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T oday's builders and architects are considering not only the more obvious qualities of the materials they specify, but also the long-term environmental impact over a building's life cycle. Increasingly, product development has been geared to meet these demands. For example, Grace Construction Products—an operating segment of W.R. Grace & Co—developed innovative insulation materials that not only helps prevent fires, it reduces environmental risks. In the interest of using recycled materials wherever possible, the company adds shredded expanded polystyrene (EPS) to its Monokote ® fire-resistant insulation products. Passive Fire Protection products (commonly referred to as fireproofing) are used to prevent or delay the failure of steel and concrete structures exposed to fire. These materials are intended to insulate the structural members during the event of a fire, delaying any loss of their integrity. Monokote's main ingredient is gypsum, one of the most widely used construction materials. Commonly found in wallboard and plaster in homes and offices, it provides strength, durability and thermal resistance. The shredded EPS adds volume to products like gypsum board while reducing its weight, and helps improve speed and efficiency of installation. It also assists with rustproofing. Using a proprietary process pioneered by in-house engineers, Grace began its recycling operation in 1997, with the recycled polystyrene being used in the manufacture of the company's Monokote fire protection material. The recycled polystyrene is mixed with virgin polystyrene (along with other cement and cellulose) before being applied as a spray insulating foam to reinforced steel. To date, the company's three North American polystyrene recycling facilities (which include the one in Ajax, Ontario along with separate facilities in Alabama and California) have recycled over 32 million kilograms of EPS foam. The density of the material is a critical factor and the majority of available scrap EPS falls within this acceptance criteria. Using scrap EPS does not sacrifice quality, and it saves money. Grace typically pays the freight to have EPS foam delivered to its plants in Santa Ana, Calif., and Irondale, Ala. Approximately 95% air, polystyrene's low weight keeps shipping costs low. Monokote is a spray-applied cementitious insulation that protects a building's structural steel from failure in the event of fire. It can be found in all types of buildings, including high-rise towers, manufacturing facilities, schools, hospitals and sports facilities. For example, it was used in the 48-story Condé Nast Building in New York, N.Y., which incorporated sustainable construction practices and materials, with a focus on durability, performance, and occupational health and safety. The architects selected materials with a preference for those that contained the maximum percentage of recycled content and low- to-zero volatile organic compounds (VOCs), while avoiding those that could be harmful to workers' health or the environment. Given its performance characteristics and high level of recycled content, Monokote MK-6 met or exceeded the environmental performance guidelines for the Condé Nast Building. RECYCLED EPS Fireproofing Success | builDing & ConStruCtion | 4

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