Each day and with every project, the primary stakeholders in the commercial building
industry – developers, owners, architects, engineers, contractors and manufacturers–
tackle numerous creative, pragmatic and economic challenges.
What new building products will help me achieve my goals of energy efficiency and
lower operating costs? Which ones will help increase durability, occupant comfort,
and maintain good indoor air quality? Will the building be resilient if a weather
related disaster occurs? Is the structure truly sustainable?
Whether important decisions are driven by popular trends, clever innovation, marketplace
whims or stricter building codes, a new or renovated building is expected to be
durable and sustainable–from the earliest phases of construction throughout its
seven-decades or more service life.
These days, high performance means that a building must be energy and resource efficient
while meeting or exceeding indoor environmental quality (IEQ). Highly-desired or
mandated building criteria are key determinants in selecting materials to use throughout
the structure, and are factored into near- and long-term building performance calculations.
Manufacturers that can consistently provide a family of materials that not only
offer multiple, tangible benefits but also deliver long-term value are in high demand
in the ever-dynamic commercial building marketplace.
Key Building Materials Attributes and Benefits
The right building materials – be they inside, outside or on top of the structure
– have numerous, cost-effective attributes that yield superior benefits.
Particularly important is overall product performance during or after installation.
That means featuring some or all of the following attributes: strength, durability,
flexibility, resiliency, moisture resistance, fire resistance, energy efficiency,
and low emittance. Low marks in one or more of these areas can hamper the effectiveness
of an otherwise high-quality product, especially as owners evaluate the overall
return on their investment.
Additionally, the best materials integrate seamlessly into various mechanical and
electrical systems and wall and roof assemblies. Doing so yields even greater efficiencies
during the construction process but, more important, throughout the expected
service life of the building. Plus, some products help mitigate risk, because they
are moisture forgiving, and can potentially eliminate the need for costly tear-out
and replacement when a weather catastrophe strikes.
While new and innovative products that can contribute to the reduced operational
costs of a building are always welcomed, nothing is more valued than a strong track
record. Reputable products that are proven by decades of successful installations
offer a level of risk mitigation, security and value that new entries to a category
will take years to earn – if ever.
Strength Runs in the Family™
In the category of gypsum-based building construction materials, industry stakeholders
have trusted these products for decades, as proven by billions of square feet of
installations. Gypsum panels provide the reliability, durability and (in the case
of fiberglass mat gypsum panels) resiliency that are critical in helping meet performance
expectations for a long-lasting building.
Georgia-Pacific Gypsum has been an industry leader for more than 40 years – simply
by helping people build better buildings. The company’s gypsum panels have been
installed in hundreds of thousands of commercial structures, and that battle-tested
experience makes our products the best for ensuring buildings’ long-term viability.
In essence, the foundation for the company’s reputation is how we contribute to
the reputations and success of our customers. Providing them with the products,
applications and guidance best suited for their project needs is what we do – and
the result is the creation of long-term value for their business and ours.
While numerous Georgia-Pacific Gypsum products have earned accolades and reputations
for excellence, we are most proud that this high-quality performance exists throughout
our wide array of products. Both the Dens® Brand family of fiberglass mat panels
and traditional ToughRock® Brand paper faced panels are well respected in the marketplace
as reliable and durable products.
But the word that most accurately describes these panels is strong. At Georgia-Pacific Gypsum, our ongoing legacy of experience, innovation
and expertise makes our products perfect for buildings built to last.
"Strength" means that each of the gypsum panel products we manufacture delivers
benefits that significantly contribute to the optimal performance of a building.
Indeed, Dens Brand and ToughRock products provide the following specific benefits,
especially when integrated into a building system:
- Durability. Being durable is more than toughness. As part of a well-constructed
assembly, it’s also the ability to protect a building from fire, moisture, wind
uplift, impacts, noise and other factors. While all Georgia-Pacific Gypsum products
are durable, in the building envelope DensDeck® Roof Boards and DensGlass® Sheathing
best resist the forces that challenge building envelope performance.
