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J. Peter Jordan
Senior Member
Username: jpjordan

Post Number: 87
Registered: 05-2004
Posted on Wednesday, June 22, 2005 - 09:40 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

We have reached a point of maximum confusion about the generic name for a particular material and the varous systems in which it is used. The material is the acrylic-cementitious stuff that is used in the finish coat on EIFS (I least I think it is cementitious). The EIFS manufacturers (STO, Parex, Teifs, etc.) also recommend this product for use in lieu of the finish coat on portland cement plaster systems.

MasterSpec calls them "Acrylic-Based Finish Coatings" in the Division 09 Section, describing them as "Factory-mixed acrylic-emulsion coating systems, formulated with colorfast mineral pigments and fine aggregates; for use over portland cement plaster base coats." The Division 07 Section calls them "acrylic-based coatings" and describes them as "Factory-mixed formulation of polymer-emulsion binder, colorfast mineral pigments, sound stone particles, and fillers."

The manufacturers also suggest that these products can be directly applied to concrete (mostly tilt-up panels in our office) or used as the finish coat in a system applied directly to DensGlas Gold in a soffit application (base coat to sheathing, embed glass fiber mesh, apply finish coat). We have been using this on some of our projects where budget is a primary consideration.

My question to the collected wisdom assembled virtually is: If you were going to have a note on the elevations (and soffit plans) that would distinguish the coating systems (not simply the finish coat), what would it be? "EIFS" and "portland cement plaster" are the easiest. What about the other 2?
Tom Peck
Senior Member
Username: tom_peck_csi

Post Number: 6
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Wednesday, June 22, 2005 - 03:43 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

How about DA-EIFS No. 1 (for direct apply to concrete), and DA-EIFS No. 2 (for direct apply to soffits), and then define the systems in the specifications?
William C. Pegues, FCSI, CCS
Senior Member
Username: wpegues

Post Number: 404
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Wednesday, June 22, 2005 - 03:57 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

EIFS should not be in the designation or name of the coating at all when it is just the coating you are using. EIFS is a system that includes the insulation.

You designate something EIFS and you may find you trigger permit reviewers and code compliance reviewers in numerous jurisdictions - and just to make sure you are not intending to use it, they will likely tell you to redesignate it and resubmit. Seriously.

Also, some of the EIFS manufacturers modify their coating when it is going over other substrates, or don't allow its use over other substrates. They may have a different coating by a different name.

Its best to not muddy the waters by mixing terminology that does not apply to the specific application.

Lynn Javoroski
Senior Member
Username: lynn_javoroski

Post Number: 229
Registered: 07-2002
Posted on Wednesday, June 22, 2005 - 04:00 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

How about "DEFS" - Direct applied Exterior Finish System?
Wayne Yancey
Senior Member
Username: wyancey

Post Number: 25
Registered: 05-2005
Posted on Wednesday, June 22, 2005 - 04:46 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

In the early 90s at Media Five Limited in Honolulu, we keynoted this end use as "EFS" on the drawings for the generic term "EXTERIOR FINISH SYSTEM"; specified in it's own Division 07 section distinct and separate from the EIFS section. End use substrates included cast-in-place concrete (vertical and horizontal surfaces), gypsum board soffits (pre DensGlass Gold era), tilt-up concrete, etc.

If memory serves me correctly, the formualtion for these end uses may have been slightly different than for EIFS.

To me, Lynn's "DEFS" has merit. It is short (max 4 letters), clear and concise. The acrylic-modified or polymer-modified finsh coats will be in a section separate from acrylic-modified or polymer-modified finsh coats integral to an EIFS system.

As an aside, MF04 locates EIFS systems in Division 07, and acrylic plastering in Division 09 under 09 2500-Other Plastering, or 09 2513-Acrylic Plastering, or 09 2513.13-Acyrilic Plaster Finish.

In the Puget Sound area it is not uncommon to see an acyrylic- or polymer-modified finsh coat applied over portland cement plaster basecoats.

Ronald L. Geren, RA, CSI, CCS, CCCA
Senior Member
Username: specman

Post Number: 165
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Wednesday, June 22, 2005 - 05:00 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

To me, if it is a direct-applied finish, then it should be in Division 09, and more appropriately in Section 09 94 13 "Textured Finishing" since it really isn't a plaster, but a coating.

If the same coating is used on a variety of substrates on a single project (i.e. masonry, concrete, EIFS, and stucco), then it would be best to "say it once and in the right place." Therefore, the Division 09 section should be used and each substrate section references this section for the coating.
(Unregistered Guest)
Unregistered guest
Posted on Wednesday, June 22, 2005 - 05:08 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Ah, yesssss... MFL

I specified one of the first EIFS projects in Honolulu when I worked at MFL up at a barracks at Schofield Barracks. The US Army Corps of Engineers decided they wanted EIFS as the exterior cladding.

