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Why Choose PlastiSpan HD Insulation for Your Next Project?

August 6, 2018


As I stand in my favorite Building supply dealer (BSD) reviewing some of my options for insulation, I wonder why people choose PlastiSpan over PlastiSpan HD or the other way around. Why would I choose PlastiSpan HD? So I decided it would be my next blog topic.

Plasti-Fab offers a large array of products for different applications, but for the most part PlastiSpan HD can be used almost everyone to suit your project needs. It is less expensive and still has a constant R-value. PlastiSpan HD insulation is a cost-effective way to increase your home’s energy efficiency and allow you to take control of your heating and cooling costs. (Check the price per R-value with all types of rigid insulation; even though PlastiSpan HD insulation isn’t as cost-effective as PlastiSpan it still is quite economical compared to the blue and pink insulation you see in BSD’s.)

PlastiSpan HD is also locally manufactured at locations from BC to Ontario. We have the Greenguard Gold mark on our product that provides you with the assurance that it meets environmental standards that have been verified by a third-party auditor.  PlastiSpan HD Insulation is versatile; so it can be used on retrofit and new construction and for insulating on the interior or exterior.

PlastiSpan products can be used in all building applications; above or below grade. PlastiSpan HD insulation is easy to use and install. I know that this is pretty much a repeat of the last blog so far so let’s talk about the ‘why’s and the where’s” for PlastiSpan HD Insulation, and where you would be required to use PlastiSpan HD Insulation.

WHY? A. It has a higher R-value/inch then PlastiSpan. PlastiSpan HD is 4.04/inch B. If your application requires greater compressive resistance C. PlastiSpan HD has a higher PSI. Its 16 PSI D. It allows you to get a higher R-value in a an area that has limited space E. It comes standard in 2X8 sheets (but you can get 4X8)

WHERE? 1. Hydronic Insulation (Hydronic heated floors in new construction) 2. Insulating your basement floor 3. Exterior basement walls (when you have back fill there is less damage to the insulation)

Check out for ways to use PlastiSpan HD Insulation! Online we have:

• Application specific “How To” videos available:  VIDEOS

• Application specific tear ways available in all major Building Supply dealer locations as well (even if it just says DuroFoam or PlastiSpan you can use PlastiSpan HD)

• Product Information Bulletins (We call them PIB’s) they show all applications and testing we have done

• Pictures of different jobs we have completed (Project profiles)

It is important to note, that while both PlastiSpan and PlastiSpan HD Insulation can be used in most new and retrofit construction, you need to check with your local building official to meet codes. Make sure you also check your provincial and federal websites for available grants.


Upscale Living with Superior Soundproofing at a Competitive Price with Advantage ICF

July 19, 2018

Villagio, Kensington – Calgary, Alberta

That the Villagio multi-family condominiums in Calgary were constructed with bricks salvaged from a former heritage building is only part of its appeal. The mansard roofs and 10ft. high ceilings, reminiscent of beautiful designs found in Old Montreal or European cities further afield, are a nice touch, as is the fact it’s situated in the unique and very walkable neighbourhood of Kensington.

But those features were very much secondary when the 12-unit development was under construction in 2003. The builder was looking to offer prospective homeowners an upscale and tranquil living experience befitting this quaint area, and at a competitive price.

With that criteria in mind, Plasti-Fab’s Advantage ICF System® (ICF) was the builder’s material of choice for interior and exterior walls, and flooring. Greg Doren, product manager, offers this project was breaking new ground. “The design was unique to Calgary, and the first time in a condominium ICF had been used for the interior walls and floors.”

Concrete would be key to the Villagio offering the kind of quiet living that buyers wanted and was so often the downfall of similar buildings.
ICF meant reinforced monolithic walls with a sound transmission class rating of 50, that, when combined with drywall, would offer the kind of soundproofing typically found in a movie theatre’s walls. The ‘no-squeak’ concrete floors could span up to 30 feet without support beams – a boon to purchasers who wanted to design their own layout with minimal structural limitations.