Newsworthy in 2013:
Flexural strength is a key attribute and advantage during and
after installation for roof cover boards. In independent ASTM C473 tests, 1/4" DensDeck
Prime Roof Board has demonstrated 2.5 times greater flexural strength than 1/4"
gypsum fiber board. This attribute -- along with greater RoofNav® approvals (than
competitive gypsum fiberboards and high density ISO boards) for wind uplift performance,
higher pull-through resistance and other advantages – makes it a smart choice when
compared with other roof board options.
Newsworthy in 2013:
The importance of the building envelope (the enclosure that
physically separates a building’s interior and exterior) to energy efficiency has
increased the demand for air barriers and continuous insulation. Indeed, the Air
Barrier Association of America claims that air barriers reduce energy consumption
by as much as 40 percent.
While properly installed air barriers contribute to energy efficiency, improperly
installed or damaged air barriers can direct moisture into the wall cavity and potentially
damage materials within the wall assembly. DensGlass® Sheathing is a preferred substrate
for air barriers because it provides solid and desirable air barrier surface in
addition to withstanding moisture absorption after installation, and potentially
preventing moisture damage that can hinder the service life of commercial buildings.
With more than 25 years of proven performance in the field, billions of square feet
of DensGlass Sheathing have been installed throughout the world. Coupled with DensArmor
Plus® panels on the inside walls, the entire wall assembly is more resistant to
- Forgiveness. Bad things happen to good buildings. But the impact of natural disasters
or water leaks can be mitigated if the right gypsum products have been properly
installed. For instance, moisture damage can come in many forms—ambient humidity,
wind-driven rain, plumbing failures during and after construction. Moisture-resistant
DensGlass Sheathing and DensArmor Plus Interior Panels with fiberglass mats instead
of paper facings, resist delamination and decay due to normal moisture exposure
during and after construction, and are an ideal choice for continuous use buildings
– like schools and hospitals – where air quality is paramount. Additionally, installing
DensArmor Plus® interior panels early, before dry-in, allows for scheduling benefits
that building owners appreciate.
Newsworthy in 2013:
The whims of Mother Nature – like cataclysmic flooding from
Hurricane Sandy – invite the use of flood-resistant building materials when rebuilding
and illustrates the importance of strong and moisture-resistant building materials.
For example, EIFS (Exterior Insulated Finishing System) manufacturers used DensGlass®
Sheathing in many exterior hurricane resistant wall systems, and many of the systems have passed
strict Miami-Dade County and Florida Building Code requirements for High Velocity
The systems were tested independently for performance against criteria for impact
resistance, air and water infiltration resistance and wind load resistance.
- Resilience. Architects are more frequently designing projects for resiliency should
a natural disaster strike. Georgia-Pacific Gypsum Dens® Brand products provide the
strength, mold-resistance and durability needed to help the building bounce back
quickly, whether there's a flood or a slow water leak!
- Compliance. Dens Brand panels and ToughRock® brand products are relevant within
ever-changing building codes, standards and programs. Energy-efficient standards
are increasingly codified, thanks to revamped sustainable building programs such
as LEED® and revisions to the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). Compliance
pays off, as reducing energy consumption offers sizeable economic, environmental,
and societal benefits.
Newsworthy in 2013:
New language has been added to building programs to ensure that
new construction and major remodeling projects ensure structures provide improved
indoor air quality. LEED v4 is expected to favor a life cycle assessment approach
for products installed in LEED certified buildings and assemblies in addition to
rewarding transparency for sustainable manufacturing, socially responsible raw materials
sourcing, and use of products with low VOC (volatile organic compounds) emissions.
