Georgia-Pacific Gypsum

- Gypsum Trends




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 moisture damage.
  • 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 Hurricane Zones.

    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 excellence.

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 noise levels."

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. (

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™

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*Formerly GREENGUARD Indoor Air Quality Certified® and GREENGUARD Children & Schools(sm) Certified.

1Based upon survey of McGraw-Hill Construction project specifications from 01/11 - 12/31/12

212-week test, conducted in accordance with the US Environmental Protection Agency’s ASTM D6329 protocol. Conducted by RTI International, 2009.

DENS, DENSDECK, DENSGLASS, DENSSHIELD, DENSARMOR PLUS, TOUGHROCK, the color GOLD, STRENGTH RUNS IN THE FAMILY, and the Georgia-Pacific logo are trademarks owned by or licensed to Georgia-Pacific Gypsum LLC. The GREENGUARD indoor Air Quality Certified mark and the GREENGUARD Children & Schools Mark are registered certification marks used under license through the GREENGUARD Environmental Institute. LEED and USGBC are trademarks owned by the U.S. Green Building Council and are used by permission. Collaborative for High Performance Schools and CHPS are trademarks owned by Collaborative for High Performance Schools Inc. Marriott is a trademark of Marriott International, Inc. RoofNav is a registered mark of FM Approvals LLC. Roxul and The Better Insulation Company are trademarks of Roxul, Inc. AUTODESK REVIT is a trademark of Autodesk, Inc. SketchUp is a trademark of Trimble Navigation Limited Corporation.

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