Category Archives: Geofoam

Highrise Pool Construction »

What is the best fill for constructing a pool in a high-rise building?

When a swimming pool contractor is asked to bid on a pool in a high-rise apartment or condominium, typically construction is more than 50% complete and the basic “tub” where the pool is to be located is already complete. The tub or vault, as it is also called is usually formed larger than the required pool and has a flat bottom. Since weight is always a consideration, the best material to use to create the final shape of the pool is EPS Geofoam. It is extremely light weight and is available custom cut to create the bottom slope speeding up construction. Steps and tanning shelves can also be provided precut. Gunite is applied directly to the EPS.

EPS Geofoam weighs one to two pounds a cubic foot, a fraction of the weight of conventional fill materials such as gravel or sand. The lightweight sheets and blocks can be placed by hand and are easy to get from the ground to the pool location. This pool in Orlando Florida is one of many around the country that have been built using EPS Geofoam for light weight void fill supplied by Universal Foam Products. We ship from over 100 location in the US and Canada.

Sales Person

Kevin Baker
E-Mail Kevin Baker
Universal Foam Products, LLC
EPS | Styrofoam | Solutions
410.825.8300 Ext 228 PHONE | 410.825.5050 FAX

Swimming Pool Lightweight Infill Material »

What is the best way to infill a swimming pool no longer needed in a multistory apartment building or a high-rise condominium? It cannot be filled with stone or sand because the additional weight would over stress the structural integrity of the space. EPS geofoam is the answer.

The density of the EPS geofoam to be used will be determined by the new application of the space. With densities ranging from under 1 lb per cubic foot to 3 lbs per cubic foot, there is a correct density for any application.

If the pool has a tapered bottom, tapered pieces of geofoam can be provided to install first to create a level area. Once the space is level rectangular blocks up to 36” thick can be installed to finish filling the space. Any small gaps between pieces on the top layer can be filled with EPS scraps, sand or foaming adhesive.

EPS geofoam pieces up to about 6” thick can be cleanly cut with a reciprocating saw with a metal cutting blade. Pieces from 6” to 10” thick can be cut with a battery operated hot knife with a 10” blade. For pieces over 10” thick, either a Hotwire Bow Cutter or a Geofoam Hotwire Kit should be used. When the last blocks are installed, the woven wire is installed, and the concrete slab poured directly onto the EPS geofoam.

EPS blocks are lightweight and easy to carry and maneuver on an elevator. They are clean and easy to work with making them the ideal material for any interior infill projects such as raising recessed lobbies and fill to limit the weight in large planters.


Sales Person

Jason Isennock
E-Mail Jason Isennock
Universal Foam Products, LLC
EPS | Styrofoam | Solutions
410.825.8300 Ext 250 PHONE | 410.825.5050 FAX

How to use EPS Geofoam to protect buried pipelines and utilities »

Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) Geofoam is an ultra-lightweight yet rigid engineered material with high compressive strengths and predictable yield characteristics. It considerably reduces vertical and horizontal loading when used around utilities or buried pipework. It particularly provides pipeline security in seismic zones and can avoid costly relocation or upgrading of existing utilities.

How does EPS geofoam offer load reduction and seismic protection?

EPS is 100 times lighter than soil with well-defined compressibility characteristics. When placed above a culvert, pipeline or utility supply it can provide a ‘compressive soft zone’. This creates a positive ‘arching’ effect which significantly reduces the vertical loading of the surrounding earth.

When used under concrete structures, it can also absorb upward strain from the expansive forces of a clay-based soil or freezing conditions. Easy to shape around networks of existing pipelines, it reduces both horizontal and vertical loading of the new construction.

What are the applications for using EPS Geofoam to protect pipelines and utilities?