Calgary winters are as cold as its summers can be hot. Another benefit of Advantage ICF? Superior insulation. With an R-value approaching 23 on a conventional build-out like Villago’s, the condo units could effectively and efficiently regulate internal temperatures regardless of the weather.

Traditional wood building techniques, Doren points out, can’t come close to providing that kind of protection. “It would be almost impossible to close all the air gaps that allow sound to travel. The poured concrete walls contained within the ICF system form an airtight barrier immediately eliminating the issue.”

Years later, the Villagio stands as a model of how to blend traditional, elegant design with modern techniques and deliver the peace and quiet every condominium owner craves.


To learn more about how you can use Advantage ICF blocks in your next project, visit:

About Advantage:

The Advantage ICF System® is a patented insulating concrete forming system consisting of two layers of expanded polystyrene (EPS) insulation connected with web connectors molded into the EPS insulation. The top and bottom edges of Advantage ICF System blocks have pre-formed interlocking mechanisms which ensure web connectors align vertically for attachment of surface finish materials.

The Advantage ICF System is manufactured and distributed by Plasti-Fab, Ltd.

The luxury soundproofing an airport hotel – and its guests -need

July 13, 2018

Lakeview Signature Inn, Calgary, Alberta

When developers were building the Lakeview Signature Inn (formerly the Marriot Residence Inn) in the early 2000s, they wanted a forming system that offered three key benefits: First, energy efficiency to minimize the impact of the hot and cold temperature extremes that are the norm the southern part of Alberta. Next, like any cost-conscious builder, they wanted a product that would require little long-term maintenance and ensuing costs. Third, and perhaps most important, they needed a product that could offer superior soundproofing for a single and very important reason: the hotel was situated near Calgary’s busy international airport and directly under its flight path. If guests were to enjoy their stay, minimizing the overhead noise was critical.

“This is an area of the city where travelers are spoiled for choice when it comes to hotels,” explained Greg Doren, product manager, “so soundproofing was the one-yard line: The staff could do everything right, but if the overhead noise disturbed guests, it was all for nothing.”

The company found all three benefits in Plasti-Fab’s Advantage ICF System®, and with some modifications from the 2×6 wood frame to an 11¼” ICF, had a plan to move forward.

The tongue and groove interlock allowed on-site carpenters to create durable, reinforced monolithic walls that delivered heating and cooling protection, and a sound transmission class (STC) rating of 50. For context, a rating of 50db when combined with drywall will have an STC of over 60 – the equivalent rating of a movie theatre’s walls, and the luxury-level sound attenuation an airport hotel required.

The hotel’s general manager offered, “We only know there’s a plane overhead when we walk outside. This is the quietest hotel I’ve worked in this close to an airport.” That sentiment is echoed by guest reviews of the Inn on a popular travel internet site read:
‘Quiet hotel near the airport’ and ‘Clean, quiet and comfortable.’

But there was another and unexpected benefit of using with Advantage ICF: speed of construction in the winter months. The system’s insulating forms provide a relatively constant temperature, allowing the concrete to cure quickly. That eliminates the need to schedule exterior construction around cold winter months, providing four-season building opportunity – a welcome cost-saving in an environment where winter temperature lows regularly dip below minus 10°C.

The ever-lasting, energy efficient qualities of concrete and the kind the soundproofing to give guests a good night’s sleep.

Learn More about the Advantage ICF System from Plasti-Fab 

A Practical Guide to Insulating your Exterior Foundation Walls with EPS Rigid Foam

June 21, 2018

It’s that time of year when building is in full swing. You can hardly drive down the road without seeing a new home in some stage of the construction process. While building a new home is exciting, there are stages that are not always glamorous, and can be sometimes forgotten, or even literally buried in the dirt. However, these parts of your building are some of the most important elements to the success of your home. As the old adage goes, you have to start on a good foundation.

Enerspan Insulation is made with Neopor by BASF for enhanced R-value – Making it a great exterior foundation insulation

Continuous insulation applied to the exterior of foundation walls reduces expansion and contraction concrete foundation walls would be subject to due to temperature differences between the interior heated space and the exterior air/soil.

