Siniat, formerly Lafarge Plasterboard, has launched GTEC Weather Defence: a new external sheathing board that makes it faster, safer and more sustainable to protect a building during the construction phase.

The board’s gypsum core is coated with a tough, water-resistant glass mat facer, giving it superior water-resistance and weather-proofing compared to traditional materials, such as cement particle board, but with the speed of installation and lightweight qualities of plasterboard.  The result is that it can be used to quickly and safely protect a building during the construction phase.

Siniat say that cutting and handling are significantly easier with GTEC Weather Defence as it can be cut to shape without the need for any mechanical or power cutting tools; there is no harmful dust and the material is lighter and easier to handle than conventional sheathing materials – typically 33 per cent lighter per square metre than a standard cement particle board.

Installation should also be faster.  The boards are installed, butt-jointed and sealed in a quick process that allows the interior contractors to get on site faster to progress the build.  For specialist contractors, it means less time required for jobs and lower hire costs for equipment, giving quicker progress and greater efficiencies for main contractors and clients in turn.

And because of its gypsum core, the board’s  technical performance  includes acoustic insulation and fire resistance.  GTEC Weather Defence is also dimensionally stable, which means it provides air-tightness and helps to increase the overall thermal efficiency of the building – an important consideration as architects and developers strive to create ever-more efficient buildings.

GTEC Weather Defence is manufactured in the UK – which assures low transport emissions, and unlocks credits under the LEED emissions assessment scheme.  The gypsum core is fully recyclable and the product and site off-cuts are accepted by Siniat’s GTEC Wasteline Direct service.

Mark Riley, product manager for Siniat, comments: “GTEC Weather Defence has been developed for frame-based construction.  Thermal efficiency is vital and the board’s air-tightness makes it ideal.  It is also a safe, cost effective and fast solution, allowing exterior contractors and cladding specialists on-site quicker to reduce construction time.

“The board and its colour reflect the company’s new, bright and fresh image.  GTEC Weather Defence is highly visible on site representing a new look for construction: not only in colour, but as a sign of efficiency and performance of build.”

GTEC Weather Defence is the first major innovation from Siniat since its 2012 rebrand.  The company believes there is great potential for its efficient, lightweight and innovative products to unlock smarter construction across the industry.

The launch of Siniat follows the leading manufacturer’s acquisition by international building materials company Etex in November 2011.  Etex is a principal supplier of construction products throughout the world and the acquisition further strengthens its position in Europe and Latin America.