UBIQ , in its latest white paper ‘New House Rules’, examines the impact of climate on the choice of building materials in new constructions.

Several natural disasters from floods to bushfires have been caused by climate change, resulting in billions of dollars in damage and destruction. The design and building industry is under tremendous pressure from owners to create homes and buildings using materials capable of withstanding Australia’s changing climate without compromising on energy and cost efficiencies or acoustic performance.

Traditional materials used for wall cladding and flooring, such as timber, concrete and plasterboard, provide solutions for some of these problems but none provide solutions to all.

For instance, plasterboard is a popular wall material because it is easy to install, lightweight, and cost effective when compared to traditional fibre cement or concrete panels. However, being extremely absorbent, it weakens substantially when exposed to moisture caused by condensation and leaks, or flooding in the extreme case. Plasterboard is also difficult to dispose of, raising questions whether the initial cost effectiveness of the product is worth the cost of disposal.

Timber wall and floor materials on the other hand, pose less risk to the environment but can be expensive, difficult to source and also increase construction time considerably. In terms of durability, timber strip flooring does not fare overly well in moist environments and can result in cupping or rotting of the floor boards. Timber systems used for external cladding must also incorporate moisture resistant fire-grade plasterboard compliant with bushfire regulations.

Noise is also a major issue especially in urban areas leading to disputes between neighbours. While heavy, cumbersome and expensive concrete panels can be used to deal with this problem, they also take much longer to install and can incur a significant cost increase.

Adverse weather conditions can cause materials such as plasterboard to promote rapid mould development, warp and distort upon drying, or even impact the stability of the house where wall linings contribute to total bracing capacity of the house. Fires can cause materials used in lining ceilings and walls to intensify the spread and create greater damage.

It is therefore crucial to select construction materials to withstand the various elements of nature without compromising on the affordability factor.

The high performance INEX range of construction materials from UBIQ is based on UBIQ’s unique Low Carbon Fibre Reinforced Engineered Cementitious Composite (ECC) technology.

The INEX>BOARDS range of floor, wall and weatherboard products offer an innovative all-in-one solution with their water, mould and termite resistant characteristics in addition to the BAL FZ approval, the highest bushfire attack rating.

INEX boards are 100 per cent recyclable, lightweight and high-strength, making them easy on the environment and simple to install. With a demonstrated acoustic attenuation of Rw +7, higher than that of standard plasterboard, these boards address urban noise problems.

To download the white paper, please click here.