That’s where we come in. If you are doing a poured or block foundation wall, it is important to insulate the outside of that wall with code approved insulation. Be sure to check with your building code before getting started. We have put together a step by step installation guide for a start to finish seamless install….

Step 1: Building Code
We’ve already covered that, so you have confirmed what you need for the codes in your region.

Step 2: 2. Install Insulation.
Ensure that the concrete surface is dry and free of dirt. Starting from a corner, apply Plasti-Fab EPS insulation boards to the wall from the top of the footings to the top of the basement wall. Use an adhesive compatible with expanded polystyrene (EPS) insulation. 

Step 3: Measure & Trim Insulation.
Measure and trim the EPS insulation with a utility knife or fine tooth hand saw to fit around any openings such as windows.

Step 4: Drainage at Footing.
Place drainage tile covered by coarse gravel at the base of the wall, as per local building code.

Step 5: Protect Exposed Insulation.
EPS insulation must be protected from the top of the basement wall to 12″ below grade to prevent damage. Stucco parging is one common protective layer that may be applied. Talk to your building supply professional about other options.

Step 6: Backfill.
Backfill the foundation wall to the required grade using backfill material that will permit drainage to the drainage tile at the bottom of the wall. Grade the site so that the top soil is sloped away from the foundation wall.

Take a look at these excellent insulating products for below-grade insulation on your exterior foundation:

PlastiSpan HD Insulation | PlastiSpan 2o Insulation | DuroFoam Plus HD Insulation | Durofoam Plus 25 Insulation | EnerSpan Insulation

PFB Celebrates 50 Years of Quality, Service & Expertise

May 24, 2018

In the Beginning

In early 1968, February 15 to be exact, Dale Keller had an idea. As a seasoned insulation salesman, he rigged up a band saw to cut his first carload of EPS foam insulation, and Plasti-Fab was born. It was an unconventional start, but with heart, passion and drive to spare, he launched the very beginnings of an organization that 50 years later, has become the leading supplier of EPS to the industry.

While Dale Keller initially launched Plasti-Fab into existence, it was not without the help and support of some very key people, who along with Dale, saw the vision and the potential of EPS.

“We grew up together, these young men and I, and my story is their story. My success is their success. We shared the good times and the bad times. We fought off creditors and corporate raiders. We outworked our competition. We partied. We survived. We prospered.” – Dale Keller on the strength of the team who brought Plasti-Fab from a small garage operation, to the organization that is has become today.

From it’s inception in 1968 to today, Plasti-Fab has overcome obstacles that would have made other business throw in the towel.  From stiff competition, to multiple recessions, raw material shortages, and workforce challenges Plasti-Fab has persevered. An organization does not become a leader without experiencing hardships, and the way the company handled those challenges created a strong foundation for the way they do business today.

With a loyal and dedicated workforce, Plasti-Fab stands on it’s brand promise of Quality, Service & Expertise. Regardless of industry shifts, Plasti-Fab has stayed true to the values and principles of the business and kept their focus on customers needs, always willing to assist and improve on products as they listened to what their customers were asking for.

Plasti-Fab Through the Years

Quite a bit has happened in the last 50 years to make Plasti-Fab who they are today.

