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Any feedback on structural EPS foam houses?

burninate | Posted in General Questions on

They’re just cutting enormous wall blocks of foam and then using polyurethane foam-glue to cement them together, and facing them in a “concrete” gunite / stucco.  I don’t see how this can be affordable, wind resistant, or fire resistant, but that’s what they’re claiming.  Slightly cheeky PR guy (“FDA approved”).

https://www.fox10phoenix.com/news/as-cost-to-build-home-rises-phoenix-area-company-using-new-material-to-build-houses

https://www.strataus.com/about

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z0MQoEg-YFo

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vbs0UHvL9dw

I found a few other references to other builders:

https://www.nachi.org/styrofoam-homes.htm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-GkwY4umDtw

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TIwXAXfoayY

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Replies

  1. Expert Member
    MALCOLM TAYLOR | | #1

    Burninate,

    As first glance it seems like a really bad idea. I guess we will see.

  2. Expert Member
    Michael Maines | | #2

    Leave it to Fox News to say that foam-and-concrete houses solve the environmental impacts of using wood to build houses. That's the opposite of reality.

    Structurally, foam is much stronger in compression than it is in tension, somewhat like concrete, but like concrete, you can add steel rods or another material strong in tension. Even the densest foam is an order of magnitude weaker than concrete, though. I would never build a house from such environmentally destructive materials anyway, when so many good options exist, but I imagine they use large enough foam blocks and reinforcing to be structurally sound.

  3. mikeolder | | #3

    Considering they say it can cost less than wood construction and EPS is recyclable, definitely something to watch.. I wonder how they attach the roofing, doors and windows though.

    https://www.epstec.com/product/eps-styrofoam-prefab-dome-house/
    https://www.independent.ie/life/home-garden/homes/a-house-made-of-polystyrene-38933657.html
    http://passivehousing.ie/m3-system

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