A.Gary Pugh, of Alternative Building Concepts, a Santa Rosa, Calif., green building company that specializes in SIPs construction, responds: EPS — a closed-cell, foamed plastic insulation with a 30-year track record — is inert to a wide range of chemicals, will not rot, has no food value, and will not attract insects, parasites, or any animal or plant life.

It's also nonhygroscopic, which means it does not readily absorb moisture, and its compressive strength and thermal properties are minimally affected by the small amounts (typically less than 0.2 percent by weight) of moisture it can absorb, and by temperature cycling.

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