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Innovative Sciences

Innovation is in our DNA. From USG Sheetrock® Brand Gypsum Panels in the early 1900s, Fire Resistant (Type X) Gypsum Panels in the 1940s, Lightweight Metal Framing and Shaft Wall Systems in the 1960s, USG Durock® and USG Fiberock® Panels in the 1980-90s to the USG Sheetrock® Brand Ultralight Gypsum Panels of today, we have shown ourselves to be leaders in moving the residential and commercial construction industry forward.

Corporate Innovation Center

Our Corporate Innovation Center (CIC) has helped contribute to the long-term success and competitive advantage of USG over the past century. The CIC campus presents a distinct, state-of-the-art workplace with multiple buildings and laboratories utilized in the research, testing and materials analysis and pilot operations of our high-performance products and systems. At the core of the CIC is a blend of forward-thinking professionals from the fields of material science, chemical, mechanical and civil engineering, physical, inorganic and analytical chemistry and architecture. Our professionals are leaders in their respective fields and help set the standard for industry innovation at USG.

A primary initiative of the USG Corporate Innovation Center is to conduct ongoing, in-depth research to enable our company to continue developing novel solutions for today's building challenges. Our multiple laboratories conduct research for specific products and systems to ensure all are aligned with our corporate vision for continual innovation.


Gypsum Panels Laboratory

The Gypsum Panels Lab combines a unique blend of chemistry and engineering with years of industry experience, focusing specifically on all gypsum panels under the USG Sheetrock® and USG Securock® Brand panels. The research, product and processes development and patented formulations creation that takes place in the lab stand together as an integral element of USG's stature as a recognized leader in the gypsum industry.

Ceilings Laboratory

The Ceilings Laboratory makes use of a variety of the latest technology platforms, including X-Technology, cast, water-felting, fiberglass, wood and metal in its development of USG's cutting edge ceiling panels. The lab is responsible for product and process development of some of our most well known ceiling products and solutions, including USG Donn® Brand Acoustical Suspension Systems.

Performance Surfaces Laboratory

Teams in our Performance Surfaces Lab work to develop formulas for products used in the finishing of panels. The research, innovation and product development connect the understanding of manufacturing capability and regional preferences to direct formula development. Teams work specifically with major USG performance surface products, including USG Sheetrock® Brand All Purpose Joint Compound, USG Sheetrock® Brand Paper-Faced Plastic Corner Bead, USG Sheetrock® Brand Joint Tape, USG Sheetrock® Brand First Coat Primer, USG Sheetrock® Brand Tuff-Hide™ Primer-Surfacer, USG Imperial® Basecoat Plaster and USG Diamond® Veneer Finish.

Performance Substrates Laboratory

The Performance Substrates Lab focuses research and development efforts on the chemistries and technologies relevant to cement and composite panels, including USG products like USG Durock® Cement Board, USG Structural Panels, USG Durock® Tile Membrane, USG Fiberock® Aqua-Tough™ Panels and USG Levelrock® Floor Underlayment.

Analytical Laboratory

The CIC's Analytical Lab plays a critical role in supporting the safety efforts of USG by facilitating the raw material safety assessment process. Our chemists characterize materials, using wet chemistry methods and instrumental tools such as X-ray diffraction, X-ray fluorescence and scanning electron microscopy. Contacts are also maintained with outside organizations to access specialized analytical techniques where needed.


The Corporate Innovation Center (CIC) utilizes core technologies that enable the creation of new products and processes and improve established ones. Our experts utilize unique fire, acoustical, structural and environmental testing capabilities to evaluate products and systems. Additionally we employ chemical analysis and material characterization to ensure product safety and quality.

The CIC incorporates four core technologies.

Process Technology

Development and ultimate scale-up of solutions in both methods and formulations from the work bench to the manufacturing facility.

Engineered Materials

Composite products, like gypsum wallboard, cement board and acoustical ceiling tiles, designed for specific performance properties, such as fire, acoustics, environmental and aesthetics.

Formulated Products

Development of finishing products, such as coatings, joints, compounds and textures, all of which are custom formulated by region to meet a wide range of environmental conditions.

Building Sciences & Construction Technologies

Evaluation of materials behavior for fire performance, sustainability, moisture resistance, heat transfer and noise reduction to ensure the most high-performance final product.

Testing Facilities

While a primary objective of new product development and innovation at USG is to implement the most cutting-edge technologies to increase properties like sustainability, durability and longevity, no technology is worthwhile unless it performs in real-world constructions. Our fire and acoustical test facilities ensure the best products and best applications.

Building Sciences & Construction Systems Laboratory

The primary function of the Building Sciences & Construction Systems Laboratory is to incorporate USG products into practical construction systems while establishing performance and long-term durability of new and existing products. The practical application of Building Sciences is Construction Technology, which focuses on the design and evaluation of new and existing USG products to meet the needs of residential and commercial construction markets. Large-scale fire, structural and acoustical testing procedures are used to establish performance of new and existing products in practical building systems.