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A Quarterly Publication by Boral Plasterboard Spring Edition 2000

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About This Edition
Welcome to the third edition of
Boral Plasterboards Boral for
Builders Magazine.
Once again we focus on the
real issues facing tradespeople
in the plaster industry.
In particular this issue, we
target back-blocking, effects
of lighting on finished
plasterboard walls & ceilings,
Expansion and Control Joints
and warranty problems
associated with using mix and
match products. And as with
every issue, the Bureau of
Statistics have provided us
with the housing and
residential building approvals
for the June Quarter 2000.
The Editor.
Boral for Builders Magazine
Boral Plasterboard
Marketing Services
Department
676 Lorimer Street
Port Melbourne Vic 3207
Contents
The Back-blocking Story ... 2,3
Getting the Right Angle 4,5
on Lighting
Expansion or Control J oints 6 & 7
Building activity statistics 8, 9
The Mix & Match Trap 10, 11
TecASSIST 12
Some years have passed
now since the South
Australian experience of
peaking, joint cracking and
joint distortion that affected
many homes. In the meet-
ings that followed, isolating
the exact cause proved once
again to be elusive due to
the many variables in the
building process.
On the positive side however, the joint
sponsored investigation conducted at
Monash University that followed and
the inclusion of back-blocking into
Australian standards and plasterboard
manufacturers specification must surely
be recognised as one of the most
significant contributions toward both
maintenance reduction and the overall
presentation of plasterboard seen in the
industry for a long time.
In some quarters, slow recognition
of the benefits has been governed
somewhat by the belief that anything
that impacts on the final selling price
will reduce competitiveness in the
market place or by resistance at times
from trades people claiming they have
never experienced ceiling problems.
Are they serious??
It is of interest to find that decisions
regarding a few dollars for extras that
can add significantly to someones
prestige home receive little
consideration (particularly if they cant
be seen).
My experience has shown regular
comments from frustrated owners who
would have gladly paid any extra costs
for back-blocking if only they had been
given a choice rather than be faced with
the dust and disruption that follows any
rectification program carried out over
their new carpet and furnishings.
As plasterboard manufacturers, we
have witnessed and are happy to
report a noticeable decrease in costly
maintenance issues relating to ceiling
problems as a result of the
back-blocking system.
Many plasterers and builders now
implement back-blocking of ceiling
joints as part of their normal practice
and jobs are priced accordingly.
Unfortunately some confusion still
exists in the industry in relation to:
a) The exact requirements of the
standard.
b) Whether it is a manufacturers
specification or not.
c) Is back-blocking required with
13mm ceilings?
d) Is back-blocking required when
battens are used?
The Back-blocking Story...
Inverted peaking due to the ageing
process.
3
A. Extract from Australian/New Zealand Standard AS/NZS 2589.1:1997
7.7.2.4 Recessed joints in ceilings All recessed joints on a ceiling shall be back-blocked in any area
containing three or more recessed joints.
7.7.3 Back blocking procedure.
7.7.3.1 Ceiling recessed edge joints the procedure shall be as follows:
a) Cut back-blocks at least 200mm wide and long enough to fit loosely
between the framing members.
b) Apply plaster based setting type adhesive/cement to back-blocks over
the full face of the back-block. A notched spreader to give 6mm x 6mm
beads at approximately 20mm centres at right angle to the joint would
be satisfactory.
B. Back-blocking does form part of manufacturers specifications and is
recommended by leading industry authorities.
C. The standard makes no differentiation between board types or thickness;
the reference is for all ceilings to be back-blocked.
D. Battens either metal or timber can be no Substitute for back-blocking
due to the separate functions they are expected to perform. (Battened
ceilings must be back-blocked.)
The requirements for back-blocking make no differentiation between the various
applications or building systems, so it should be noted that any warranties or
guarantees from your plasterboard manufacturer will in all probability revolve
around compliance to these recommendations, should problems such as joint
distortion, peaking joints or cracking occur.
Failure to comply may render your plasterer liable for any associated cost relating
to maintenance and/or rectification caused by suspected jointing defects.
Our views on the merits of back-blocking remain unchanged despite a trend in
