Ashwin Himat is Director of Marketing – North America for CertainTeed Gypsum
New innovations in technology are redefining building products industry-wide. Manufacturers are improving products today based on solutions to environmental concerns and to address indoor environmental quality. Wallboard is no exception.
Historically, wallboard enabled residential and commercial construction to provide better fire protection and a flat, smooth surface that could be easily painted or wallpapered. Because of the recycled content of wallboard, it has always been considered a sustainable product but its function rather than its features were the primary selling point.
The drivers for innovation of wallboard products predominately came from the commercial build community. Earlier innovations in wallboard provided moisture resistance for areas of buildings with high moisture such as bathrooms and kitchens. With increased concerns and claims regarding mold in buildings, a technology was developed to provide mold and moisture resistance to wallboard. Mold is a potentially serious health issue for people so the ability to include a mold resistant wallboard in a home or building susceptible to mold reduces the potential.
With the rapidly growing awareness of the importance of indoor air quality and its impact on health and productivity, recent technology innovations have led to the introduction of wallboards that clean the air. By removing volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) such as formaldehyde and other aldehydes from the air and converting them into safe, inert compounds, these wallboards can improve indoor air quality for generations.
In response to the growing marketplace demand for acoustic comfort, manufacturers have increased innovations in the area of noise-reducing gypsum board, specifically designed for wall systems requiring high STC ratings where acoustic management is needed.
The commercial build community is aware of these advancements in wallboard and they are including them in specifications especially in the educational and healthcare arena. But these wallboards adapt well to residential construction as well especially when designing custom homes that may include home theaters or music rooms.
Homeowners need to be educated about the options they have when either building a new home or expanding an existing one. Decisions made about the walls and ceilings of a home should be carefully considered because ones overall comfort depends on it.
Wallboard is not a one size fits all product any longer so when it comes to improving comfort and indoor environmental quality remember to consider the best solutions for your walls and ceilings.