* Protection of buried pipelines – in one major research study EPS was shown to protect a high-strength steel gas transmission pipeline

* Dead load reduction on buried utilities

* Protection of pipes and culverts – often as part of embankment construction

* Protecting pipework in areas at risk of permanent ground deformation e.g. Land sliding, Areas of high to moderate seismicity & Liquefaction

* Sites requiring both vertical and horizontal load reduction

* As a fill material for slot-trench cover systems

* As a lightweight trench backfill material with low density

* Areas requiring additional thermal protection

* Protection for existing internal pipework when floors are being raised or altered

Advantages of using EPS Geofoam in a project that involves buried pipework

* Can allow existing utilities to stay in place – saving significant time and money.

* Can eliminate the need to replace existing utilities as long as vertical loading is reduced.

* Can create any shape required – pre-cut before site delivery with additional onsite changes done with minimal equipment.

* Lightweight EPS blocks are easy to move and store around site; minimal disturbance in sensitive or restricted locations.

* Improves seismic resiliency of the pipeline or utility

* Provides high thermal insulation

* Provides vibration damping properties

* Used as pipe protection for both internal and external construction.

* Used globally for many years with proven success

Talk to the experts on load reduction and pipework protection

Our experts offer advice on specifying Geofoam in all areas of protection for utilities and buried pipework. Our design team assists at all stages of the project from specification and design to delivery and project conclusion. Call Universal Foam Products at 410-498-0000. Shipping from over 100 locations we are local to almost everywhere.

Custom cut geofoam inserts »

Custom cut Geofoam inserts

When the Vancouver Waterfront Grant St Pier required custom-cut foam inserts to reduce the weight of their structure, Rotschy, Inc turned to Universal Foam Products to provide the tapered and chamfered pieces. EPS15 was approved, and Rotschy, Inc and Universal Foam worked closely from the budgetary stage through several revisions to help create a landmark to be enjoyed for many years to come.

EPS15 Geofoam can be used as a non-structural void fill where structural slabs are used due to heavy live loads, and is often used as a structural fill when live loads are typical of residential or light commercial requirements.

Sales Person

Scott Hefflon
E-Mail Scott Hefflon
Universal Foam Products, LLC
EPS | Styrofoam | Solutions
410.825.8300 Ext 246 PHONE | 410.825.5050 FAX

EPS Foam used to protect underground utility lines »

EPS Foam used to protect underground utility lines

Expanded polystyrene (EPS) was used to protect underground utility lines for this project in Baltimore, MD. Over 80 precut pieces of EPS15 Geofoam cut in 6” x 6” pieces and 6” x 18” pieces 96” long were used to build protective enclosures over soon to be buried drain lines to protect them from the pressure exerted by backfill and subsequent loads from the construction above. The contractor found the EPS to be very effective and easy to work with. The material is easily cut with a reciprocating saw or battery operated electric hot knife.

EPS Geofoam is available in different densities to provide a wide range of solutions in the construction industry. Contact Universal Foam Products and see if we can offer a solution for your next project.

Sales Person

Jason Isennock
E-Mail Jason Isennock
Universal Foam Products, LLC
EPS | Styrofoam | Solutions
410.825.8300 Ext 250 PHONE | 410.825.5050 FAX

Raised Floor with EPS Geofoam »

Raised Floor with EPS Geofoam

Over 400 precut pieces making up 27 unique shapes of EPS15 Geofoam were provided by Universal Foam Products, along with our steel Leave-In-Place Riser Form System, to create a 17” high raised floor in this bowling alley in Bakersfield, CA. Because each EPS piece was precut and labeled, a minimum of field cutting was required on site.

The steel riser form system, developed by Universal Foam Products to create the tiered seating in theaters and lecture halls, was used to expedite the construction process. The steel forms can be provided straight or curved to meet the design requirements of the project.

