Gypsum industry news
US: USG has released Sheetrock Brand EcoSmart Panels, a lightweight gypsum wallboard panel with sustainable credentials. The panel is based on USG's UltraLight Panels and USG's Corporate Innovation Centre developed new gypsum core chemistries and a manufacturing process to reduce 20% of carbon dioxide emissions and decrease water usage by 25%. It is being released in the US in two core formulations for fire and non-fire-rated applications.
The product was developed in response to the Architecture 2030 Challenge for Products in July 2016. It may also contribute to achieving additional US Green Building Council (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) LEED v4.0 credits and meet the requirements of the Living Building Challenge.
"There has been a significant movement in the architecture community to reduce the carbon footprint of the building sector," said Edward Mazria, chief executive officer and founder of the Architecture 2030 Challenge. "Yet, to fully achieve our goal for the building sector to become carbon-neutral by 2050, manufacturers like USG must quickly rise to the occasion and develop sustainable, low-carbon and zero-carbon building materials."
Australia: Boral's profit after tax has risen by 8% year-on-year to US$204m in its financial year which ended on 30 June 2016 from US$190m in the previous year. Its sales revenue fell, by 2% to US$3.28bn, but revenue from continuing operations rose slightly. Revenue from continuing operations benefitted from stronger residential activity in Australia and the US, which offset the decline in resource-based and other major project activity. The company's earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) also rose due to operational cost improvements, lower fuel costs and some pricing gains.
"We have continued to improve our performance across our businesses in line with our strategy, managing our portfolio more efficiently and maintaining a strong balance sheet," said CEO and managing director Mike Kane. "The continued growth in Boral's earnings demonstrates the great work that has been done to improve our cost base, grow margins, and efficiently supply market demand, which continues to be strong in Australia and Asia, and is growing in the US."
The group's joint-venture with USG, USG Boral, saw its revenue rise by 10% to US$1.06bn from US$965m. This was attributed to growth in Sheetrock product
wallboard sales resulting in higher pricing, and growth in adjacent product (non-board) sales. Strong volume growth in Australia was offset by contraction in key Asian markets and price competition in South Korea. EBIT increased by 27% to US$136m from US$107m.
US: USG has announced nationwide availability of what the company calls, 'The lightest Type X wallboard,' USG Sheetrock Brand UltraLight Panels Firecode X. Depending on geography, the panel is available in one of two Underwriters Laboratories Inc (UL) type designations (type ULIX and type ULX).
The panels are a lightweight type X gypsum panel designed for commercial and residential construction. Both UL type designations of USG Sheetrock Brand UltraLight Panels Firecode X are formulated to achieve the strength and performance characteristics as standard 15.9mm (5/8") USG Sheetrock Brand Firecode Gypsum Panels. "The lighter weight means transportation efficiencies, productivity gains, reduced fatigue during handling and possible safety benefits," said USG's press release.
"USG is the only manufacturer to offer a full portfolio of lightweight products," said Dan Schmidt, director of product management wallboard at USG. "The new UL type ULIX panel was developed using a proprietary formulation. The primary difference between the ULIX and ULX panels is that the ULIX board requires the use of insulation in the cavity on one-hour fire-rated steel-framed assemblies, which is an industry best practice designed to meet thermal and acoustical performance requirements."
UL Type ULIX panels are available in the West North Central, Mountain and Pacific regions.
UL Type ULX panels are available in New England, the Mid-Atlantic, South Atlantic and East Central regions.
US: USG Sheetrock® Brand UltraLight Gypsum Base Imperial is now being manufactured at six USG plants. The panel is the sixth product in USG's lightweight wallboard portfolio and will be available at retail, specialty dealer and pro-dealer distributors nationwide in September 2014. The launch extends USG's position as the industry's leader in lightweight innovation. The gypsum base panel is used when a project calls for a plaster veneer finish, and is up to 30% lighter than the current ½inch USG Imperial® Gypsum Base panel. The traditional panel will be discontinued upon the launch of the new panel.
Canada: USG's Canadian subsidiary, CGC Inc, has introduced CGC Sheetrock® Brand UltraLight Mold Tough® Panel to the Canadian market. It is the lightest 1/2" mould-resistant gypsum panel available in the industry. This innovative gypsum panel is 20% lighter than traditional water and mould-resistant panels, making it easier to lift, carry and install.
CGC Sheetrock® Brand UltraLight Mold Tough Panels have a non-combustible, water and mould-resistant core encased in 100% recycled water and mould-resistant green face and brown back papers. The green face paper is folded around the long edges to reinforce and protect the core and the ends are cut square and even. The long edges of the panels are tapered, allowing joints to be reinforced and concealed.