the industry to exclude anything that remains unseen or contributes nothing to
the overall short-term appearance. Particularly if there is an added cost similar
to other systems such as sisalation, paint sealers, ventilation etc. Have you ever
wondered why a large ceiling that looked perfectly flat at handover was almost
an embarrassment hen you are called back some time later. At this point we
may have blamed settlement, movement etc. and over time this explanation for
the deterioration has been accepted as a foregone conclusion.
We now know that ceilings that have been back-blocked correctly will perform
satisfactorily for the life of the building and eliminate joint distortion, cracking
peaking joints etc.
Cheap insurance for any slight additional cost.
"Plasterboard peaking has probably been part of the housing industry for a long time
however modern design techniques particularly the switch from relatively small rooms to
open-plan living and the use of lights fitted flush with the ceiling tend to accentuate the
peaking" says Shane McCartin, HIA National Technical Director.
"Although the sheets are flat when they are laid, any growth or creep by the plasterboard or
its supporting structure may result in distress of the plasterboard joints, resulting in reverse
peaking or cracking if the joint is pulled apart or peaking if it is forced together. The distress
at the joint may be small but is highlighted as shadow by the flush-fitted lights."
The HIA together with Victorias Building Control Commission, plasterboard manufacturers
and the timber industry are funding a $30,000 research project aimed at eliminating the
problem of ceiling joint cracks and peaking commonly known as plasterboard peaking.
The results of the research will hopefully enable the industry and the HIA to work together
to determine a solution to this problem.
The Facts are:
Rafter or joist
Back-block
Temporary battens
Boral Plasterboard
sheet
Temporary nailing
Cornice adhesive
Packing strip
Back-blocks in place
Boral Plasterboard ceiling
Ceiling joist or bottom chord
of roof truss
Wall
Back-block, from pieces of
Boral Plasterboard
sheet 200mm wide
minimum, glued with
Boral Plasterboard
Cornice Adhesive
Roof truss
Boral Plasterboard
ceiling
Cross section through back-block.
View of back-blocking in ceiling
from below.
View of back-blocking in ceiling
from above.
4
Much has now been said about the effects
of lighting on finished plaster surfaces.
Despite our best efforts with education,
literature and illustration, there are still many
hurdles to overcome particularly when
attempting to demonstrate to a less than
happy owner (one who has just viewed for
the first time the ceilings of his/her new
home at night) the circumstance behind this
unwanted phenomenon occurring in their
residence.
When considering the type of finish
required from plasterboard, it is
important to understand how the
overall appearance is to be affected
by glancing light.
Getting the Right Angle on Lighting
We are aware that the common requirement is for a
flat blemish- free surface. However, despite every-
ones best intentions that is not always possible to
achieve.
As industry professionals, we are faced with a constant challenge to give a better
understanding to designers and builders so that they may indicate to the end user the
standard that can reasonably be expected from the choice of materials and design
within their nominated budget.
Unfortunately there is still a gap between owners expectations of plasterboard finishes
and what is realistically attainable, particularly when consideration is given to the materials,
substrates and systems that are available.
Plasterboard ceiling under glancing light conditions.
5
At Boral Plasterboard we strongly
recommend:
1. The installation of low cost plastic
shades over any bare bulb in order to
avoid glancing light on plasterboard
ceilings.
2. Avoidance of fluorescent tubes unless
they can be installed at right angles to
any plastered joints or recessed into the
ceiling.
3. Adjustment of any spotlights so as to
avoid glancing light on ceilings or walls.
These actions in all probability will make the difference between an owners acceptance or
rejection of the appearance of the ceilings or walls in their new residence and may avoid the
obvious requests for rework to be carried out when we know it would not provide the total
solution.
When cost is not a governing factor, the performance, quality and appearance of all interior
lining material can improve considerably, as opposed to low budget construction, that in most
cases will play a major role in determining the overall quality and presentation of finish.
However difficulties still arise when explaining the likely consequence to someone with the
belief that cost does not impact on quality.
The same ceiling under different lighting
conditions when viewed from another angle.
Todays contemporary designs pose many
