Which is the greenest wall system: brick, stucco, or EIFS?
BASF Wall Systems recently announced the results of an Eco-Efficiency Analysis comparing brick, stucco and Senergy® Exterior Insulation and Finish Systems (EIFS). The analysis was designed to determine the balance of environmental burden and life cycle costs associated with the construction, use and disposal of exterior wall claddings in the United States. Though the study was geared towards commercial buildings, the findings still prove interesting.
- The ecological impact of processes involved in the extraction, conversion, maintenance and disposal of each component used in the three wall claddings.
- The performance of each cladding was evaluated in six key environmental categories:
– Energy consumption
– Toxicity potential
– Occupational illness and accidents
– Resource consumption
– Land use
- A Lifecycle Cost Analysis (LCA) of the three claddings, creating a comprehensive assessment of both cost and ecological impact.
Brick: The lifecycle cost of Senergy EIFS and stucco were much lower than brick, and brick was more expensive in all three phases: production, use and disposal. It also provides the least eco-efficient wall cladding due to its higher cost and larger ecological footprint.
Stucco: Like brick, stucco is more material intensive than EIFS. It also a greater environmental impact than EIFS (though less than brick).
EIFS: The smallest ecological footprint in every category of environmental impact.