In a text-filled world where everything is abbreviated, no one ever spells anything out. At IBS, it’s no different. Here’s our quick go-to glossary of building acronyms you should know while walking around the show floor:

ccSPF: Closed-cell spray polyurethane foam is a type of spray foam insulation with non-reactive blowing agents to yield a rigid cellular structure.

CFM: Cubic feet per minute describes the volume of flow rate of compressed air and is typically used to test air compressors, air equipment, and tools.

EEM: Energy-efficient mortgages give borrowers the opportunity to finance cost-effective, energy-saving measures as part of a single mortgage and allow borrowers to qualify for a larger loan amount and a better, more energy-efficient home.

EIFS: Exterior insulation and finish system is a non-loadbearing exterior wall cladding system that consists of an insulation board attached to a substrate; an integrally reinforced base coat; and a textured protective finish coat.

ERV: Energy recovery ventilation brings a continuous supply of fresh air into a home while exhausting an equal amount of contaminated air.

FRT: Fire Retardant Treated refers to plywood that has been coated with chemicals to restrict fire movement between walls. FRT plywood is often used in multifamily units as firewalls.

GFCI: Ground-fault circuit interrupters are used to break the circuit when an unintentional flow of electricity moves between a source or electrical current and a grounded surface. These are usually outlets with ‘reset’ and ‘test’ buttons on them.

ICF: Insulated concrete forms are a building system of reinforced concrete made with rigid thermal insulation that stays in place as a permanent exterior and interior substrate for walls, floors, and roofs. The forms are interlocking module units (think Legos) that are dry-stacked with mortar and filled with concrete.

ICS: Interlocking construction systems is a building technology that simplifies the manufacturing, handling, and assembly process of modern houses by using small, standardized building panels that interlock for a prefinished home.

Low-E: Low-E means low emissivity and typically refers to windows that have had a thin film coating applied to increase its insulation.

MERV: MERV ratings provide a standard for comparing air filters’ ability to trap small particles. Typically, the higher the MERV rating, the better the filter is at trapping small particles. However, some believe that a higher MERV rating doesn’t mean an air filter is better when the lifespan of the product and electrostatic degradation are accounted for.

OSB: Oriented strand board is an engineered wood particleboard made from compressed layers of wood strands

OVE: With optimum value engineering, construction designs use less natural resources but provide equal or superior strength and quality (sometimes called advanced framing design).

R-value: Refers to the quality of insulation material where the “R” means resistance to heat flow. The higher the R-value, the better the insulation.

SEER Rating: The SEER rating of an air conditioning unit is the cooling output during a typical cooling season divided by the total electric energy input during the same period. The higher the unit's SEER rating the more energy efficient it is.

SIP: Structural insulated panels are panels consisting of an insulated foam core sandwiched between two structural facings, often OSB (oriented strand board).