problems for plasterers, particularly when
these designs include large ceiling areas
and window openings. Anyone who has
ever built opposite water canal estates,
swimming pools etc. will testify to the
dramatic change in appearance that can be
caused by light reflections.
There is no doubt that todays competitive market
presents an enormous challenge for both builder and
plasterer in attempting to provide an acceptable finish
for a competitive price. An intelligent approach to
lighting will assist.
6
With todays residences becoming larger and more complex in their design, the role the
control joint plays in reducing maintenance increases dramatically.
Placement of these joints in any particular situation may not always gain instant acceptance
or approval from an owner who has vision of an unbroken ceiling or wall line and a lack of
understanding regarding building movement.
Of particular concern are:
*
stairwell areas in high-set homes
*
where large ceiling areas connect to hallways
*
where ceilings intersect through openings with no heads.
Expansion or Control Joints
From a homeowners perspective, why install anything that
compensates for building movement? As after all he/she never
wanted movement in their building in the first place!
There is a need for more education in this area so owners can
gain a better understanding of the role control joints play.
To avoid confusion and assist with acceptance, identification of
any areas of suspect movement could be clearly marked on any
plans or drawings at the design stage. The specification of control
joints detailed on the plan will ensure they are included and
responsibilities are then taken for exact locations as opposed to
the hit and miss approach currently in place.
Plasterboard installation recommendations for control
joints relate only to movement that may occur in the
plasterboard itself and its supporting frame, they do
not cover any significant stresses imposed by structural
movement in any particular building.
Floor joist
Control J oint Rondo
Component P35 Furring channel Masonry wall
Control J oint Rondo
Component P35
Masonry adhesive daubs
Note: Boral Plasterboards fixing specification for expansion joints. The provision of a proper background
will ensure their correct installation.
7
Photos 1. 2. 3. & 4. - Ceilings constructed with expansion or control joints.
Photos 5. 6. 7. - Cracking or stress fractures due to structural movement.
2 3
6 5 7
4
1
8
Building approvals: Number of houses & other residential
buildings approved by Statistical Division (SD)
J une Quarters 1999 & 2000
Prepared for Boral Plasterboard, 16 October 2000
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics
NSW Dwelling Approvals Dwelling Approvals Variance
June Quarter 1999 June Quarter 2000
Total Total other Total Total Total other Total Total Total other Total
houses residential residential houses residential residential houses residential residential
Regions building building
Sydney 4120 4855 8975 3354 3783 7137 -18.59 -22.08 -20.48
Hunter 889 484 1373 748 389 1137 -15.86 -19.63 -17.19
Illawarra 610 191 801 406 58 464 -33.44 -69.63 -42.07
Richmond-Tweed 329 86 415 186 48 234 -43.47 -44.19 -43.61
Mid-North Coast 461 206 667 442 204 646 -4.12 -0.97 -3.15
Northern 131 45 176 120 29 149 -8.40 -35.56 -15.34
North Western 110 12 122 90 7 97 -18.18 -41.67 -20.49
Central West 192 46 238 204 43 247 6.25 -6.52 3.78
South Eastern 272 58 330 330 50 380 21.32 -13.79 15.15
Murrumbidgee 156 17 173 157 17 174 0.64 0.00 0.58
Murray 175 19 194 142 46 188 -18.86 142.11 -3.09
Far West 3 0 3 2 0 2 -33.33 0.00 -33.33
New South Wales 7448 6019 13467 6181 4674 10855 -17. 01 -22. 35 -19. 40
VIC Dwelling Approvals Dwelling Approvals Variance
June Quarter 1999 June Quarter 2000
Total Total other Total Total Total other Total Total Total other Total
houses residential residential houses residential residential houses residential residential
Regions building building
Melbourne 5505 2376 7881 5454 2649 8103 -0.93 11.49 2.82
Barwon 613 103 716 526 86 612 -14.19 -16.50 -14.53
Western District 89 4 93 81 4 85 -8.99 0.00 -8.60
Central Highlands 233 8 241 210 6 216 -9.87 -25.00 -10.37
Wimmera 41 0 41 45 0 45 9.76 0.00 9.76
Mallee 130 0 130 104 8 112 -20.00 0.00 -13.85
Loddon 296 8 304 309 22 331 4.39 175.00 8.88
Goulburn 341 2 343 326 17 343 -4.40 750.00 0.00
Ovens-Murray 112 6 118 114 45 159 1.79 650.00 34.75
East Gippsland 99 4 103 95 6 101 -4.04 50.00 -1.94
Gippsland 309 12 321 304 17 321 -1.62 41.67 0.00
Victoria 7768 2523 10291 7568 2860 10428 -2. 57 13. 36 1. 33
QLD Dwelling Approvals Dwelling Approvals Variance
June Quarter 1999 June Quarter 2000
Total Total other Total Total Total other Total Total Total other Total
houses residential residential houses residential residential houses residential residential
Regions building building
Brisbane 2397 806 3203 2291 1258 3549 -4.42 56.08 10.80
