Sustainability in construction
The modern use of Gypsum as a building material was discovered in 1888 when the American Augustine Sackett invented a machine for producing plasterboards (also known as wallboards and dry-walls) composed of several layers of paper with Gypsum in-between. The first plasterboard plant was built in the USA in 1901. In 1908, the plasterboard technique was improved by the American Stephen Kelly who patented plasterboard with a Gypsum core and one layer of paper on the front and back side. The modern plasterboard was born. Since then plasterboard technologies have developed to include new properties (acoustic and fire resistance) maintaining, however, the basic technique invented by Stephen Kelly. In Europe, the first plasterboard plant was built in Liverpool in 1917 and the second one in London in 1926. In continental Europe, the first factory was completed in Riga in 1938.
Nowadays, the manufacturing of plasterboards is increasing worldwide. In Eastern and Western Europe, there are currently more than 200 factories producing plasterboards.
Gypsum is virtually indispensable for the interiors of homes and offices, and indeed all types of building where people congregate such as schools, shops, airports, etc. Its performance in providing everyday comfort, in fire resistance and in insulation, heralds an ever greater role for it in buildings of the future. In fact, the safety and protection of people and property against fire, and the effective thermal and acoustic insulation of buildings depends, more often than not, on the unique properties of Gypsum. And many of the attractive features of modern interiors would be impossible without the versatility of Gypsum as a building material.