In the United States, building accounts for 20 percent of the 221.7 million tons of trash we toss out daily; that represents over 45 million tons of trash coming from our building sites each day.
The fastest growing sector within the building industry is the push to build more green and sustainable buildings. The federal government and private industry have started to demand it as a legitimate alternative to mainstream construction. Consumers now want it as a viable choice.
Home Depot, for example, offers green purchasing opportunities for their customers. In Canada, they have launched EcoOptions, as it is known, which is part of a marketing effort that promotes environmentally friendly products, including mold-resistant drywall. If the program is successful, they plan to roll it out in all their North American stores.
One such product that meets and exceeds both performance and economy is the oxychloride cement backer board made with magnesium oxide (MgO). They are made with oxychloride cements containing recycled materials. It is an excellent substitute for plywood underlayment under vinyl or under ceramic tile or stone.
Most tile ceramic tile boards for walls, floors and counter tops are made of petroleum, Portland cement, or gypsum based products. Most of these products are considered pollutants and contributors of greenhouse co2 emissions. Manufacturers understand this and they are making great strides in adding recycled products to the mix like fly ash or consumer waste as additives. For the most part, they have had to compromise integrity when adding these recycled materials.
Magnesium is organically found in the earth. It is used in animal feed, plant fertilizer, but is mostly used in the United States to insulate fabrication walls in steel refractories. Hence giving it tremendous thermal and fire ratings but also making it resistant to freeze/thaw cycles.
The MgO boards are completely unaffected by water emersion or prolonged exposure to water. This gives it a considerable advantage against mildew or mold. Many insurance companies find this an attractive feature against remediation and offer lower insurance premiums to builders and home owners.
It is also lighter and easier to cut than traditional cement boards making it an even better choice for installers. The best part, however, is that it is less expensive than mainstream backer boards.
To find out more about Green E-Board please visit www.greeneboard.com. For more information on Fiberock Aqua-Tough backer board, visit www.usg.com.