Moreton 1588 942 2530 1557 1401 2958 -1.95 48.73 16.92
Wide Bay-Burnett 358 35 393 333 38 371 -6.98 8.57 -5.60
Darling Downs 242 23 265 235 27 262 -2.89 17.39 -1.13
South West 10 0 10 16 11 27 60.00 0.00 170.00
Fitzroy 157 18 175 181 29 210 15.29 61.11 20.00
Central West 4 0 4 6 0 6 50.00 0.00 50.00
Mackay 236 48 284 137 163 300 -41.95 239.58 5.63
Northern 283 54 337 272 46 318 -3.89 -14.81 -5.64
Far North 290 81 371 238 39 277 -17.93 -51.85 -25.34
North West 16 0 16 16 8 24 0.00 0.00 50.00
Queensland 5581 2007 7588 5282 3020 8302 -5. 36 50. 47 9. 41
SA Dwelling Approvals Dwelling Approvals Variance
June Quarter 1999 June Quarter 2000
Total Total other Total Total Total other Total Total Total other Total
houses residential residential houses residential residential houses residential residential
Regions building building
Adelaide 1176 260 1436 1097 299 1396 -6.72 15.00 -2.79
Outer Adelaide 298 6 304 357 5 362 19.80 -16.67 19.08
Yorke & Lower North 94 7 101 70 0 70 -25.53 -100.00 -30.69
Murray Lands 86 4 90 69 0 69 -19.77 -100.00 -23.33
South East 73 2 75 48 22 70 -34.25 1000.00 -6.67
Eyre 30 8 38 54 4 58 80.00 -50.00 52.63
Northern 44 8 52 19 0 19 -56.82 -100.00 -63.46
South Australia 1801 295 2096 1714 330 2044 -4. 83 11. 86 -2. 48
WA Dwelling Approvals Dwelling Approvals Variance
June Quarter 1999 June Quarter 2000
Total Total other Total Total Total other Total Total Total other Total
houses residential residential houses residential residential houses residential residential
Regions building building
Perth 3338 869 4207 2506 1000 3506 -24.93 15.07 -16.66
South West 923 131 1054 566 98 664 -38.68 -25.19 -37.00
Lower Great Southern 118 9 127 132 19 151 11.86 111.11 18.90
Upper Great Southern 46 8 54 38 3 41 -17.39 -62.50 -24.07
Midlands 148 8 156 147 18 165 -0.68 125.00 5.77
South Eastern 118 34 152 66 47 113 -44.07 38.24 -25.66
Central 124 13 137 85 23 108 -31.45 76.92 -21.17
Pilbara 48 40 88 24 0 24 -50.00 -100.00 -72.73
Kimberley 45 4 49 122 4 126 171.11 0.00 157.14
Western Australia 4908 1116 6024 3686 1212 4898 -24. 90 8. 60 -18. 69
TAS Dwelling Approvals Dwelling Approvals Variance
June Quarter 1999 June Quarter 2000
Total Total other Total Total Total other Total Total Total other Total
houses residential residential houses residential residential houses residential residential
Regions building building
Greater Hobart 98 16 114 156 76 232 59.18 375.00 103.51
Southern 37 0 37 34 2 36 -8.11 0.00 -2.70
Northern 92 5 97 104 9 113 13.04 80.00 16.49
Mersey-Lyell 55 6 61 71 7 78 29.09 16.67 27.87
Tasmania 282 27 309 365 94 459 29. 43 248. 15 48. 54
NT Dwelling Approvals Dwelling Approvals Variance
June Quarter 1999 June Quarter 2000
Total Total other Total Total Total other Total Total Total other Total
houses residential residential houses residential residential houses residential residential
Regions building building
Darwin 190 163 353 68 158 226 -64.21 -3.07 -35.98
NT- Bal 160 16 176 102 5 107 -36.25 -68.75 -39.20
Northern Territory 350 179 529 170 163 333 -51. 43 -8. 94 -37. 05
ACT Dwelling Approvals Dwelling Approvals Variance
June Quarter 1999 June Quarter 2000
Total Total other Total Total Total other Total Total Total other Total
houses residential residential houses residential residential houses residential residential
Regions building building
Canberra 343 163 506 347 190 537 1.17 16.56 6.13
ACT - Bal 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.00 0.00 0.00
ACT 343 163 506 347 190 537 1. 17 16. 56 6. 13
Commonwealth of Australia, 2000
9
i nnovati ve
Heres an innovative system from Boral Plasterb oard that
p rovid es solutions for p arty walls in attac hed d wellings.
PartiWALL by Boral is essentially a timber frame twin wall
system, that includes 25mm fire-resistant plasterboard
panels within the wall cavity. This wall system has been
designed to provide maximum flexibility for the designer and
builder, both in construction and performance.
PartiWALL is a smart design that permits the inclusion of
service penetrations, such as switches, power points, light
fittings and pipes within the partition. The penetrations will not
breach the fire resistant elements or compromise the fire rating.
The inclusion of Borals 10mm or 13mm SoundSTOP
plasterboard adds another dimension with acoustic ratings of up
to and exceeding the STC 50 specified by the BCA.
Furthermore...
PartiWALL was developed to suit the normal pattern of
construction and following trades. The internal fire-resistant
plasterboard panels are placed in position between lightweight steel channels in
an assembly- like fashion - no plasterboard jointing or finishing is required. This job
sequence is carried out during the normal wall framing stage. The internal faces of the wall frame are then lined and
finished later with the preferred wall and ceiling linings.
Check the many benefits Boral PartiWALL provides:

