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Advantages of Gypsum Board Construction
 

Ease of installation

Gypsum board building systems are easy to install for several reasons. Gypsum board panels are relatively large compared to other materials. They come in 48- and 54-inch wide sheets and in lengths of 8, 10, or 12 feet, so they quickly cover large wall and ceiling areas. Gypsum board assemblies require only a few tools for their construction. Gypsum board can be cut with either a utility knife or a variety of saws, and it can be attached with a variety of fasteners, including screws, nails, and staples. It can also be adhesively attached to many substrates. Gypsum board is a lightweight material. Two workers can easily handle most panels and cover large areas in very short time periods. Gypsum board is easily finished using either a few hand tools or relatively modest machines. Gypsum board installers can quickly learn most application techniques in a few hours

Fire resistance

Gypsum board is an excellent fire-resistive building material. In North America, it is the most commonly used interior finish where fire resistance classifications are required. Its noncombustible core contains nearly 21% chemically combined water, as described earlier, which, under high heat, is slowly released as steam. Because steam will not exceed 212 degrees F under normal atmospheric pressure, it very effectively retards the transfer of heat and the spread of fire. Even after complete calcination, when all the water has been released from its core, gypsum board continues to serve as a heat-insulating barrier. Moreover, tests conducted in accordance with ASTM E 84 show that gypsum board has a low flame-spread index and a low smoke-density index. When installed in combination with other materials in laboratory-tested wall and ceiling assemblies, gypsum board serves to effectively protect building elements from fire for prescribed time periods.

Sound isolation

Preventing the transfer of unwanted sound to adjoining areas is a key consideration when designing a building, specifically when taking into account the intended activities of the occupants in the various parts of the building. For example, a building containing office spaces adjacent to manufacturing facilities requires more noise-reducing features than are typically necessary in a building that has only office space in it. Gypsum board wall and ceilings systems effectively help control sound transmission. Some construction techniques and gypsum board building systems that are successfully used for sound isolation and control are described and illustrated in Section VII.

Durability

Gypsum board is used to construct strong, high quality walls and ceilings that offer excellent dimensional stability and durability. Surfaces created using gypsum board are easily decorated and refinished.

Economy

Gypsum board is readily available and easy to apply. It is an inexpensive wall surfacing material that provides a fire resistant interior finish. Gypsum board building systems can generally be installed at significantly lower labor costs than most alternate systems.

Versatility

Gypsum board satisfies a wide range of architectural requirements for design. Ease of application, performance, ease of repair, availability, and its adaptability to all forms of decoration combine to make gypsum board unmatched by any other surfacing product.

 

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