Sales Person

Erich Ferg
E-Mail Erich Ferg
Universal Foam Products, LLC
EPS | Styrofoam | Solutions
410.825.8300 ext 237 PHONE | 410.825.5050 FAX

EPS 12 Geofoam used to create the slope, stairways & raised platform on handicap ramps »

EPS12 Geofoam was used as lightweight void fill for the $7.9 million renovation of Friley Residence Hall at Iowa State University. Since excessive stress on existing structural components is always a concern with renovation projects above the ground floor, EPS Geofoam is typically called for to fill spaces that would otherwise contain heavier fill materials weighing 100 lbs to 150 lbs per cubic foot. For the Friley Hall renovation, the architect specified EPS12 geofoam which is the lightest geofoam product and lightest fill material available. Weighing just .7 lbs per cubic foot, EPS12 geofoam has a compression strength of 2.2 psi at 1% deformation and 5.8 psi at 10% deformation. It was used to create the slope on handicap ramps, the multiple levels for stairways and several raised platforms. All of the EPS was cut in the factory an delivered ready to install. EPS geofoam is extremely lightweight and can be easily installed by any labor force.

Higher densities of geofoam are available up to 2.85 lbs per cubic foot with compression strengths to 18.6 psi at 1% deformation and are used in under-slab applications as well as the construction of bridges and highways. Another geofoam application is form liners for concrete work where the project requires rounded or multi-faceted shapes such as bridge supports, arches and columns.

Contact Universal Foam Products if you think EPS or EPS Geofoam could be used in your next project at 410-498-0000.

Sales Person

Scott Hefflon
E-Mail Scott Hefflon
Universal Foam Products, LLC
EPS | Styrofoam | Solutions
410.825.8300 Ext 246 PHONE | 410.825.5050 FAX

EPS Geofoam was used to create the floor elevation »

EPS39 Geofoam was specified for this major renovation project at the University of Texas, Cockrell School of Engineering. 15,000 cubic feet of EPS Geofoam was used to create the floor elevation change between two areas of the building using a combination of handicap ramps and steps. Most of the Geofoam was delivered pre-cut and tapered for the ramps.

Universal Foam Products Leave-In-Place Riser Form System was used to form up the steps. The advantage of the LIP Riser Form System over conventional forms is that it allows the contractor to set up and pour all tiers on the same day instead of having to pour every other tier one day and the alternating tiers the next, cutting the time required for a pump truck in half.

EPS Geofoam is available in a range of densities suitable for almost any void fill project. Universal Foam Products ships EPS Geofoam from locations throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico.

Sales Person

Erich Ferg
E-Mail Erich Ferg
Universal Foam Products, LLC
EPS | Styrofoam | Solutions
410.825.8300 ext 237 PHONE | 410.825.5050 FAX

EPS12 Geofoam for Ramps & Raised Floor »

EPS12 Geofoam was used to create the ramps and raise flooring elevations in the remodeled Friley Residence Hall dining area at Iowa State University. The EPS12 Geofoam was provided by Universal Foam Products cut to size and tapered where required, and delivered with drawings and installation instructions, allowing for installation to take shape quickly and easily.

EPS Geofoam is available in compression strengths ranging from 2.2 psi to 18.6 psi at 1% deformation making it the perfect lightweight void fill material for most applications.

Sales Person

Scott Hefflon
E-Mail Scott Hefflon
Universal Foam Products, LLC
EPS | Styrofoam | Solutions
410.825.8300 Ext 246 PHONE | 410.825.5050 FAX

Swimming Pool Fill Material »

When it becomes necessary to close in a swimming pool to make better use of space, EPS Geofoam is the perfect fill material to use. EPS Geofoam is lightweight and strong. It can be delivered in large blocks and sheets and can also be pre-cut and tapered based on the requirements of the specific project.

This hotel pool area in Arlington, Virginia could better be used for a different purpose so Universal Foam Products provided EPS19 Geofoam in tapered pieces and flat blocks (some precut) to make installation as easy as possible. EPS is always the fill material of choice when weight is a factor such as pools on upper levels in hotel and condominium projects.

When in-ground pools are infilled, EPS is used because it’s high compression strength greatly reduces the chance of uneven settling that can occur with organic fills.

Sales Person

Jason Isennock
E-Mail Jason Isennock
Universal Foam Products, LLC
EPS | Styrofoam | Solutions
410.825.8300 Ext 250 PHONE | 410.825.5050 FAX