Super high acoustic performance with up to Rw=56dB (STC 54);

System provides fire rating of FRL60/60/60;

Permits the inclusion of services and penetrations;

Plenty of room to accommodate plumbing pipes, waste pipes, power points, light switches and cables - no special
fire protection of penetrations required;

Assembly type construction permits installation by carpenters at frame stage - no plastering trades required;

Internal faces lined and finished as per normal finishing sequence; and

Cost effective and fast to construct. Outperforms masonry and concrete party walls for speed of construction,
acoustic performance and flexible construction.
Ac oustic Performanc e Table for PartiWALL System
Insulation PartiWALL 1 PartiWALL 2 PartiWALL 3
10mm Standard Plasterboard 10mm SoundSTOP 13mm SoundSTOP
No Insulation Rw=43dB STC=43 Rw=45dB STC=45 Rw=46dB STC=46
Insulation One Side Rw=49dB STC=48 Rw=51dB STC=50 Rw=52dB STC=51
Insulation Both Sides Rw=53dB STC=51 Rw=55dB STC=53 Rw=56dB STC=54
To find out how Boral PartiWALL provides solutions for party walls in attached dwellings:
Fill in the coupon below and fax it to: 03 9645 1707
Or Mail to: Marketing Services Department, Boral Plasterboard
Locked Bag 3, Port Melbourne, Vic 3207 Australia
Name ..........................................................................................................................................
Address ..................................................................................................................................................................................................
.............................................................................................................................................................. Postcode ................................
Telephone........................................................................................ Facsimile ........................................................................................
Email address ........................................................................................................................................................................................
Distributor Address

