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Unlocking the Power of EIFS Knowledge

An exterior photo of the Clovis Community Medical Center (Phase 3) Parex

EIFS—Doing It Right®: More Than 25 Years of Excellence

Exterior insulation and finish systems gained wide acceptance within the architectural and building community during the 1990s, and in 1998 the Association of the Wall and Ceiling Industry introduced its EIFS—Doing It Right® education course. In the 26 years since the program emerged as a pioneer, shaping the landscape of knowledge in the EIFS industry, it has become the foundation of EIFS education, focusing on best practices and industry-accepted standards.

But after more than a quarter of a century, AWCI’s leadership knew it was time for a full revamp. How do you bring an industry juggernaut into the modern age? We will spare you the details of how it was done, but we are happy to tell you about the outcome. This article brings you just some of the many highlights of the new EIFS—Doing It Right, Second Edition.

You Asked, We Answered
In 2022, AWCI surveyed members on their education needs, and several respondents asked for changes and updates to the EIFS education program. EIFS—Doing It Right, Second Edition incorporates many of these suggestions, including these four:

Arrange the course material in a sequence that matches typical project requirements. The original EIFS program was 15 modules. The new course is now broken into 17 modules to make it easier for learners to grasp specific concepts, and for someone looking for reference material to find it in the correct module.
Provide more information on EIFS repair. As the industry has matured, older EIFS-clad buildings are seeing the need for repair, from impact damage and improper retrofit of windows and doors. The new EIFS—Doing It Right includes step-by-step repair instructions with sequences of photos, showing exactly what procedures are needed for a clean, well-matched repair to the existing structure.

Raymond has enjoyed the EIFSmart Certification in all four of our operations for many years. The training programs from AWCI are outstanding and provide objective verification of professional training. Raymond has used AWCI’s EIFS training programs to provide the education to professionals and mechanics within Raymond. Being an EIFSmart Contractor demonstrates to our customers, financial partners, owners, and insurance partners that Raymond will provide only the highest quality of work, the first time. The Doing It Right programs have been a large part of Raymond’s risk management programs to provide confidence to our stakeholders and the confidence that our work will be completed to the highest standards on every project.

Travis Winsor, President/CEO
The Raymond Group

Address water-resistive barrier issues with different and new systems. Survey respondents asked about specifics on surface preparation before WRB application, as well as covering some of the new WRB products and systems that are now available. Although the program does not attempt to address all the available new systems, it does include more photographs that illustrate treating both wood and gypsum substrates. Some of the issues with adhesion to various WRB types, and methods for sealing the WRB around window and door openings are also addressed in the new course.

Update current code requirements. The course was reviewed and revised primarily in 2023, when the 2024 versions of the International Building Code and International Residential Code were being finalized. AWCI’s course now references the 2024 version of the IBC. It also clarifies when EIFS special inspections are required by IBC Chapter 17, and how they can be avoided with the proper type of construction.

The essence of the course is ASTM C1397, Standard Practice for Application of Class PB Exterior Insulation and Finish Systems and EIFS with Drainage. This standard serves as the cornerstone, focusing on Class PB EIFS, a polymer-based system recognized for its durability and versatility. The course covers both barrier and drainage systems within the Class PB EIFS category, providing a comprehensive understanding of these vital components. It is not intended to replace physical on-the-job training or wet wall instruction, nor is it designed to teach inspection of existing residential construction or forensic material.

A Better Experience
The new second edition of EIFS―Doing It Right caters to a diverse audience within the EIFS realm, ensuring that individuals from various professional backgrounds can benefit. Whether you are an inspector aiming to meet IBC Chapter 17 special inspection requirements, an architect or engineer seeking to upgrade EIFS knowledge, an EIFS contractor pursuing certification for insurance and warranties, or a project manager aspiring to become your company’s “EIFS expert,” this education is tailored for you.

