Application of EPS material in green building material

Application of EPS material in green building materials


In the ever-developing modern society, buildings are going up every day. In order to meet people’s various needs for buildings, more and more construction companies adopt convenient and fast building materials. However, the main purpose of these building materials is to build tall buildings quickly.“Building construction fared slightly better than we had expected in 2017/2018 with a year on year increase in the value of commencements of 3.8%.” (Australian-Construction-Market-Outlook-20182019-Preview.Pdf)

According to the 2018-2019 financial year survey, with the continuous development of the construction industry and the improvement of people’s living standards, the assets brought by the construction industry are very considerable, reaching an annual growth rate of 3.4%, and it is expected to continue to improve the earnings of non-residential buildings. (‘How Buildings Impact the Environment’. BOSS Controls, 24 May 2016.) However, in this period when the construction industry is booming, people should not ignore the pollution of building materials and decoration materials on the living environment and the harmful impact on human health.Paint on walls can release volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Particle board may contain formaldehyde; Floors may contain the phthalates; Furniture is coated with the flame retardants. (‘Impact of Building Materials on Human Health’)

People’s living environment is a small environment separated from building materials and decorative materials. Some components of these materials have a significant impact on the quality of the indoor environment. For example, some stones and bricks contain a high radium background, radium can decay into high radioactive radon, which can cause lung cancer. Many organic synthetic materials release many volatile organic compounds into the indoor air. For example, formaldehyde, benzene, toluene, ether, ester and other pollutants may pollute the indoor air. More than 500 organic chemicals have been detected in the indoor air, of which more than 20 are carcinogenic or mutagenic. Although the concentration of these substances is sometimes not very high, but in its long-term comprehensive effect, people living in indoor pollution of volatile organic pollutants can lead to bad building syndrome, building-related diseases and other diseases. Especially in buildings with air-conditioning systems, these adverse reactions and diseases are more likely to occur because indoor pollutants cannot be removed in time. (‘Indoor Pollutants and Sources’. Collections and Lists. US EPA, 2 June 2015.)

The processing methods can be divided into mode method and extrusion method according to the different foaming methods. The uniform closed cavity structure makes EPS have the characteristics of small water absorption, good heat preservation, light weight and high mechanical strength. Northern Europe began to use EPS in civil engineering in the late 1960s.In 1971, the Norwegian national road research laboratory (NRRL) used EPS instead of 1m thick common packing in the FLOM bridge approach modification project for the first time, and successfully controlled the uneven settlement of the bridge head. Due to the overall economy and good quality effect, the consumption rose rapidly in the 1980s, Sweden, Japan, the Netherlands and other countries have used EPS in highway projects. (Introducing Expanded Polystyrene Hardcover – Import, 1973)

Expanded polystyrene (EPS) is an innovative building material. It is a new type of building material. Since its discovery in 1950s, EPS has been recognized as a building material that can become the mainstream material. This is a new design element that can be applied to more architectural designs and improve the current status of building materials. (EPS Industry Alliance 2019)

The density of EPS is decided by the expansion of the forming stage of polystyrene particles multiples, generally between 10 ~ 45 ㎏ / m3, as used in the engineering of EPS apparent density generally in 15 ~ 30 ㎏ / m3.Currently used as the light in the road engineering packing density of the EPS is 20 ㎏ / m3, packing for the common road of 1% ~ 2%.Density is an important indicator of EPS, and its mechanical properties are almost proportional to its density. (EPS Industry Alliance 2019)

The cavity structure of EPS made water infiltration extremely slow. According to the measured data in Norway and Japan, the water absorption rate of EPS (the amount of water inhaled is equivalent to the percentage of its bulk density) is less than 1% when it is not immersed in water. The water table near the ground is below 4%; Long-term immersion in water for about 10%. Because the volumetric weight of EPS is much lower than that of soil mass, the effect of 1% ~ 10% increment of volumetric weight caused by water absorption on the project can be ignored. (‘DYLITE-EPS_Guide_AMER_EN.Pdf’. Accessed 29 May 2019.)

