Kingspan Insulation notes that the innovative exterior insulation and finishing system (EIFS) MasterWall K-Series is powered by the company's Kooltherm K5 external wall boards.

Kingspan Insulation Marketing Manager, Mr. Karim Muri, says Kooltherm K5 delivers the highest performance available in external rendered insulation systems.

"Kooltherm K5 can achieve almost double the thermal performance of conventional polystyrene of the same thickness.  An 80 mm thickness of K5 achieves R4.0 compared to only R2.1 for polystyrene.  This super high performance can play a huge role in helping to achieve 6-star energy ratings and beyond," he explains.

The most commonly used insulation substrate in EIF systems is currently expanded polystyrene, though Mr. Muri says that Kooltherm K5 wall boards outperforms polystyrene, especially in fire situations.

He notes that "MasterWall’s K-Series system achieves an incredible BAL-40 [Bushfire Attack Level] rating, which is higher than any EIFS using polystyrene.  This is due to exceptional fire performance characteristics of Kooltherm."
Mr. Muri explains that Kooltherm behaves differently than polystyrene in fires.

"Kooltherm is a thermoset material, whereas polystyrene is a thermoplastic.  Thermoplastics soften, melt, or drip when heated, while thermoset materials harden and char, and hold their integrity.  Kooltherm also gives off very little smoke," he states.

Exterior insulation and finishing systems are common in Europe and North America, though they are just beginning to get traction here in Australia. Mr. Muri attributes their rising popularity to the pursuit for greater energy efficiency.

"As building professionals and home owners reach for 6-star energy efficiency and beyond, they’re looking for new and innovative ways to achieve that.  EIF systems like MasterWall’s K-Series are ideal and can add tremendous performance to any wall construction, whether it’s framed or brick," he concludes.