Flexibility at your fingertips. The self-paced, online course is designed to accommodate your schedule. Accessible in both English and Spanish, the program allows you to learn at your own pace, ensuring a personalized and convenient educational experience. The shorter modules allow for easier scheduling of coursework, which can be done at home or work on your own computer, tablet or mobile device.
New and improved online features. The program’s second edition offers an enhanced user experience via the following methods:

• Users can now view the program in a widescreen (16:9) mode for improved mobile and tablet compatibility.

• An upgraded interface offers a greater learner experience.

• Instructional design trends leverage best learning practices for adults.

The EIFS Credential: From Voluntary to Essential
What are the benefits of the course, and who can apply?

Over the course of its 25-year existence, the EIFS credential has transitioned from being voluntary to essential. It is now a sought-after qualification, appearing in specifications and bid requirements. More than 10,187 individuals have sought this certificate, positioning themselves as leaders in the EIFS industry.
AWCI’s program supports three certificates: EIFS Mechanic, EIFS Industry Professional and EIFS Inspector.

There are 13 modules for mechanics and 17 modules for industry professionals and inspectors. Anyone who wants to get the most out of a career in EIFS should consider participating in the education program.

EIFS Mechanics are plasterers, foremen and superintendents who have skills and experience applying EIFS and want to expand their knowledge. Their certification must be renewed every five years.

EIFS Industry Professionals are involved in the EIFS delivery system. They include EIFS distributor and manufacturer personnel, contractor supervisory personnel, estimators, design professionals, engineers and industry educators. Their certification also must be renewed every five years.

EIFS Inspectors are established, independent third-party inspectors or building officials who are not currently employed by contractors, distributors or manufacturers. Their certification must be renewed every three years.

The inspection module goes beyond installation techniques, covering inspection philosophy, scheduling issues, methodology and report writing for new commercial construction. However, forensic inspections are not included in this component.

“I really like the inspection philosophy component of the program,” said an anonymous industry professional. “It helps learners understand that inspection of EIFS installation is a collaborative process, rather than the adversarial role many inspectors assume. It shows both inspectors and EIFS mechanics how working together they can provide a properly performing system for the owner, that meets code and performance requirements without breaking the budget. We need more instruction like this in the industry.”

EIFSmart Contractor Seal
But there is more to AWCI’s EIFS program. AWCI created the EIFSmart Contractor seal to recognize companies (as opposed to individuals) committed to quality workmanship in EIFS.

What are the benefits of this designation? EIFSmart Contractors are able to bid work requiring the seal, which increases their business and marketing prospects and improves insurance negotiations. They are also more likely to attract and retain quality employees who are interested in learning how to do the job right.

EIFS—Doing It Right is more than just an education program, it is a testament to AWCI’s unwavering dedication to excellence and professionalism throughout the wall and ceiling industry. The focus of this comprehensive program is to educate all stakeholders, from contractors and craft professionals to owners, designers and manufacturers, on the benefits and best practices related to EIFS. Along with on-the-job training, AWCI’s EIFS—Doing It Right program puts construction professionals on right path to success.

Michael F. Stark, CAE
CEO, Association of the Wall and Ceiling Industry

In order to earn the EIFSmart Contractor seal, companies must have the required number of employees certified through this EIFS―Doing It Right program, complete the EIFSmart Contractor application, and agree to abide by a Code of Ethics.

Join the EIFS—Doing It Right Community
Don’t miss the opportunity to join the many EIFS professionals who have invested in their expertise through AWCI’s EIFS—Doing It Right education course. As the EIFS industry surges, equip yourself with the knowledge needed to stay ahead of the curve.

Register for EIFS—Doing It Right and unlock the doors to a world of EIFS mastery. Invest in yourself, invest in your career, and embrace the future of EIFS excellence. The EIFS—Doing It Right education course is not just a program, it’s a legacy of knowledge that has withstood the test of time.

Visit to learn more.

Annemarie Selvitelli is AWCI’s director of education and member services. She provided direction and guidance on the EIFS—Doing It Right upgrade to the second edition. Contact her at

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