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Technical Note #106: EPS Direct to Metal Roof Decks Applications

Thursday, March 07, 2019

Cellofoam® expanded polystyrene (EPS) insulation provides a low-cost, durable, and energy-efficient solution for roofing insulation.  Our insulation can be applied directly atop typical metal roof decks without a thermal barrier per 2015 International Building Code (IBC).  Such “direct-to-deck” metal roof applications are commonly used in commercial buildings and save both material and labor costs.  Cellofoam’s EPS insulations generally have a lower cost per R-value and a more stable R-Value over time than competing Polyisocyanurate and Extruded Polystyrene alternatives.  Containing no ozone-depleting blowing agents, EPS is also environmentally friendly and is available with pre-consumer recycled content for use in LEED-certified and other green building projects.

Cellofoam EPS insulation has been granted recognition by Underwriters Laboratories LLC (UL) for use directly on a metal roof deck without the use of code specified thermal barrier as shown on UL Construction No. 458, TGKX.458, Roof Deck Constructions. This recognition is documented in Cellofoam's UL File No. R7260, category codes TGFU and BRYX-01, and our UL Evaluation Report, ER-7260-01.  As noted in paragraph 6.3 and Table 1 of this Evaluation Report, Cellofoam’s plain EPS and Poly Shield® laminated sheathing are recognized as acceptable roofing insulations by UL for the following cases:
  • As part of a UL Classified Class A, B, or C roof-covering assembly in accordance with Test Standard UL 790, category code TGFU.
  • As part of a UL Classified Roof Deck Construction in accordance with Test Standard UL 1256
The IBC’s Section 2603.4 Thermal barrier requires foam plastic insulation to be separated from the interior of a building by an approved thermal barrier, with two exceptions.  One of these exceptions, Section 2603.4.1.5 Roofing notes that a thermal barrier is not required for foam plastic insulation that is part of a Class B, or C roof-covering assembly that is installed in accordance with the code and the manufacturer’s instructions and has satisfactorily passed NFPA 276 or UL 1256 testing with the insulation in place.1

Cellofoam North America Inc is proud to have helped sponsor industry testing of EPS insulated roofing assemblies for UL 1256 through the EPS Molders Association (now called the EPS Industry Alliance).  Test reports on fire tests of EPS roofing systems applied directly to fluted metal deck, Roof Construction No. 458, were conducted by Underwriters Laboratories LLC, File R18302, Project 96NK14112. 

The above information, attached with a copy of UL Construction No. 458, TGKX.458, Roof Deck Constructions, is featured in a recently written Cellofom Technical Note #106, EPS Direct to Metal Roof Decks, that can be found in our website’s Library section.2

Cellofoam Engineering Team



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