Build It Blog


    Since the 1990s, “green,” or sustainable, architecture has gone from design fad to design mandate. To design buildings with minimal environmental impact, architects need to consider a variety of factors—such as the building’s energy efficiency, its harmony with its surroundings and the ecological integrity of the construction materials. The top priority, of course, is maintaining great design aesthetics so that the result is a beautiful, functional space.

    This last point—maintaining im

    Read More

    These days, people are spending about 90 percent of their time indoors.[1] If that sounds like a lot, it is—and all that indoor time can have serious consequences for the health and well-being of building occupants, particularly since the air inside a building can contain more pollution than the air outside.[2]

    Poor indoor air quality is often a result of the building materials used to construct interior spaces, which can emit harmful chemicals such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs)

    Read More

    Architects and interior designers have many choices to make when designing a space—and the selection of a ceiling solution is among the most challenging. Choosing an option that both fits the space aesthetically and has all the necessary performance characteristics can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be.

    Below we’ve rounded up the top ceilings trends for 2017 that check all these boxes and work across a wide array of applications.


    The bathroom is often considered the spa of the home; beautiful design and modern conveniences create a space for relaxation and rejuvenation. Curious as to what is in demand in the marketplace? We’ve rounded up the top five trends in bathroom and shower design. Check them out below!

    Commercial and institutional buildings have high-traffic areas where many people and objects pass through, making them prone to scraping and bumping, and therefore, damage. If the materials used aren’t durable, the condition of the walls quickly deteriorates resulting in underperforming surfaces, increased maintenance costs and potential safety issues. Read on to learn how wallboard with abuse-resistant properties can extend the life of a structure.

    Loft offices with exposed overhead structures, and no ceilings, are all the rage these days, but they aren’t the best in terms of acoustics. In fact, workers in open spaces face an average of one noise interruption every 11 minutes,
    1 which negatively affects their productivity.

    Watch this video to learn how you can create beautiful designs that both showcase the architecture of a space and use balanced acoustics to ensure a productive workplace.


    The city of Milwaukee is situated along Lake Michigan in Wisconsin. This location makes it enjoyable during warm months—a cool breeze along the lakefront makes for a perfect summer day. However, winter turns this cool breeze into gusts of wind and lake-effect snow, making it unfavorable weather for residents.

    It was this climate that prompted the design team of the new Westin hotel to specify a product that met the building’s high performance standards while ensuring hassle-free instal

    Read More

    The goal of all fire-resistant assembly designs is to mitigate risk, saving lives and property. By having an understanding of the latest wallboard technologies, you can avoid costly re-work and delays, as well as control safety risks within the construction environment. Read on to learn characteristics and uses of fire-resistant wallboard.

    When it comes to specifying a roofing project, roof cover boards typically don’t make it into the plan. Architects and specifiers usually cite immediate project costs as the reason for not including roof cover boards, but research shows that the long-term costs of not including these products can be far greater.

    Balancing a modern look with the warmth of raw building materials has been an ever-growing trend in interior design. Millennial tastes are driving this development; while Millennials look for sleek lines and modern amenities in their homes, they also crave rustic touches

    Read More

    Controlling mold requires careful design, proper construction and thorough maintenance, all of which aim to manage one basic factor: moisture. One method is to include moisture- and mold-resistant wallboard in the building design. Check out the following graphic that explains why wallboard should be a part of your moisture and mold solution.


    Sometimes the ultimate way to transform a space is to make your mark where it’s least expected—by turning an ordinary ceiling or wall into a one-of-a-kind work of art.

    Enter USG Pixels® Metal Ceiling Panels and USG Pixels® Wall Mounted Panels. These unique panels have versatility designed into their very core, from the visuals you create with them, to how you can install them in your space. And versatility is exactly why USG Pixels® was created; the product gives architects and designe

    Read More

    By: Yelena Straight, P.E Senior Researcher 

    For anyone who has felt an earthquake first-hand, they can attest that even the smallest of tremors can be jarring. Although we have no control over seismic activity, we do have control in the adoption and enforcement of up-to-date building codes and proper material installation. 

    In the past, seismic force levels were only considered in certain earthquake-prone locations like California and Alaska. But major revisions

    Read More

    As building systems become more complex and technology drives product innovation, construction systems have evolved to protect building occupants, owners and communities from the devastating effects of fire.

    Although the fire and life safety benefits gained from noncombustible construction systems shouldn’t be overlooked, these methods often present contractors with a myriad of challenges and limitations depending on the application and project requirements.

    Navigating the trans

    Read More

    Your Challenge

    A new school’s building plans called for a barrel vault ceiling. There was a basic architectural design, but not a specified plan for its design and construction. The contractors needed a plan and support. 


    Your Challenge

    You need to select a wallboard panel for a high-traffic area that is prone to scraping, bumping and damage. There are different levels of resistance to these issues, but you’re unsure which is right for your space.

    Our Solution

    It is crucial to understand the difference in performance between abuse- and impact-resistant gypsum panels in order to specify the correct product to minimize damage. When specified and installed in accordance w

    Read More

    An Overview of Sound Transmission Class (STC) and Cover Boards 


    Brush up on your skyscraper knowledge with these flashcard-style pages, featuring essential and fun facts about the tallest buildings in the world!


    By: Paul Shipp

    Paul Shipp is a mechanical engineer with more than 30 years’ experience in building energy conservation, moisture management, fire safety and acoustics. He is a Principal Research Associate in the Building Science and Technology Commercialization Laboratory at USG’s Corporate Innovation Center in Libertyville, Illinois.


    People live, work and play in buildings the majority of their lives. Whether in a home, the workplace, a school, or in other buildings, people are spending less and less time outside. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the average American spends nearly 90% of his or her time indoors in a building; and that exposure to indoor air pollutants may be two to five times higher than the levels usually found in outdoor air. The kinds of indoor air pollutants typically found

    Read More

    This solar power plant could produce enough energy to power more than one million homes by 2018, reducing carbon emissions by an estimated 760,000 tons per year. This, and more, in this week’s round up of building and construction news.

    World's Largest Concentrated Solar Plant Switches On in The Sahara<

    Read More

    By: Erin Dugan

    Have you ever been in a meeting where you can hear every single word from the office next door? Or have you waited to see the doctor and hear the diagnosis for the patient in the next room? There are a lot of factors that could cause this lack of privacy, such as wall construction and sound flanking through outlets and ductwork. However, the ceiling may also be the culprit. This is especially important for offices where information privacy is crucial as well as healthcar

    Read More

    By Linda McGovern
    Senior Vice President Marketing
    USG Corporation

    In last week’s post we talked about increasing demands for jobs and business along with key industry themes we’ve observed. This week, we’d like to share how USG can help you keep on target and highlight some of the new products we’ve launched.

    Look to USG for information, tools and product solutions.

    In 2015, we introduced several new communication tools to help you keep abreast of industry trend

    Read More

    Launching the New Year Right – Part I

    By Linda McGovern, Senior Vice President Marketing
    USG Corporation 


    This soccer field was built on the third floor of a building. Learn about the construction, and more, in this week’s round up of building and construction industry news.

    Tools for Architects
    Solar Panels