EPS was stable in water and soil and could not be decomposed by microorganisms. The cavity structure of EPS also made water infiltration extremely slow. After long-term exposure to ultraviolet light, the surface of EPS would change from white to yellow, and the material presented brittleness to some extent. PS is stable in most solvents, but can be dissolved in gasoline, diesel, kerosene, toluene, acetone and other organic solvents. This indicates that EPS packing requires a good protective layer. (EPS Industry Alliance 2019)

The strong independence of EPS is very beneficial to the stability of high slope. Swedish bridge design codes stipulate that active and static lateral pressure coefficients are 0 and 0.4, respectively, and that passive lateral pressure need not be calculated. Because the lateral pressure generated by vertical compression of EPS is small, the use of EPS in subgrade filling of bridge head can greatly reduce the soil pressure at the abutment back, which is very beneficial to the abutment stability.The friction coefficient f between EPS block and sand was 0.58 (dense) ~0.46 (loose) for dry sand and 0.52 (dense) ~0.25 (loose) for wet sand between EPS blocks is within the range of 0.6~0.7. (EPS Industry Alliance 2019)

Literature and Gap

After investigating EPS, I really understood what the substance was, what chemical properties it had, what physical properties it would have, how much pressure it could withstand, and so on. Through these investigations, I also understand how much advantage EPS can have in the future construction materials, but at the same time, the problem of EPS treatment is gradually exposed. Plastics and plastic products have been there cannot be soil degradation in this big problem, but once you have a good solution, EPS compared to other building material advantage will further expand, it is also in the future I want to point described in the paper, I will focus on describing the EPS theory, actual effect and after use, waste disposal problems.

Key Question(s)

How can EPS material work in the green building?


DescribeEPS material used in building


  1. Through a large number of documents, reference, books to collect information, to summarize, filter out useful information.
  2. Use the selected useful information as a reference, and then write the paper based on it. At the same time, enter into new insights and arguments, and pay attention to avoid similarity.
  3. Every writing should be strictly reviewed, and the connection with the context and logical order should be normal and rigorous, so as to ensure the quality of the paper and achieve the goal.


Step1. Introduction: In the introduction to methodology, an outline is required to summarize the aspects to be covered in this section, such as research design, data collection methods, sample selection, ethical considerations, and research limitations.

Step2. Introduce the research design: I will design an outline of the paper and elaborate on the advantages and disadvantages, applicability and limitations of my method for the paper.

Step3. Introduce research approaches: I will introduce where I find the materials and literature for reference, their advantages and disadvantages, what limitations, which I will extract as my reference.

Step4. Research time and process: The time and process of research is also an important part of Methodology. I need to explain the start and end time of my research, as well as the process and steps of my research.

Step5. Data analysis: After completing the previous steps, it is followed by a detailed analysis of the collected data. If some auxiliary software is used in the process of data analysis, it can also be explained appropriately.

Step9. Research limitations: Limitations are the eternal content of writing papers abroad, which is the concentrated embodiment of critical thinking. This part is the last part of methodology and the essence of methodology. Here I will introduce in detail some problems and challenges encountered in this research.

Project plan

  1. Finding references and reports
  2. Reading and researching
  3. Integration of inductive
  4. Background
  5. Content
  6. Paper
  7. Graph and Diagrams
  8. Reference
  9. Asking the supervisor for help and advise


‘Australian-Construction-Market-Outlook-20182019-Preview.Pdf’. Accessed 28 May 2019.

‘How Buildings Impact the Environment’. BOSS Controls, 24 May 2016.

‘Impact of Building Materials on Human Health’. REMINET (blog). Accessed 28 May 2019.

US EPA, OAR. ‘Indoor Pollutants and Sources’. Collections and Lists. US EPA, 2 June 2015.

‘EPS Sustainability’. Accessed 29 May 2019. /eps-sustainability.

‘EPS-White-Book.Pdf’. Accessed 29 May 2019.

‘DYLITE-EPS_Guide_AMER_EN.Pdf’. Accessed 29 May 2019.

brianflax. ‘Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) and Its Impact on the Environment’. KORE Insulation (blog). Accessed 29 May 2019.

Expanded Polystyrene Craft Paperback – Import, 1974

Introducing Expanded Polystyrene Hardcover – Import, 1973

‘EPS模块海容EPS模块空腔模块_EPS模块生产厂家-东营海容新材料有限公司’. Accessed 26 March 2019.


March to June: finding reference and book to read

June to July: Integration of inductive

July to November: writing the paper

November to December: Checkingand correcting

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