USG Corporation, an industry-leading manufacturer of building products and innovative solutions, completed extensive fire performance evaluations with Underwriters Laboratories Inc. (UL) to remove the insulation requirement in both nonload-bearing and load-bearing 1-hour-rated steel-stud walls constructed with Sheetrock Brand EcoSmart Panels Firecode X (UL Type ULIX) or Sheetrock Brand EcoSmart Panels Mold Tough Firecode X (UL Type ULIX). In 2- to 4-hour-rated steel-stud walls, and in wood-stud walls, the use of insulation remains optional as previously identified in the published assemblies.

Sheetrock Brand EcoSmart Panels Firecode X and Mold Tough Firecode X (UL Type ULIX) offer contractors a single ultralightweight 5/8 in. Type X solution for fire-rated wall, column, floor- and roof-ceiling assemblies and horizontal membranes. Until now, contractors have been required to stock multiple Type X panels, one for walls and one for ceilings. Use of these panels eliminate a SKU on the job site and the chance of misapplication, as they may be used where either Type X or enhanced proprietary Type X panels – for instance, USG’s Type C - are required.

Introduced in 2017, Sheetrock Brand EcoSmart Panels Firecode X are 5/8 in. enhanced proprietary Type X gypsum panels are formulated to achieve comparable sound, strength, sag resistance, installation and finishing characteristics as USG’s standard 5/8 in. Type X. But, at a significantly lower environmental impact and less weight.

These panels weigh up to 22% less than standard Type X, and up to 28% less than Type C. The benefit to the installer is significant, up to 28 pounds less weight, helping reduce worker fatigue while promoting safety on the job and greater productivity.

In addition to installation benefits, the reduced weight of these panels has an impact on transport and delivery. Less weight means more panels per load and fewer trucks required, reducing transportation fossil fuel consumption, and dumping fees. It also means less wear-and-tear on delivery and stocking equipment.

“Sheetrock Brand EcoSmart Firecode X provide unique benefits no other gypsum panel can. For the first time, building professionals have access to one 5/8 in. Type X panel that’s both lightweight and specifiable for sustainability without sacrificing performance,” said Kenneth Wagner, Product Manager at USG. “From the architect to the dealer to the installer, these ultralightweight panels provide maximum fire-rated design and construction flexibility, while also simplifying warehousing and jobsite complexity. And in an age of undifferentiated sameness, it’s what makes our Sheetrock Brand EcoSmart Panels truly unrivaled.”

The development of Sheetrock Brand EcoSmart Panels Firecode X is evidence that manufacturers do not need to compromise quality and durability to create sustainable building materials. There are always ways to do things better and smarter, and at USG, we remain committed to pushing the boundaries of what’s possible.

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