The BPF Expanded Polystyrene Group
The new name for EPS
Expanded Polystyrene is 98% air

About EPS: construction

How does EPS perform?

Standards and performance criteria
Jablo EPS expanded polystyrene airpop floor insulation

Jablo EPS floor insulation

In Manufacture

Architects and specifiers can be assured that BPF members who manufacture EPS comply rigorously with UK and EU legislative and regulatory requirements. These can be embodied in the following main principles which apply to every aspect of production:

  • Health and Safety at work
  • The transportation and storage of raw materials
  • Pollution and emission controls
  • The reduction and recycling of waste
  • The proper maintenance, repair and protection of machinery
  • The adoption of safe working practices supported by the provision of protective workwear
  • Training and skills support for employees
  • Continuous product development and performance enhancement

Members of the UK British Plastics Federation EPS Group comply with the international ISO 9001 Quality Standard and adhere to relevant environmental regulations.

All EPS is manufactured to EN13163.

UK BPF EPS members are accredited to carry out SAP calculations.

In Use
Standard (white) Low lambda (grey)
Material EPS70 EPS100 EPS150 EPS200 EPS70
Compressive stress at 10% deformation (kPa) 70 100 150 200 70
Thermal conductivity (W/mK) 0.038 0.036 0.035 0.034 0.030
Board size (mm) 2400 x 1200
Board thickness (mm) 25, 30, 35, 40, 50, 60, 70, 75, 80, 100+

EPS has been established in use for more than 50 years and has carried BBA Approval for construction applications since 1976.

EPS has a BRE A-plus rating making it one of the ‘elite‘ groups of construction materials with the lowest environmental impacts.

EPS is the closest of any modern building material to fulfilling the 60 year life set as a performance target by the UK Building Regulations.

EPS boasts ECO points projected over a 60 year life of only 0.043. This acts as a clear assurance to specifiers of the eco-credentials of EPS and its significant benefits when it comes to environmental impact assessment.

Constructing a wall using EPS expanded polystyrene airpop for insulation

Constructing a wall using EPS for insulation

EPS enables full compliance with Building Regulations Part L1 and L2 and “Section 6” in Scotland.

EPS is non-hygroscopic, non-irritant and rot-proof. It does not deteriorate over time and requires no special storage conditions.

EPS provides a constant insulation value across the full life of a building – offering thermal conductivity for grey EPS as low as 0.03 W/mK and 0.038 W/mK for white.

EPS is dimensionally stable to within 0.2% at 230C and 50% RH, when tested in accordance with BS EN 1603:1997. Where there is no mechanical load, EPS can be exposed to temperatures of up to 90 degrees centigrade.

Hot bitumen is a particularly suitable adhesive for roofing and cold store applications – the very short term exposure to temperatures of over 1000C has practically no effect.

There are no lower temperature limits for EPS unless structural circumstances indicate that a volume change would be critical.

Unlike fibrous materials, EPS will not settle over time.

EPS manufactured by BPF members carries the CE mark.

EPS is widely used throughout the construction industry in a flame-retardant grade where its trusted performance has been established over decades in use. EPS should be specified for installation in a protected/enclosed environment such as under concrete screed, behind plasterboard, in building cavities and underground.

Constructing a wall using EPS expanded polystyrene airpop for insulation

Constructing a wall using EPS for insulation

EPS is combustible, but the flame-spread with flame-retardant EPS is markedly reduced and generally meets the requirements of Class E when tested and classified in accordance with BS EN ISO 13501-1:2002 – EPS will extinguish on removal of the igniting flame.

The fire behaviour of naked EPS insulation material is not relevant. The material is generally covered by other material which determines the fire behaviour. The insulation material is only affected by fire after the covering material fails and by this time the building or the compartment cannot be saved from total loss.

EPS is well proven in decades of use in civil engineering applications where it has been subjected to millions of loading cycles, for example, in road and railway structures.

EPS has long been regarded as a high-performance, value-for-money material. The established, well-invested and highly efficient manufacturing processes help manufacturers to maintain competitive pricing policies when compared with other, less effective and higher installed-cost alternatives. Together with its outstanding environmental attributes, this makes EPS the best choice for sustainable building projects.