We had never heard of the stuff, but there was a Drivit outfit in Honolulu that had done one or two projects on Oahu. We detailed around that system, but the Corps decided that based on experience at Ft. Bliss in El Paso, TX, they wanted STO since they thought that might be a bit more "soldier proof." I had to meet with a STO rep at the San Francisco airport on my way to or from some meeting in order to get adequate information. We weren't terribly comfortable with it at that time (ca. 1984 or '85), but I think the project came out OK. The spec guy out at Ft. Shafter was as clueless as we were; he did believed that there was no such animal as gypsum sheathing (pre DensGlas Gold), and when I showed him the federal spec from his own library didn't think we could get it in Hawaii (not commonly used out there). My response was that this was a large enough project that we could probably use a couple of containers shipped special from the Mainland. End of story.

How many MFL alums are there posting on here anyway?
Wayne Yancey
Senior Member
Username: wyancey

Post Number: 26
Registered: 05-2005
Posted on Thursday, June 23, 2005 - 12:02 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Dear Unregistered,

I know of two MFL alums, including myself. Peter Jordon also has MFL ties during his time at U of H.

Please identify yourself.

Wayne (registered)
George A. Everding, AIA, CSI, CCS, CCCA
Senior Member
Username: geverding

Post Number: 44
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Thursday, June 23, 2005 - 12:25 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

A caution on using the term DEFS...

DEFS (for Direct-applied Exterior Finish System) was a USG system, with their EIFS finish coat (and a base coat?, and fiber mesh?) over Durock cement board. I used this product in the mid-90s over steel studs in an application where we were adding a new construction stair and elevator tower to an existing building.

The advantage we saw was that you could insulate the stud space, and therefore didn't need the exterior insulation board in a traditional EIFS application. The durock and FR-drywall interior made a UL rated assembly. All in all, it seemed like a good solution, and to my knowledge there have been no problems in the 10 yrs or so since it was built.

However, when we looked into using DEFS again a few years later, USG had pulled it off the market in response to some of the mold issues with EIFS. There was a period when USG would only warrant water managed EIFS with the insulation. A number of other EIFS manufacturers insisted on their product being applied over insulation, and not direct applied.

(It's been a while since I have used or specified EIFS, but isn't USG completely out of the market now?)

Anyhow, I guess I'd be a little hesitant to use DEFS as a term because of the connotations from a decade or so ago, although it certainly does accurately and succinctly describe what you are doing.
J. Peter Jordan
Senior Member
Username: jpjordan

Post Number: 90
Registered: 05-2004
Posted on Thursday, June 23, 2005 - 12:49 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Sorry about the unattributed post; my computer broke down yesterday and in posting from a new computer, I discovered I was not registered.

The responses are very interesting. In considering "work results", this material is a component of (1) EIFS (Div 07) (acrylic finish coat), (2) Portland Cement Plaster (Div 09) (acrylic finish coat), and (3) a textured finish material (Div 09) (textured acrylic finish coat). We are left only with the EIFS - (minus) I system directly applied to gypsum sheathing substrate. I like the DEFS designation for the system, and I would tend to agree that the system is specified in Division 09, perhaps as acrylic plaster?

David Axt is also a MFL alum as well as Al Shelmerdine (who I don't think is active any longer).
Dave Metzger
Senior Member
Username: davemetzger

Post Number: 118
Registered: 07-2001
Posted on Thursday, June 23, 2005 - 05:46 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

We've used the "DEFS" designation on several projects (sometimes with and sometimes without also having EIFS on the same project) and not had a problem with the use of this term.

I think that it is less important just what term is used, as that the use of the designation is consistent between drawings and specifications.
(Unregistered Guest)
Unregistered guest
Posted on Friday, June 24, 2005 - 11:44 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post


Al Shelmerdine is retired in Olympia WA. Last known e-mail address is ashelmerdine@olywa.net.
Al and I shared the spec duties at MFL for 8 months in 1990, till he returned to the mainland and CNA Architecture in Bellevue WA. I was followed by David Axt in 1992. I joined CNA in January 1999 to, you guessed it, replace Al Shelmerdine as specification writer. By this time Al was semi-retired to Olympia and providing consulting services to Olympia and Tacoma arhcitects. CNA became CollinsWoerman after the turn of the century. That sounds weird.

MFL was the best time of my career which now spans 38 years between Canada and the USA.

I maintain contact with CSI members in Honolulu and receive their monthly newsletter, TRADE WINDS. No longer Division 17 since MF04.


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