MgO boards - are they really a cost-effective alternative to drywall?
Are these new materials genuinely cheaper and better?
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Generally, within the construction industry, the less money and time it takes to complete a structure, the happier the client. The race to build faster and cheaper has driven the adoption of new technology and materials. Since 2010, contractors have increased the use of new and less expensive Magnesium Oxychloride (MgO) boards as an alternative to drywalls. Citing benefits such as low cost, energy efficiency and fire resistance, MgOs gained popularity in construction projects over the years.
However, recent upward trends in claims relating to faulty MgO boards have prompted some important questions: Are these new materials genuinely cheaper and better? How much have the technical standards been factored into risk evaluation for insurance? How will different climatic conditions impact structural integrity of projects using these materials? Do existing policy clauses provide adequate cover for affected parties in an incident?
In this latest engineering spotlight, Swiss Re looks at the impact that MgO boards have on the construction industry, and how insurance can do better to provide adequate covers in mitigating material-related risks.