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Project Focus: Exterior Insulation and Finish Systems

Project: The Latitude

As part of its annual awards program, the Association of the Wall and Ceiling Industry recognizes the team efforts of its member contractors, manufacturers and suppliers who work on quality construction projects. For the 2017 program, AWCI’s Excellence in Construction Quality Award was upgraded to focus on the excellent work done by AWCI members in specific categories: ceilings, drywall, EIFS, plaster, small projects, steel framing and stucco.


The award winners were announced March 29 during AWCI’s Convention in Las Vegas, but we are featuring some of the nominations throughout the year on the pages of this magazine. This month we highlight the EIFS work done by Robert A. Aird, Inc. on the Latitude apartment complex in Arlington, Va.

Latitude is a 12-story, mixed-use luxury apartment community in Arlington, Va., that earned LEED® Gold certification. The building has 3,011 square feet of leasable retail space and 2,675 square feet of cultural and educational use space. A 12,000-square-foot public plaza and public walkway connect residents and community members to a nearby park.


Robert A. Aird, Inc., headquartered in Frederick, Md., has been in business since 1976 and has been a member of AWCI since 2001. A building enclosure contractor, Aird was hired in May 2016 to apply the EIF system to the building. What made it a one-of-a-kind job were the large EPS billets with EIFS coatings, which required Aird’s expertise.


The “fins,” or architectural features, are 24 inches deep by 18 inches wide and, in some cases, run eight stories straight up the building. The architect’s plan was to construct all features from heavy steel and cover them with sheathing and 1-inch thick EIFS, but it was too expensive. That’s when Robert Aird told them he could make them from EPS billets and save hundreds of thousands in construction cost. Aird were then able to apply the EIFS finish to match the precast concrete in color and texture. The challenge was keeping everything straight over long distances and, of course, access was very difficult.


The billets were anchored to the building every 48 inches using 3/8-inch all thread rods that were epoxied into the precast. A pocket in the EPS was created to install a 4-inch square plate with a fender washer-and-lock nut. These pockets were then filled with expanding foam and rasped smooth. All billets were pre-meshed in Aird’s shop and shipped to the site. On site, only the faces and right angle connections between billets needed to be meshed. Application of the finish was done after everything was adjusted for straightness.


AWCI Team Members

Robert A. Aird, Inc.

Sto Corporation


Davis Carter Scott, Ltd.

General Contractor

CBG Building Co.

EIFS Contractor Man-Hours

9,300 (74 weekdays)

EIFS Materials Used

  • 13,845 sq. ft. EIFS
  • 2 colors
  • 1 texture
  • 22 foam shapes

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