ECC’s not-for-profit corporation, the EIFS Quality Assurance Program Inc. (EQI), is in keeping with the construction industry’s growing commitment to sustainable and performance-based design and builds on EIFS’ current position as the “cladding of choice.” The EQI is the first certified quality assurance program for any cladding system in North America.
EQI ’s objective is providing building owners with cladding that performs as intended, providing the chosen EIFS’ long-term satisfaction and superior performance by:
Over 370 million sq M (4 billion sq/ft) of Exterior Insulation Finish Systems’ (EIFS – pronounced “eef’s”) have been installed in commercial, industrial and residential construction in North America over the last 40 years, creating a half billion-dollar Canadian industry.
The EIFS Council of Canada’s (ECC) industry standard EIFS Quality Assurance Program (EQI) further re-affirms EIFS vibrant growth, taking the sector to an entirely new level. EQI, the first certified North American quality assurance program for any cladding system, ensures uniformity wherever the project may be in this country.
EQI features several key components and deliverables: Research & Development, Standards & Specifications, Manufacturer Evaluation, Accreditation & Licensing, Contractor Accreditation & Licensing, Mechanic Certification & Licensing, Documentation, Site Auditor Certification & Licensing, Conflict Resolution, and 3rd Party Assurance Warranty.
EIFS industry personnel will now be on equal footing with other certified and credentialed industry trades, raising the bar for the entire cladding spectrum. EQI professionals are additionally positioned to ensure ULC S716 EIFS standards are met, as mandated by code.
From design through manufacturing of materials to assembly and in-place performance, certified and licensed EIFS professionals across the EIFS value chain will transform the industry. For owners, EQI ensures that architecturally beautifully and sustainable EIFS exteriors are uniformly available across Canada. EQI is a cladding space game changer.
The EIFS Quality Assurance Program (EQI), the first of its kind for North American exterior wall systems, is essentially no different in concept or application than quality improvement in the automobile industry. At the vanguard of building enclosure technologies, the EQI Program delivers reliable and durable performance based on building science principles.
The EIFS Council of Canada focused on the building delivery system’s key elements during the development of its EIFS Quality Assurance Program:
The EIFS Quality Assurance Program connects the interests of key stakeholders in building projects.
1) For Designers:
Designers, typically architects, who engage the EQI Program can be confident they are applying state-of-the-art details, methods and materials for EIFS projects that will be properly executed. The EQI Program is premised on providing access to expert technical support and a library of critical details not only for EIFS, but also for transitions to other enclosure assemblies such as windows and roofs. Continuing education is also available to designers in the proper application of the CAN/ULC-S716.3 Standard for Exterior Insulation and Finish Systems (EIFS) – Design Application. Through EQI, the available continuing education, technical support and documentation will reduce the amount of work and risk.
2) For Manufacturers:
The EQI Program exclusively sources materials that have been CCMC-listed and comply with CAN/ULC-S716.1 Standard for Exterior Insulation and Finish Systems – Materials. The notion of material substitutions no longer exists under the EQI Program, hence manufacturers can confidently extend a 5-year materials warranty on an EIFS system that is all their own. Importantly, manufacturers can be assured EQI-qualified EIFS contractors can install their products properly.
3) For EIFS Contractors:
Overall, EIFS contractors enjoy greater fairness, control, confidence and profitability under EQI. EIFS contractors are only bidding against properly qualified competitors who must adhere to CAN/ULC-S716.2 Standard for Exterior Insulation and Finish Systems – Installation of EIFS Components and Water Resistive Barrier. The EQI requirements for the certification and licensing of mechanics help to maintain a level playing field among contractors. EQI requirements for explicitly addressing all transition details means that EIFS contractors will not be liable for defects and performance problems created “by others” because this language is not permitted in the EIFS specifications. By fully delineating the scope of the building enclosure work assigned to the EIFS contractor, bidding is more clear and consistent. Requirements for documentation and site audits help keep in line everybody working for the contractor.
4) For Owners/Investors:
Representing real value and peace of mind, there is a winning combination: a 5-year materials warranty, a 5-year installation warranty and a 3rd party warranty provider for an EIFS system that has been properly designed, installed and inspected under the EQI Program. EQI costs marginally more, but the premium may be recoverable through increased valuation of the building, and possibly reduced property insurance rates. Regardless, better design, materials and workmanship have been incorporated into the EIFS system under EQI than would not have been the case otherwise.
A widely accepted conclusion across today’s AEC industry is that innovative building technologies demand innovative building industry practices. In the same way that the automobile industry reinvented itself, the EIFS industry is at the vanguard of building technologies that deploy innovative approaches to deliver reliable and durable performance based on sound building science principles. This new approach is embodied in the EIFS Quality Assurance Program.
For all stakeholders, EIFS accompanied by EQI creates confidence through quality assurance that reduces risks while assuring a predictable level of performance and service life. EQI reduces uncertainty by specifying and delineating the design, materials and installation of an EIFS system that is fully integrated at its transitions with the building enclosure.