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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!

The Roofing Recap – Roofing Insulation Solutions by Plasti-Fab

March 26, 2018

Since 1968, Plasti-Fab has provided Roofing Insulation Solutions to residential and commercial applications with Quality, Service and Expertise.

In today’s blog post, we provide a recap of previous articles which highlights the various solutions and links to the website:

built-up-roofingBuilt Up Roofing:
PlastiSpan®sloped or flat insulation board is used extensively as the
insulation component within built up roof assemblies. Built up roof
assemblies have been used commonly for many years, and are suitable for
new or maintenance requirements. Built up roof assemblies incorporating
PlastiSpan insulation board have been tested for compliance with
requirements for fire rated roof assemblies.

single-ply-roofingSingle Ply Roofing:
Various single ply roof assemblies incorporating PlastiSpan insulation board
have been tested for compliance with requirements for fire rated roof
assemblies. These roofing systems have many years of proven performance
in both new and maintenance roof construction.

sloped-roofingSloped Roofing Insulation:
PlastiSpan sloped roof insulation provides the required positive slope to
drain while retaining the structural and economic advantages provided by a
flat roof deck. PlastiSpan sloped insulation board can be used for new and
maintenance roofing projects of all sizes and is suitable for use with all
types of roofing systems. Because PlastiSpan sloped insulation board is
an expanded polystyrene (EPS) insulation, design thermal resistance
values provided are not subject to thermal drift.

standing-seamStanding Seam Roofing Insulation:
Metal standing seam roof systems incorporating PlastiSpan insulation
provide an energy efficient option for a wide range of applications. The
exterior metal surface can include a variety of profiles and colors to suit many
architectural requirements and the system offers the added advantage of
installation at any temperature.

modified-bitumenModified Bitumen Roofing:
Modified bitumen roofing systems used in Canada incorporating PlastiSpan
insulation board have been engineered to provide optimum performance
in Canada’s harsh climate. This type of system is suitable for either new or
maintenance roofing applications.

cathedral-ceilingCathedral Ceilings:
The roof area can be the area of highest heat loss in buildings. In order to
conserve energy and to make buildings more comfortable, building codes
stipulate higher thermal resistances (R-values) for the roof area compared
to other building components. On traditional cathedral ceilings where tongue and groove timber exposed on the inside is used as an architectural feature, PlastiSpan insulation board is ideal for both single and double layered applications.

flute-fillerFlute Filler Roofing:
Flute Filler acts as the void fill material designed to be installed over
pre-existing metal roofs providing a uniform and level substrate for the
new roof system. PlastiSpan Insulation is a moulded expanded polystyrene (EPS) insulation

In Summary:
As you can see, Plasti-Fab has insulation solutions for several various types of roofing applications. We would be happy to help you plan and design your next roofing project.

Give us a call or email today to talk to a roofing specialist.

Learn more about Plasti-Fab’s Roofing Solutions by visiting:

Insulate Cathedral Ceilings with PlastiSpan® or DuroFoam® by Plasti-Fab

March 19, 2018

Insulation is important in a variety of areas in your home. It is what helps create the all important thermal envelope. This month we have really been focusing on roof insulation, and how it helps your home. A lot of insulation solutions are well suited or new construction, but today, we are going to talk about insulating a cathedral ceiling, which can be done during the new construction process OR as a renovation/improvement to your home.

The roof area can be the area of highest heat loss in buildings. In order to conserve energy and to make buildings more comfortable, building codes stipulate higher R-value  for the roof area compared to other building components. On traditional cathedral ceilings where tongue and groove timber is exposed on the inside and is used as an architectural feature, PlastiSpan or DuroFoam Insulation is ideal for both single and double layered applications.

Step 1: First layer of insulation
Use nailers the same thickness as the first layer of insulation. Starting at the bottom of the roof slope lay first row of nailers horizontally across the roof slope, then insulation working your way up the slope of the roof with all joints tightly butted. Fasten nailers to the roof deck as work proceeds.

Step 2: Second Layer of Insulation
Lay a second layer of insulation perpendicular to the first layer. Lay insulation with joints tightly butted. Lay nailers over insulation spaced to support roof sheathing.

Step 3: Fastening Layers of Insulation*
Fasten the second layer nailer to the first layer nailer where they intersect. If the thermal resistance requires extra layers of insulation, add layers to the bottom of the system changing the nailer direction as required so that the top nailer runs vertically up the roof slope.

*Multiple Layers: if the thermal resistance required extra layers of insulation, add layers to the bottom of the system changing the nailer direction as required. The top nailer must always run from the bottom of the roof slope to the ridge.

Step 4: Finish
Nail rood sheathing to nailers taking care that air movement is unobstructed in ventilation space.

Step 5: Roofing cover
Install roofing cover in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions. Adequate ventilation must be insured using an acceptable method to the applicable building code and/or local regulations.

For additional information on Cathedral ceilings, visit

Green Roof Transformation: Repairing & Redefining Space with Plasti-Fab GeoSpec®

March 12, 2018

Plasti-Fab_WTagline_surveyCalgary, Alberta
Plasti-Fab® EPS Product Solution provides compressive resistance and quick installation

When the city-owned roof covering a portion of a local fire hall and hotel began to leak, the task of repairing the 300 s.f. area began, and with it came the re-imagining of the space overall. Up to that point, the ill-defined and publicly-accessible rooftop patio was not regularly maintained. Over time, it became unkempt, was used primarily as a smoking area, and attracted too many late-night visitors. After leveling the existing structures that served as seating or planter boxes, the city elected to gate the area and turn it into an outdoor venue for hotel functions.

calgary-firehall-project-2016-01Repairing the space and redefining its purpose required special consideration for the materials to be used. The city engaged a local landscape design firm that contacted Plasti-Fab for a solution. Aaron Rennie, Director of Market Development at Plasti-Fab, explained the firm specified “the project needed a fill material that could add height, be used across a wide area, have compressive resistance to withstand weight from snow, landscaping and people, while minimizing additional weight on the structure below.”

calgary-firehall-project-2016-02The answer was Plasti-Fab’s GeoSpec® lightweight fill material, also referred to as expanded polystyrene (EPS) Geofoam. Plasti-Fab’s GeoSpec blocks are designed to support heavy compressive loads, but has a density of less than 1 percent of traditional earth materials. It was ideal for this project given the uniform elevation requirements above the roof deck would level changes in the roof line and create the desired public space. Adding thousands of pounds of material to achieve that could have exceeded the capacity of the concrete roof structure beneath.

calgary-firehall-project-2016-03Not only did GeoSpec address the weight issue, it checked another construction box as well: speed of installation. EPS Geofoam can be cut with a handsaw, and certainly a power ripsaw, thereby allowing for “field fitting,” Aaron points out. “It can be easily cut to fit in the typical areas – like corners and edges – but allows installers to easily accommodate changes in elevation.”

For more than 50 years, EPS Geofoam has been used in projects involving roads, bridge approach fills, slope stabilization, embankments, foundations, and landscaping. Plasti-Fab is proud to add this project to our profile list, and contribute to a new, beautifully designed public space that offers hotel guests and event attendees stunning vistas of downtown Calgary.

Learn more about Plasti-Fab’s GeoFoam solutions now at