C+S March 2021 Vol. 7 Issue 3 (web)

St. Pete Pier

separate concrete pours for vertical wall sections and topping slabs. EPS GF can also be tailored to accommodate intricate landscaping features or utilities around the pool deck. This level of customization eliminates much of the field-cutting, which again supports material and labor cost-savings. Final thoughts While traditional fills have, and likely will continue to have their place across civil and structural applications, EPS GF offers engineers and project designers an efficient, cost effective fill alternative. The rigid foam material enables professionals to design by function, that is, to focus on addressing key geosynthetic challenges within a particular project. The material exhibits several special characteristics—a light- weight composition, compressive strength and easy customization— that truly sets it apart from traditional fill options. This inherent multi- functionality replaces the need to employ a host of building materials and tools to achieve project goals. Because EPS GF takes the “less is more” approach to address void fill needs, it can support generous labor and material cost-savings—keeping project budgets in the black.

St. Pete

GF blocks to offer enhanced compressive strength, with values ranging from approximately 2.2 psi to 18.6 psi (317 to 2,678 pounds per square foot) at a 1 percent strain. Assuming combined dead/live loads do not exceed the 1 percent strain designation, the material will not creep or experience plastic yield. With this assurance, EPS GF offers improved stability against bearing and slope failures. And, because the material is engineered to disperse loads evenly across a surface, it minimizes post- construction settling, which again supports a more stable foundation. This is not the case with soil and related fill materials, as their incon- sistent compositions can lead to non-uniform load transfer and differ- ential settlement. This can cause dangerous, uneven settling and lead to permanent structural damage. By employing the EPS GF approach, engineers and project designers will proactively avoid these risks and ultimately extend the lifespan of the complete building system. Superb customization Although EPS GF can be manufactured in many sizes and shapes, standard blocks are typically 40" x 48" x 96". These oversized puzzle pieces can fill massive volumes, reducing upfront material and labor costs. For custom projects, the rigid foam material can be cut on the factory floor to meet exact specifications. For example, engineers and project designers can use EPS GF to simplify the construction of commercial and institutional swimming pools. The blocks of material can be pre-cut to create virtually any shape or slope, which eliminates

TOM SAVOY is the technical director for Insulfoam, a division of Carlisle Con- struction Materials. He has worked in the EPS Industry for 34 years and in construction materials (manufacturing and testing) for 40 years. Tom actively participates in many trade organizations including ASTM, SPRI and EPS IA. He can be reached at tom.savoy@insulfoam.com.


march 2021


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