USG Corporation recently introduced a self-leveling underlayment that offers a significant reduction in several environmental impacts. USG’s DUROCK EcoCap Self-Leveling Underlayment utilizes an all new proprietary geopolymer technology developed at USG’s Corporate Innovation Center in Libertyville, Illinois.

DUROCK EcoCap reduces carbon footprint by 50 percent and reduces embodied energy by 45 percent when compared to Portland cement-based or calcium aluminate cement-based underlayment products (data based on in-house LCA studies of 1,000 SF of ¼” thick self-leveling underlayments). The underlayment’s lower surface pH enhances compatibility and durability of floor-covering adhesives used in flooring applications. Overall, the 75 percent recycled content in the cementitious binder, low embodied energy and low carbon footprint make this underlayment a highly environmentally sustainable product. Additionally, EcoCap may assist in obtaining LEED credits 4.1, 4.2, 5.1 and 5.2.

Achieving compressive strengths of 4,500 psi in 28 days, EcoCap features fast drying and quick setting properties, allowing foot traffic within two hours and installation of moisture-insensitive tile within four hours. Other floor covering products can be installed after 16 hours.

“We are very excited to introduce a highly sustainable self-leveling underlayment option to the industry,” says Phil Ciesiulka, director, business development, at USG. “EcoCap is a great environmentally-sustainable option and offers low-shrinkage, superior bond to the substrate, and excellent thermal stability, leading to a better, more crack-resistant underlayment. EcoCap is self-drying and can be covered quickly, allowing the contractor to quickly get on and off the job.”

EcoCap also uses up to 50 percent less water compared to other Portland cement and calcium aluminate-based products currently in the market. These attributes are not only better for the environment, but also contribute toward the 2030 Challenge, a benchmarking system for the architectural and engineering community which compares each building design against the carbon footprint of similar buildings.

“USG will continue to look for other product opportunities where this innovative, new geopolymer technology could be used to satisfy customers’ wants and needs,” says Dubey.

For information about USG’s self-leveling underlayments, or any of USG’s products, please visit