Home buyer

DIY renovator

Architect/Interior Designer

Draftsperson

Builder

Plastering Contractor
Indicate if you would like follow
up:

Sales Representative to call

Pricing Information

Technical Assistance

Store Locations

Am planning a project
(approx. value
$...................................)
Location .............................
P
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Should you require any more information on this or other


issues targeted in this edition of Boral for Builders,
please call:
Jim Browning (Brisbane) on 07 3215 2237
11
Did you know "The Mix and Match Trap" can void warranties?
In todays competitive environment and with the emphasis on cost before quality, there are always con-
stant pressures to save a dollar when and where you can. Its human nature isnt it and one may well ask
"wheres the problem?"
Well as we have recently found as a result of a major
paint issue in Queensland, the problem arises when
the system fails and manufacturers warranties can
not be supplied due to a mix and match of products.
Now normally these products may only be accessory
items like tapes, adhesives, nails and screws etc.
purchased for the saving of a few dollars or less per
job.
The Mix & Match Trap
As more and more subcontractors become responsible for the supply and
purchase of their own accessories, this risk increases dramatically with
the main areas of concern being overlapping or mixing of manufacturers
products, paints, plasters and adhesives etc. and the stretching of
specifications when referencing recommended usage.
Rectification responsibilities depend on adherence to thespecification
and the following of the total system; substitution of any particular
non-recognised products may not be worth the perceived savings should
problems occur.
Remember - guarantees and warranties are tested to the limit when the question of "who
pays?" arises.
Plasterboard manufacturers design their products for specific purposes and compatibility;
they are scientifically formulated for their nominated uses with strict instructions issued
according to best practice and proper application.
Not recommended
+
12
The Sevice
Based at the Boral Plasterboard Port Melbourne site, the service provides advice and technical assistance
to builders, architects, contractors, distributors, engineers, regulators and home owners throughout
Australia.
To date TecASSIST has handled some 16,000 technical enquiries, helping to build major and minor
projects across Australia and Asia.
And weve had em all! Everywhere, everyone, everything.
From Hobart to Cape York, Darwin to Wollongong, Broome to Newcastle, England to Fiji, Colombia to
Sweden, New Zealand to the United States
Fire Inspectors to Architects, DIYers to Contractors, Builders to Sculptors
Offices to Schools, Bungalows to Brothels, Cinemas to Navy ships, Airports to TV shows.
The team
The TecASSIST Team represents over 100 years of
practical and professional experience and a coverage
of professions ranging from architecture to engineer-
ing, building to design, drafting to IT and trades to
business management.
Danny Docherty and Bernie Shalekoff
When in doubt, ask!
Telephone: 1800 811 222
Facsimile: 03 9645 1812
Email: techdesk@plasterboard.boral.com.au
Sales Offic es
QLD 733 Nudgee Rd Northgate 4013 Telephone (07) 3215 2244 Facsimile (07) 3215 2299
NSW Thackeray St Camellia 2142 Telephone (02) 9638 0571 Facsimile (02) 9638 5557
SA 119 - 121 Bedford St Gillman 5013 Telephone (08) 8240 8888 Facsimile (08) 8341 1004
VIC 676 Lorimer St Port Melbourne 3207 Telephone (03) 9214 2138 Facsimile (03) 9646 1912
WA 12 Hoskins Rd Landsdale 6065 Telephone (08) 9400 2666 Facsimile (08) 9302 1133
ACT 7 Barrier St Fyshwich 2609 Telephone (02) 9280 4243 Facsimile (02) 9280 5816
TAS 93 Albert Rd Moonah 7009 Telephone (03) 6278 9966 Facsimile (03) 6278 9865
NT Crn Coonawarra Rd & Mataram St Winnellie 0820 Telephone (08) 8984 4484 Facsimile (08) 8984 3778
Export Dept 676 Lorimer St Port Melbourne 3207 Telephone (03) 9214 2138 Facsimile (03) 9646 1109