1968: Plasti-Fab Ltd. incorporated begins fabricating insulation in Calgary, Alberta
1971 Plasti-Fab continues its Calgary operations, and hires Bruce Carruthers as a plant employee
1972 Plasti-Fab expands its operations as they purchase their first block molding plant in Delta, B.C
1974 Plasti-Fab established a block molding plant in Calgary, AB
1977 A new block molding plant is purchased in Manitoba as operations expand
1981 Block molding plant established in Saskatoon, SK
1982 Aeonian Capital makes its initial investment in the Company
1986 Plasti-Fab is listed on Alberta & Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol PFB.
1987 Plasti-Fab established operations in Crossfield, AB through acquisistions.
1992 Bruce Carruthers is appointed President & General Manager of Plasti-Fab Ltd.
1993 Aeonian Capital acquires PFB’s major shares; C. Alan Smith appointed Chairman.
1994 Established operations in Winnipeg, Manitoba and Ajax, Ontario
1995 PFB Corporation becomes the name of TSX listed company; ICF business begins.
1997 PFB pays first dividend; Technical Centre established at Crossfield, AB
2000 Plasti-Fab sells the Morval Division of the business
2003 PFB Corporation merged with Advantage Wall Systems and acquires Advantage ICF
2004 PFB acquires EnerGreen SIPs, Insulspan SIPs, & Riverbend Timber Framing, and establishes SIPs manufacturing facilities in Vancouver, BC and Blissfield, MI
2005 “Better Building Ideas from PFB” is launched to reflect the vertically integrated product strategy of Molecules to Mansions
2006 PFB commits to sustainability directives; launches
2008 Crossfield Plant 23 is built; existing facility becomes Plant 24 – Shape molding
2011 PFB purchases Precision Craft Log & Timber Homes in Boise, ID. Togther with Riverbend, operations, create the PFB Custom Homes Group
2012 PFB America Corp. is formed to include all US operations; Lebanon, OH block molding operation is purchased
2015 Lester Prarie, MN plant acquired, establishing shape & block molding operations

After 50 years of operations, PFB Corporation employs over 500 people, in 13 locations across North America, focused on social, environmental, and economic activities, selling integrated EPS product solutions to thousands of loyal customers.

Looking ahead

And what is their goal still to this day? To continue providing the very best in Quality, Service and Expertise; meet and exceed customer expectations, and continue to be a leader in the EPS industry.

Learn More

You can learn about the EPS product solutions and Better Building Ideas at these brands within the organization:

Plasti-Fab EPS Product Solutions:

Advantage ICF System:

Insulspan Structural Insulated Panels:

PFB Custom Homes Group:



How to Make your Basement Cozy & Inviting with Plasti-Fab Insulation

May 14, 2018

How to Make Your Basement Feel Cozier with Plasti-Fab Insulation

Having a basement in your home always tends to be a bittersweet affair. It’s exciting and beneficial to have an underground space for cool activities, such as hosting guests, having a playroom for your kids, or maybe even building a home theater. However, there is also the frustrating task of renovating the basement to make it comfortable and inviting for those who see it. The dampness and chill of being underground, along with the lack of natural light, truly presents a challenge to many homeowners. Luckily, we have some interesting ideas that will help make your basement feel much more welcoming for your family and guests.

Interior Wall Insulation

Many times, basements feel uninviting and unattractive due to the physical chill and stuffiness that comes from being underground. Why not make it a lot more comfortable by insulating the interior basement walls? We recommend using our PlastiSpan EPS insulation or DuroFoam/DuroSpan insulation: it is easy to apply, and will keep your basement warm during the winter months and cool during the summer. Bonus: it eliminates thermal bridging in your walls, which reduces energy costs in your home and will save you a ton of money on your energy bills!

Heated Floor System

Have you ever heard of a radiant floor heating system? It is a type of insulation that goes underneath the concrete slab in your basement floor and will bring uniform heat distribution to the floor, making it noticeably warmer on your feet. Our PlastiSpan HD Hydronic Insulation is an excellent choice for a radiant floor heating system, as it provides moisture resistance, is available in various thicknesses, and is super energy efficient. No more cold feet!

Is your basement floor already poured, but you still want to achieve that cozy feel? You can insulate OVER your existing concrete floor using DuroSpan or DuroFoam insulation, and topped with plywood, install any type of flooring you desire in your basement!

Alternate Flooring Options

Many people believe that having carpet in their basement would make their underground space more comfortable and inviting. However, since basements are susceptible to moisture and have the constant potential to have flooding issues, carpet may not be the greatest option. We suggest using cork flooring as an alternate, as it is much softer and will add some warmth. If cork is not your cup of tea, laminate is also a fantastic option. It could bring some color to your underground space, especially if you layer some fun rugs over top of it!

Add Some Color!

Many people believe that, in order to make their basement seem brighter and more inviting, keeping their walls white is the best option. Not true! All-white walls can make your basement feel cold, and lacks personality. Adding some fun, bright colors to the walls, or even some warm, lighter hues, will definitely spruce up the space and make it feel much more comfortable. From there, you could add some color-contrasting accents to your décor and furniture, such as fun throw pillows or wall art, to incorporate some interest and style. The more personality you add to your basement, the more it will feel like home to you and your guests!

