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Plasti-Fab Helps Manitoba Company Bring a Vision Founded on Good Food To Life

September 17, 2018
Plasti-Fab Products For an Energy Efficient Warehouse Store

For over 50 years, the four De Luca brothers have been paying homage to their family’s Italian heritage in the humblest of ways: food.

Founded in 1968 as a neighbourhood grocery store and restaurant in Winnipeg, Manitoba, the company has become a perfect example of entrepreneurial spirit.

The brothers are the province’s foremost purveyors of specialty Italian foods through their catering business, cooking studio, and, of course, grocery store and restaurant. They also operate a wholesale distribution business of private label products that ships to western and central Canada, the US Midwest and international customers.

When De Luca’s needed a new building to house their entire business operations, they envisioned an elegant, practical, dramatic design that would also welcome their catering, retail and restaurant customers in search of a taste of Italy.

From below the foundation to the roof, Plasti-Fab® would help the project manager deliver on that vision for the new home of De Luca’s.

Under slab insulation and Advantage ICF Block walls provide the perfect thermal envelope for this food storage warehouse

For Fred Peters, owner of Morris Build-All and the project manager, the only choice for external walls that reached 53 feet high was Plasti-Fab’s Advantage ICF System®. More energy efficient than conventional construction, it also has a sound transmission (STC) rating of 50+ for the fire separation wall between the mechanical and office area, making it quieter inside for customers and staff. The product’s unique tab alignments and interlocking capabilities allow for quick installation – a huge benefit for the contractors who worked in temperatures that reached -30C at one point.

Though Advantage ICF is energy efficient on its own (R23.3), adding Plasti-Fab’s Exterior PlastiSpan® Insulation over top provided superior efficiency. The one-inch, moulded expanded polystyrene (EPS) fits effortlessly over the Advantage ICF and boosted the R-rating to 27, making the De Luca building “about as energy efficient as you’re going to get” says Peters.

Keeping the ingredients that let De Luca’s capture that precious homemade taste at the right temperature is essential to quality not to mention a regulated requirement. To accomplish that, PlastiSpan® 25 insulation was used underslab for their cooler and freezer floors while providing the required higher compressive resistance for the entire 32,000 sq ft structure.

Due to Winnipeg’s poor soil conditions, a void space that is a minimum of 200 mm thick was specified by environmental and infrastructure consultants. GeoSpan® Compressible Fill was used below all piles caps and footings to accommodate movements of the underlying soil.

Finally, sealing the building envelope was PlastiSpan® roofing insulation. Says Corey Bourne, the Plasti-Fab sales rep who worked closely with Peters on the project, “Once Fred showed us the roof design we were able to quickly do a layout and supply PlastiSpan’s sloped roofing package.”

There were several benefits to using Plasti-Fab products throughout the entire building. Advantage ICF’s structural capabilities ensured the clean-lined, modern aesthetic could come to life, and the combined R-values kept the inside temperature comfortable no matter what Mother Nature offered outside.

“We’ve created a space that shows our passion for our Italian food and our customers.” – Marco De Luca

For Peters, there were other upsides to using Plasti-Fab, this time to him as the project manager. When it came to delivering product as needed, onsite, Plasti-Fab lived up to their excellent reputation for service. “We appreciated Corey was on site every week to provide his expertise.” Using one company also meant Peters had a one-stop shop which lessened project management headaches. But perhaps most importantly, he had a team of product experts at his side whose interest in the project matched his own.

From Bourne’s perspective, that’s exactly how it should be. “In the end, it’s about providing what the customer needs. And whether that customer is Fred, his customer the De Luca brothers – or their Italian food-loving customers – that’s most important to the Plasti-Fab team.”

For More information on Plasti-Fab products and applying them to your next project, visit

Architects, Engineers, & Builders – Get your CEUs online now with Plasti-Fab EPS Solutions on AEC Daily

September 10, 2018

With only three and half months remaining in 2018, now is the perfect time to obtain your remaining continuing education credits for the year! Distance learning is a useful and convenient method for professionals to gain knowledge and earn continuing education credits. Considered to be a viable alternative to traditional, classroom style education, online learning is a practical and affordable way for procuring ongoing, state-of-the-art, and up-to-date continuing education.

You can download a course 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. Since the course then resides in your desktop or laptop computer, you can participate in the learning experience at the convenience of your home, office, or while on the road.

Plasti-Fab Ltd., a leader in providing EPS Product Solutions, has developed an online training seminar. Standing behind education being the key to an industry of successful better building ideas, it explains expanded polystyrene, its uses and applications as well as the building systems that utilize the EPS technology: ICFs and SIPs. Highlighting energy efficiency and R-values, along with product quality and years of service and expertise

We also have specific market and product expertise to share with you in detail that stretches beyond the content of the online seminar. Please explore with us the option of learning more about design considerations and options associated with EPS building envelope insulation, Geofoam as a lightweight fill, and our ICF/SIP buildings systems.

Start your next continuing education through online learning today at


How to attach Drywall (Gypsum board) to your Advantage ICF Walls

August 23, 2018

Watch the video or read below to learn how to easily apply drywall (gypsum board) to your Advantage ICF Walls

After the electrical details have been inspected and wire runs have been filled with low expansion foam, the Advantage ICF Wall is ready for drywall.

Before you begin, be sure to consult your Local building codes.

It is important to remember the web flanges on the Advantage ICF system’s 6 inch concrete core product lines are 8 inches on center. The Advantage ICF system 8 inch concrete core product line has flanges that are 6 inches on center.

The flanges are one and a half inches wide, the same dimension as lumber studs, and 14 1/4 inches long centered vertically in the block. They are kept aligned with two tabs at the top and two grooves at the bottom of the block.

The center of the flange is marked by a relief line that runs vertically between the tabs, and grooves.

Begin by applying adhesive to the surface of the ICF block. Press drywall into place and screw through the drywall into the aligned flanges of the Webs that are embedded in the ICF block.

Cut out window and service openings as shown. Remember the webs are recessed under the EPS 3/8 of an inch, and in order for the screws to penetrate the half-inch drywall and the 3/8 inch EPS foam, we recommend using1 5/8 type S fine threaded drywall screws.

If you would like to know more about the advantage ICF system, visit our frequently asked questions page on

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