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Press release from Business Wire

USG Announces New Lightweight 5/8-Inch Non-Fire Rated Panels Now Available

Monday, June 20, 2011

USG Announces New Lightweight 5/8-Inch Non-Fire Rated Panels Now Available11:41 EDT Monday, June 20, 2011 CHICAGO (Business Wire) -- USG Corporation (NYSE: USG), a leading building products company, announced today the availability of its lightweight SHEETROCK® Brand UltraLight Panels FIRECODE® 30. The lightweight 5/8-inch non-Type X gypsum panels meet current building codes for non-fire rated areas and are up to 30 percent lighter or up to 27 pounds lighter for a four-foot by twelve-foot panel than the competition's standard Type X panel, making them easier to transport, lift, and install. USG once again leads the industry with the introduction of SHEETROCK® UltraLight Panels FIRECODE® 30 following the successful launch of its innovative SHEETROCK® Brand UltraLight Panels 1/2-inch gypsum panels, which are also 30 percent lighter than the competition and are now available at 1,500 retail and specialty dealers in the United States and Canada. UltraLight Panels FIRECODE® 30 are available at more than 200 specialty dealers in the eastern half of the United States. “Our customers asked for a lightweight 5/8” product and we delivered,” said Chris Griffin, executive vice president, Operations, USG Corporation. “These panels are the perfect solution for non-fire rated areas in commercial or multi-family buildings and offer a lightweight alternative optimally designed for use where standard 5/8” Type X panels are not required to meet a one-hour fire rating. The introduction of this breakthrough panel once again demonstrates our leadership in lightweight technology and affirms our commitment to lead the industry with a portfolio of lightweight products.” SHEETROCK® UltraLight Panels FIRECODE® 30 Meet Building Requirements UltraLight Panels FIRECODE® 30 meets International Building Code (IBC) standards for use in non-rated and 30-minute fire-rated partitions. Instead of using Type X wallboard—a key component in many fire-rated partitions—throughout a project even when it is not required on a high percentage of the partitions in the building, architects now have greater flexibility and can specify USG's UltraLight Panels FIRECODE® 30. In certain types of construction, including Type VB Group R, one-hour rated partitions can be reduced to 30 minutes if fire suppression sprinklers are installed, according to IBC standards (certain requirements vary by area). SHEETROCK® UltraLight Panels were invented at USG's Corporate Innovation Center, located in Libertyville, Ill. Using proprietary technologies and processes, USG's scientists created a lightweight panel that is up to 30 percent lighter than the competition's 5/8-inch Type X, making them easier to transport and install. SHEETROCK® UltraLight Panels FIRECODE® 30 feature a significantly higher strength-to-weight ratio compared to standard, heavier 5/8-inch Type X. These panels also feature comparable strength and impact resistance and can be used in any commercial or residential project where Type X panels are not required, ultimately helping contractors increase productivity compared to using a 5/8-inch Type X panel. The lightweight 30-minute fire rated panels meet ASTM C1396 Specification for Gypsum Board for 5/8-inch non-Type X gypsum wallboard and ASTM E84 Class A Surface Burning Characteristics as defined in IBC Section 803.1. The panels are UL Classified for use in a single layer with steel- and wood-framed 30 minute fire-rated partitions. Specifications for SHEETROCK® UltraLight Panels FIRECODE 30® Boost Productivity, Profit SHEETROCK® UltraLight Panels and SHEETROCK® UltraLight Panels FIRECODE® 30 help reduce fatigue for wallboard installers because of their lighter weight, and easier installation—ultimately helping contractors meet schedule demands. Dealers also benefit from the lighter weight with reduced employee fatigue, and the ability to ship more products per truck, resulting in increased operational efficiency. An environmentally friendly product, UltraLight Panels FIRECODE® 30 are made with up to 95 percent recycled content, offer a reduction in transportation energy, and qualify as a low volatile organic compound (VOC) emitting material. USG's lightweight panels are also sustainable and were the industry's and company's first product to undergo Underwriters Laboratories Inc.'s UL Environment™ Validation. The 1/2-inch 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 also qualify as a low VOC emitting material. USG's SHEETROCK® UltraLight Panels Availability The lightweight 5/8-inch panels will be available in standard lengths, including 8-, 10- and 12-foot panels in 48-inch widths and a 12-foot panel with a 54-inch width. For more information on SHEETROCK® UltraLight Panels, and to find a dealer near you visit www.theweighthasbeenlifted.com. 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 branch locations efficiently stock and deliver building materials nationwide. For additional information, visit the USG Web site at www.usg.com. USG CorporationRobert E. Williams, (312) 436-4356Media Director