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UL Environment Releases Sustainability Standard for Gypsum Wallboard

Building contractors and suppliers take note that UL Environment has released standard requirements for environmentally preferable gypsum wallboard and panels. The ULE ISR 100 standard evaluates products based on several factors including materials management, energy use, water use, manufacturing and operations, health and environment, product performance, product stewardship and innovative practices.

Points are weighted in areas of highest impact. For gypsum board, some of the higher impact categories include energy use and materials management, said UL. Products can earn Silver, Gold or Platinum certification.

Products tested and certified to meet the new requirements are eligible to carry the UL Environment Sustainable Product Certification Mark on the product and associated marketing, technical, and packaging materials along with the level of certification obtained.

Over the past 15 months, UL Environment has conducted research into these requirements, which recently led to a collaborative effort to refine those requirements using input from a UL Environment Standards Technical Panel (STP) comprised of industry stakeholders.

“Sustainability standards are the foundation for identifying environmentally preferable materials that help develop greener buildings and releasing the initial requirements is an important first step towards developing consensus-based standards,” said Stephen Wenc, president of UL Environment, in a statement.

UL Environment also announced that USG is the first company to earn certification to the requirements for its SHEETROCK Brand UltraLight Panels, achieving Gold Level certification. The UltraLight Panels are made with up to 95 percent recycled content, offer up to a 20 percent reduction in transportation energy, conserve raw materials by up to 15 percent, and qualify as a low volatile organic compound (VOC) emitting material.

In addition, the sheetrock line is said to be 30 percent lighter and stronger pound-for-pound than standard 1/2-inch drywall.

Most of USG’s products including SHEETROCK brand gypsum panels, contain recycled content, emit no or low levels of VOCs, use minimal packaging and perform throughout the life span of the building with minimal routine maintenance, according to the company’s recent corporate sustainability report.

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