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Technical Briefing: Opportunity to reduce plasterboard waste

Date: 15/09/16

Opportunity to reduce plasterboard waste


Introduction and Overview

Following concerns about the significant number of large plasterboard offcuts in skips, in June last year Barratt identified a possible opportunity to reduce such waste.

Barratt had previously highlighted the requirement for a 2300mm plasterboard to British Gypsum but had been unable to persuade them to put it into manufacture without incurring significant additional purchase costs.

Working with other major housebuilders however they demonstrated the high level of interest and demand for such a board.

At the same time they also reviewed the number of board types utilised and chose to concentrate on the most common type, the 12.5mm standard wall board of which an average of 80 boards are used per unit.

British Gypsum agreed to trial the product on a number of Barratt schemes in early 2016.  

Current Position

As a result of the successful trial, British Gypsum started to manufacture the board type for Barratt on 1st June 2016 with distribution via SIG and CCF. All their divisions have instructed their plastering contractors to switch across in as many places as possible and compliance will be monitored very closely over the next few months. SIG and CCF are assisting in this process by providing monthly reports.

To date British Gypsum have sent out 170,000sq.m of this board type or around 770 houses worth. Volumes manufactured each month are increasing as Barratt start to gain more traction.

Barratt predict that once they are fully compliant this initiative should reduce their plasterboard waste by around 1,000 tonnes per annum.

Other simple ideas to reduce plasterboard waste:

- Plasterboard waste is measured in tonnes and normally placed in skips or bags provided by British Gypsum and other plasterboard providers. If left exposed to the elements the boards become saturated with water and the tonnage increases. Using a simple tarpaulin to cover the skip assists in stopping this occurring.

- Review how plasterboard is installed around door and window openings as this may be contributing to waste production.

Joining the HBF Waste Group

There are a few vacancies on the HBF Waste Group, which is a sub group of HBF National Technical & Sustainability Committee (NTSC).

The group is made up of NTSC members and other representatives from within the HBF membership. 

The Waste Group meets four times a year at HBF's London office.

Please email if you or a colleague would like to volunteer to sit on this group, or if you have any more questions regarding this.