PREFOAM EPS Geofoam Systems use Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) foam blocks as the structural fill material to support the tiered seating platforms. The foam blocks are easily factory or field-cut for installation in virtually any configuration necessary and provide excellent acoustic quality. Additionally, the use of EPS Geofoam in the PREFOAM Stadium Seating Riser System as well as its use as an insulation material in the overall construction of the building meets many of the criteria necessary for LEED certification.
EPS Geofoam manufacturing uses minimal energy and creates nominal pollution. Steam is the primary component in the manufacturing process of EPS and the water from this process is collected and reused numerous times. With hundreds of manufacturing facilities throughout North America, EPS Geofoam is manufactured in close proximity to most building projects, which minimizes the distribution radius. Because EPS Geofoam is very light-weight, transportation costs are also minimized.
PREFOAM EPS Geofoam can be reground, recycled and reused in many composite applications such as lightweight concrete, plastic lumber, weather resistant outdoor decks, fencing, drain field aggregate, etc. In 2004 more than 57 million pounds of EPS was recycled. PREFOAM Stadium Seating Riser Systems by SSE are typically made with approximately 10% recycled content. This is achieved by blending post-industrial EPS Geofoam that has been passed through a grinder, which then reduces the material back into individual bead-sized particles that are reintroduced back into the molding process. SSE technical considerations limit the level of recycled content to a maximum of 10% to maintain the required performance standards as specified in ASTM C578.
Other EPS Geofoam waste can be reground and mixed with concrete to produce new building products such as prefabricated concrete blocks. Adding EPS regrind increases the thermal performance of these applications in addition to providing an alternative to landfill disposal.
At the end of a building’s useful life, tiered stadium seating systems constructed with SSE PREFOAM EPS Geofoam can easily be removed and recycled. More than 90% of the material in an EPS tiered stadium seating system is comprised of recyclable EPS foam block material.
SSE PREFOAM EPS Geofoam blocks for tiered stadium seating systems can be placed directly on compacted fill, thus eliminating the need for a concrete slab under the stadium seating risers. Because of the characteristics of EPS, it minimizes thermal transfer, inhibits mold growth, and is resistant to insects.
EPS Geofoam does not contain harmful formaldehydes, CFC’s or HCFC’s. The American Lung Association’s Health House guideline acknowledges that EPS is a safe material for insulation and structural support in construction.
EPS Geofoam has a high degree of resistance to moisture absorption controlling humidity and air infiltration thus reducing the development of mold.
EPS Geofoam unlike Extruded Polystyrene (XPS) has never utilized any greenhouse gases in the manufacturing process and the manufacturing process itself does not result in emissions of greenhouse gases.
PREFOAM EPS Geofoam for lightweight Fill Applications
Compared with traditional fill materials, fewer trucks with lighter loads are required to deliver EPS Geofoam to a project site. This means less pollution from fuel emissions and less wear and tear on the nation’s roadways and infrastructure.
In geotechnical applications, traditional soil fills are constructed in thin lifts with repeated compaction. In stadium seating construction, the PREFOAM EPS Geofoam blocks can be precut at the factory and delivered directly to the jobsite for immediate installation. The traditional soil fills require considerable time, construction equipment, fuel to operate the equipment and traditional testing.
In contrast, EPS Geofoam can be quickly placed with no need for compaction or waiting for consolidation to occur. Because each block is equivalent to the height of several soil lifts, construction proceeds more rapidly. In addition, EPS Geofoam is unaffected by the normal range of climate and moisture conditions, therefore construction can proceed without regard to weather.
The incorporation of PREFOAM EPS Geofoam is not only more cost efficient, but also an environmentally responsible, sustainable, “green” approach to design and construction.
EPS Molders Association, Geofoam.org. Insulfoam LLC