External Wall Insulation System (EWIS/ETICS/EIFS)

Thermal insulation can lie behind a strong clinker wall, wood paneling, or other cladding, as is often the case with special facades. But, if the insulating layer (insulation board) forms the outer shell and is covered only with a thin layer of plaster, it is referred to as an 'external thermal insulation system' / 'composite insulation system' (ETICS/EWIS in Europe; EIFS in the U.S.). As our sixth group of wall types, we'll present them here, along with concepts for their greening. If none of our proposed concepts are suitable for your situation, you can always plant your climbers in front of the facade (base planting) and/or in flower boxes on windows or balconies. Self climbers, like ivy and Virginia creepers, are to be avoided.


An external insulation system can be 4 - 30 cm thick. The insulation material / panels can be soft to medium-hard mineral wool or polystyrene (styrofoam) among other things; they are glued on and/or dowelled (anchored). If you have reservations about drilling into thermal insulation, fear not-- there are solutions. They minimize intrusion into the wall (and thus thermal bridges), and guarantee a weatherproof sealing. The trellis systems are planned in the same way as for 'normal' walls and lend themselves well to do-it-yourself mounting.

Fixation cylinder

Installed before: max 22cm EWIS

Fixation cylinder

Installed after: max 22cm EWIS

Small cylinder

Installed after: max 14cm EWIS


Installed after: max 22cm EWIS

Mortar cone

Installed after: max 12cm EWIS

Long shaft

Installed after: max 6cm EWIS

Rigid insulation (foam board)

Installed after - max 16cm EWIS 

Direct attachment

Installed after - max 30cm EWIS

Suspended ('curtain') cables

'Bypassing' the insulation