Many Georgia-Pacific building products can contribute to LEED projects, and the use of
our gypsum panels supports sustainable construction in other ways. For example,
DensArmor Plus® interior panels were the first gypsum panels to be GREENGUARD and
GREENGUARD GOLD certified for low VOC emissions*. In addition, they were among the
first gypsum panels to be listed by The Collaborative for High Performing Schools®
(CHPS®) as low-emitting materials. Since then ToughRock® interior panels including
ToughRock® Fireguard® and ToughRock® Fireguard C® have also been certified.
- Assembly-friendly. Fiberglass mat gypsum panel technology, pioneered by Georgia-Pacific
in 1986, has inspired fundamental changes in the types of gypsum panels specified
for walls and roofing in commercial building assemblies. Also, Georgia-Pacific Gypsum
has tested its products with many systems, assuring that the long-term performance
of its product-integrated systems is maintained.
Newsworthy in 2013:
Enhanced DensDeck® Prime Roof Board provides broader compatibility
and greater performance with roofing adhesives. In adhered, single ply membrane
testing, it demonstrated an average of 24 percent better bond strength when using
solvent based adhesives over the original DensDeck Prime board. Enhanced DensDeck®
Prime is the first roof cover board with a 90-day limited warranty for exposure
to normal weather conditions in parapet wall applications.
- Peace of mind. Consistently, Georgia-Pacific’s Dens® Brand products are the number
one architecturally specified gypsum panels.1 Many of the Dens Brand products have
a 12-month weather exposure limited warranty Also, the products have been certified
or tested by many third-party groups; for instance, DensArmor Plus® High-Performance
interior panels and DensShield® Tile Backer were the first gypsum panels to pass
a rigorous 12-week test for microbial growth.2
Making Our Customers Stronger
Georgia-Pacific Gypsum's efforts to manufacture our products with important attributes
such as durability, resilience and reliability have not gone unnoticed by our thousands
of customers. Over the years, we are proud to have developed a coveted reputation
for product quality, long-term performance and customer service.
By understanding the unique needs of customers and striving to deliver the best
experience possible, Georgia-Pacific Gypsum helps clients differentiate from the
competition – another critical step in building and maintaining reputations for
Working with long-time customer Marriott International, the company helped develop
a process that accelerated Marriott’s hotel remodeling and construction cycle and
provided effective moisture management. Using Dens products that could be installed
earlier in the process, Marriott’s construction and design teams were able to eliminate
potential mold and moisture problems while allowing quicker hotel openings or re-openings.
For a high school with unacceptable noise levels due to its close proximity to Chicago
O’Hare International Airport, Georgia-Pacific Gypsum teamed up with a partner Roxul,
The Better Insulation Company, to create a roofing assembly that dampened noise
levels. According to the project’s architect, the highly-specialized roofing assembly
featuring DensDeck® roof boards was ideal for the project: "We were getting compliments
even before we were finished. The teachers have noticed a drastic improvement in
A Glimpse into the Future
Georgia-Pacific Gypsum continually strives to hone its products to make them more
valuable. For instance, improvements to ToughRock® Light & Strong gypsum boards
have made them lighter and stronger than traditional ToughRock, making the boards
easier to handle and install.
But besides state-of-the-industry products, the company provides customer service
– and self-service – enhancements, too. The Georgia-Pacific Gypsum Assemblies Library
is a searchable database that provides detailed information, illustrations and performance
characteristics for wall systems and assemblies using its gypsum wallboards, sheathing,
shaftliner and backer boards. It is part of a free online Design Studio that gives
architects, contractors, building owners and facility managers the resources, including 2D and 3D files, to
make smart, fast decisions throughout design and construction. (www.gpdesignstudio.com)
These product and service enhancements, coupled with the company’s ongoing commitment
to building science and educational advancements, further bolster Georgia-Pacific
Gypsum’s position as a trusted and admired building industry leader.
These well-earned reputations weren’t built overnight. Through dedication, commitment,
hard work, stellar products, leadership and an eye toward the future, Georgia-Pacific
Gypsum and its customers will continue to prove that successful buildings are much
easier to achieve. Strength Runs in the Family
For more information please visit www.buildgp.com/gypsum-strength