Lighten Up!

As mentioned before, basements lack a source of natural light, which makes them feel much colder and darker. To make your basement feel much more open, warm, and comfortable, we recommend spacing your lighting out and layering it. Track lighting is a fantastic option, as it can spread across your basement, making it feel much more spacious. Accent lighting, such as fun floor lamps or wall sconces, can definitely tie the lighting together by adding warmth and interest. Be sure to make sure each light works independently, so that you can adjust the brightness in your basement to your comfort level.


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Or visit our HOW TO section of the web site for more great ideas!

Plasti-Fab Launches Graphite-Enhanced EPS Product Solutions

April 30, 2018


EnerSpan™ Insulation: Boosting your R-value with premium insulation

With a lot of EPS products available on the market today, Plasti-Fab decided to develop a product that uses graphite in the EPS bead to enhance the performance of the EPS, and pass the benefit on to you. You may be wondering how adding something we usually find in a #2 pencil can give you better insulation. Developed by the chemical company BASF, the graphite expanded polystyrene, known as GPS,  is comprised of many small pockets of air within it’s make-up, containing graphite. The graphite reflects radiant heat energy like a mirror, increasing the material’s resistance to the flow of heat, or R-value. Most polymer-based foams exhibit a greater ability to slow the movement of heat as the temperature decreases. Neopor GPS is in a unique class because it increases in R-value as the temperature outside drops.

Thanks to the Graphite-enhanced EPS, EnerSpan maintains an R4.7 per inch

EnerSpan™  insulation by Plasti-Fab is manufactured using Neopor® provided by BASF, a graphite-enhanced (silver-gray in color) raw material,  that reduces radiation heat transfer resulting in higher thermal resistance (R-value) compared to standard CAN/ULC-S701, Type 2 EPS insulation therefore making it a premium product.

The EnerSpan GPS is unique in that is classified as a SMART EPS. This is not just because it is a smart decision when insulating your home, office or commercial building. Read on to see the defined benefits of the Neopor insulation known as EnerSpan.

Stability and Durability
Neopor GPS is adaptable in size, thickness, shape and density, providing maximum flexibility and durability. And, Neopor GPS is stable as it consistently delivers the highest true R-value performance over time.

Neopor GPS is a breathable and semi-permeable high performance insulation that helps reduce the risk of mold, rot and structural damage associated with moisture condensation and long-term water retention.

Adaptable to all climate zones
Neopor GPS powers up when it gets cold outside. Insulating external walls with Neopor GPS increases the temperature of their inside surfaces which helps create a better indoor climate. And, Neopor GPS boards are thinner than others so the same effect is achieved with less material.

Neopor GPS uses up to 30% less material than other rigid foam insulation to achieve the same R-value, saving on building materials and installation labor.

Third-party validated and certified
Neopor GPS earned GREENGUARD Gold Certification and has been referenced by both The Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS) and the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Building Rating System

Insulate your exterior foundation and other building applications with EnerSpan R4.7 per inch insulation

Why use EnerSpan Insulation: 

The closed cell structure of EnerSpan  insulation contains only air so the R-value will not deteriorate over time. In addition, the closed cell structure of EnerSpan insulation resists water absorption so the higher R-value is retained even after direct exposure to water. The enhanced R-value is built to last and won’t deteriorate over time. The use of a graphite-enhanced raw material in the manufacture of EnerSpan insulation results in a constant R-value of R-4.7 per inch, a distinct premium over standard EPS.  Other advantages include its versatility and adaptability for different applications as well as its cost-effectiveness to R-value.

EnerSpan insulation can be used for these following applications:  Exterior Insulating Sheathing, Under Slab Insulation, Foundation Insulation and for Interior Basement Walls in your home.

Graphite-enhanced EPS Products from Plasti-Fab:

Visit our web site to learn more about EnerSpan insulation and how it will help you reach your code and insulation project goals!