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Press release from Business Wire

USG Corporation Unveils Milestone Achievement in Wallboard History with SHEETROCK Brand UltraLight Panels

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

USG Corporation Unveils Milestone Achievement in Wallboard History with SHEETROCK Brand UltraLight Panels08:00 EDT Wednesday, July 28, 2010 CHICAGO (Business Wire) -- USG Corporation (NYSE: USG), a leading building products company, announced today it has created a new lightweight category of gypsum wallboard with the introduction of its SHEETROCK® Brand UltraLight Panels. The lightweight gypsum panels are up to 30 percent lighter than the competition, making installation easier and faster. “For more than 100 years, USG has led the industry and set the standards for which buildings are designed, constructed and maintained,” said James Metcalf, president and chief operating officer, USG Corporation. “Innovations such as USG's original SHEETROCK Brand wallboard helped build residential homes more efficiently and affordably, and shaftwall systems allowed skyscrapers, including the world's tallest building in Dubai, to be constructed. SHEETROCK UltraLight Panels represent the most significant breakthrough in wallboard technology and redefine the building materials market.” USG Invests in Innovation Despite Declining Market USG turned the worst downturn in the construction market into an opportunity to redefine the building materials market and introduce a new lightweight gypsum panel. SHEETROCK UltraLight Panels improve construction techniques with the high-quality SHEETROCK brand products customers expect. SHEETROCK UltraLight Panels are the most significant breakthrough in wallboard technology, combining proprietary formulations and processes with new patented technologies that were invented at USG's Corporate Innovation Center, located in Libertyville, Ill. Technological advances allowed USG's scientists to produce a panel that is up to 30 percent, or 15 to 24 pounds per panel, lighter than the competition depending on length, and feature a significantly higher strength-to-weight ratio with improved sag resistance. It was critical to USG for the panels to perform to the same high standards its customers expect from the industry leading SHEETROCK brand. “Innovating is nothing new for USG. In the past 10 years, we have registered more than 1,000 patents worldwide. The patents we've achieved for SHEETROCK UltraLight Panels add to this impressive list,” said John Reale, senior vice president, Marketing and Customer Experience, USG Corporation. “Customers asked for a lightweight wallboard. We listened and did just that with SHEETROCK UltraLight Panels without sacrificing strength or performance. We took the weight out of the panels so contractors could feel the difference, but made the panels stronger pound-for-pound.” SHEETROCK UltraLight Panels are also ideal for use on ceilings with up to 24-inch, on-center framing and water-based texture, presenting potential cost-savings when used as a replacement for 5/8-inch type X board used on ceilings or 1/2-inch interior ceiling board. The lightweight panels meet International Building Code, International Residential Code and ASTM C1396 Specification for Gypsum Board, for both 1/2-inch gypsum wallboard and 1/2-inch gypsum ceiling board. USG's SHEETROCK UltraLight Panels Exceed Customer Demands, Boost Productivity In contractor interviews, it became clear that one of the major concerns about wallboard is that it is heavy. According to research conducted by Ducker Worldwide, a third-party market research firm, more than 50 percent of contractors said weight is one of the most important board attributes, while 86 percent of distributors said the number one way to improve wallboard is to make it lighter. SHEETROCK UltraLight Panels help reduce fatigue with its lighter weight, easier and faster installation, and cleaner score and snap—ultimately helping contractors meet project demands. Dealers will also benefit from the light weight with reduced employee fatigue, less wear and tear on equipment and the ability to place more product per truck, while realizing an increased operational efficiency and potential energy savings. “SHEETROCK UltraLight Panels help drywall installers increase productivity and leave them feeling less fatigued at the end of each day,” said Greg Salah, senior vice president, Sales and National Accounts, USG Building Systems. “Contractors can complete more jobs faster compared to using standard wallboard and dealers may see the benefits of sending fewer trucks to service projects.” USG Revolutionizes ‘Green' Building Solutions with SHEETROCK UltraLight Panels Consumers are demanding sustainable building solutions, architects and contractors are specifying it, and USG continues to meet those demands with its SHEETROCK UltraLight Panels. Throughout its history, USG has been following responsible business practices to minimize waste, conserve resources and recycle materials. The company's SHEETROCK brand wallboard product uses recycled paper and creates nearly zero waste during manufacturing. USG's SHEETROCK UltraLight Panels utilize a breakthrough technology and are the company's first wallboard product to undergo Underwriters Laboratories Inc.'s UL Environment™ Validation. The lightweight gypsum 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. “Our customers have come to expect the highest quality from USG and we're offering yet another sustainable building product solution with SHEETROCK UltraLight Panels,” said Fareed Khan, senior vice president, USG Corporation, and president, USG Building Systems. “USG's manufacturing base and extensive distribution centers bring the product close to major population centers, thereby reducing the miles driven to deliver the product and number of trucks required to deliver our products.” USG's SHEETROCK UltraLight Panels are Available Now SHEETROCK UltraLight Panels are available in standard lengths, including 8-, 10-, 12-, 14- and 16-foot panels in 48- and 54-inch widths. The panels will be available in August at more than 300 retail and specialty dealer locations throughout the North- and Southeast regions. USG Corporation is a manufacturer and distributor of high-performance building systems through its United States Gypsum Company, USG Interiors, Inc. and L&W Supply Corporation and other subsidiaries. Headquartered in Chicago, USG's worldwide operations serve the residential and non-residential construction markets, repair and remodel construction markets, and industrial processes. USG's wall, ceiling, flooring and roofing products provide leading-edge building solutions for customers, while L&W Supply center locations efficiently stock and deliver building materials nationwide. For additional information, visit the USG Web site at www.usg.com.