pods in a slab adds an insulation benefit up to R 1.0 (w/mK thermal resistance). This benefit reduces energy consumption in the house and when multiplied by the many houses that have used them has a significant effect on reducing greenhouse gas emissions thus making a very positive contribution to the environment.” Designed specifically for residential, commercial and industrial markets, Foamex Diamond Pods is a strong yet lightweight polystyrene waffle pod void former system for concrete slabs.The natural air pockets in the expanded polystyrene of this waffle pod slab system allows for a higher level of insulation to be achieved over traditional slab methods.For more information regarding our unique polystyrene waffle pod void former system, download a brochure or contact your local Foamex office.

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Does increased energy efficiency help on auction day?

Does-increased-energy-efficiency-help-one-auction-day

 

As home owners become savvier about energy efficient homes and the long term savings they can make in terms of heating and cooling costs, having a home that is already energy efficient is a very attractive selling point. By updating your home with extra layers of polystyrene insulation, such as Expol underfloor insulation, or by renovating or extending using polystyrene boards which have much more thermal properties than bricks, you could also be adding value to your home come auction day.Heating and cooling your home make up the largest factor in your home’s energy consumption. According to the YourHome website, heating and cooling account for approximately 40 per cent of your total energy usage, so it makes sense to do what you can to increase the thermal properties of your home.A UK 2013 report highlighted that energy efficient improvements can increase the value of your home by 38%. While this seems like a very high figure, houses that are more energy efficient are certainly easier to sell and often fetch higher prices. A local study by carried out by the Australian Government Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and Arts set out to look at whether a relationship exists between the Energy Efficiency Rating (EER) of a house and the sale price. The report found that if a house has a higher EER than another house, but in all other respects are the same, the house with the higher EER will command a higher price.Take advantage of the long-term savings that a well-insulated home offers as well as the increased value in your property by contacting Foamex today!

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Improve the thermal performance of your home with EPS

Improve the thermal performance of your home with EPS

When choosing to renovate or extend your home, the planning stage can be extensive before any building works even begin. All too often energy efficiency doesn’t get factored into the planning, instead focusing on the design and increase in floor space. However, home renovation or extension is the ideal time to improve the energy efficiency of your home for long term gain. Expanded polystyrene is the ideal solution for building. Lightweight, strong and clean, polystyrene sheets for building are also highly valued for their thermal properties, providing think layers of insulation from temperature and noise. Performance wise, EPS has much better thermal properties than traditional brick veneer and is highly weather and moisture resistant when installed correctly. Traditional brick veneer walls offer a R-value of 0.45 which does not meet the recommended levels of thermal resistance. Depending on your choice of thickness for expanded polystyrene, this translates to being only between 18% and 45% as effective as expanded polystyrene which has an R-value of up to 2.78. Ideal for home renovations and extension, polystyrene sheets and boards when rendered deliver a modern finish while adding layers of insulation to your home, making it more energy efficient.

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Why polystyrene is still the best for protective packaging?

Why polystyrene is still the best for protective packaging?

Polystyrene has been the material of choice for protective packaging for many years due to its inherent qualities that make it ideal to protect goods in transit and storage.

Polystyrene is strong and durable and capable of absorbing high impacts, making it an extremely capable material for maintaining product integrity when used as packaging. Polystyrene is also ideal for shipping and moving fresh produce, maintaining a consistent temperature and being unaffected by contact with water or melting ice. These insulating qualities of polystyrene packaging also protect against any sudden temperature drop, such as when being physically transported from the cool room to the final destination.To protect your goods or produce during shipping or storage and to maintain consistent temperature, protective polystyrene packaging from Foamex is the ideal choice. Contact Foamex today to discuss your protective packaging needs.

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