US Gypsum (USG Corp.), a manufacturer of building products and solutions, has created an environmentally friendly wallboard: Sheetrock Brand EcoSmart Panels. Developed to meet the demand for sustainable building products, the product is built upon USG’s UltraLight technology that contractors prefer, now manufactured with a significantly reduced carbon footprint and lower water usage, according to a press release.

“As demand for sustainable products continues to grow, architects and builders are looking to manufacturers to take the next step in lowering our environmental footprint,” said Jennifer Scanlon, president and CEO of USG Corp. “That’s why it was important to develop a way to use less water and energy in the manufacturing process. This provides our industry with an opportunity to address environmental challenges, and gives architects a product that is specifiable for sustainability.”

According to Architecture 2030, buildings consume nearly half of all the energy produced in the United States and are the most significant source of greenhouse gas. Buildings are also responsible for 45 percent of CO2 emissions.

“There has been a significant movement in the architecture community to reduce the carbon footprint of the building sector,” said Edward Mazria, CEO and founder of the Architecture 2030 Challenge. “Yet, to fully achieve our goal for the building sector to become carbon-neutral by 2050, manufacturers like USG must quickly rise to the occasion and develop sustainable, low-carbon and zero-carbon building materials.”

USG committed to developing a wallboard with a lower carbon footprint when it adopted the Architecture 2030 Challenge for Products in July 2016. To date, USG is the only wallboard manufacturer to have done so. The panels may also contribute to achieving additional USGBC LEED v4.0 credits and meet the requirements of the Living Building Challenge.

Sheetrock Brand EcoSmart Panels provide the same performance characteristics as USG Sheetrock Brand UltraLight Panels, plus its sustainable features. Scientists at USG’s Corporate Innovation Center developed new gypsum core chemistries and a manufacturing process to reduce 20 percent of carbon dioxide emissions and decrease water usage by 25 percent. The panels also reduce transportation fossil fuel consumption because they are lighter weight.

The new wallboard is available nationwide to distributors in 5/8-inch thickness and is offered in two core formulations for fire- and non-fire-rated applications.

Learn more at USG.