More On Eco-Building: Walls That Talk Green

In my last post, I discussed ways to make your home more green by using eco-friendly flooring.  Today, I'd like to focus on ceilings and walls.  Drywall, backerboard, laminate, ceiling panels, and wallpaper can all contribute to detrimental impacts on our planet, but offers many innovative products that aid in the effort to stay green.  I've compiled a list of what I think are their most innovative products:

Synthetic Gypsum Drywall

Recycled-Content DrywallRecycled-Content Drywall

Composed primarily of synthetic gypsum, this recycled-content drywall is not only innovative but extremely eco-conscious.  Synthetic gypsum is a by-product of a pollution-control process employed by coal-fired power plants to control emissions contributing to acid rain.  A "scrubbing" process, or gas flue desulfurization process, uses basic limestone or lime to neutralize acidic flue gases emitted during coal burning.  The mineral constituent fabricated by this process is pure synthetic gypsum, which tends to be significantly purer than mined gypsum.  Such drywall is said to display better building quality and is easier to work with.  It can be used anywhere regular drywall is used.  According to, "Recycled content drywall is easy to shape, install, and decorate, and creates a smooth, flat finish that is durable and simple to repair."  Quotes for pricing (on this and other products) can be requested through their site.

Backerboard by James Hardie

HardiebackerT Cement BackerboardHardiebackerT Cement Backerboard

Looking to ensure USGBC LEED certification?  Well, the HardiebackerT Cement Backerboard is a green solution to floors, ceilings, walls, and countertops, specifically in moist areas.  Backerboard from James Hardie, promises LEED certification in the following areas:  MR 4.1 and 4.2, Recycled Content; MR 5.1 and 5.2, Regional Materials; and ID 2., Indoor Moisture Control.  The raw materials in these products are low in toxicity, using wood pulp, cement, sand, and water (recycled up to 4 times), and require fewer materials for replacement because they last longer than traditional products, which also reduces maintenance and repair costs.  The HardiebackerT Cement Backerboard is the lightest of its kind, easy to cut, ideal for tight and awkward spaces, strong and flexible, and composed of MoldblockT Technology.

Fiber Reinforced Laminate

Panolam Fiber Reinforced LaminatePanolam Fiber Reinforced Laminate

This Greenguard certified laminate is perfect for high-traffic areas such as grocery stores, classrooms, and hospitals.  Made from 1-3% post-industrial recycled content, Panolam Fiber Reinforced Laminate (FRL) is Class A fire rated for flame spread and smoke development.  The material is non-toxic, non-allergenic, and contains low VOCs, and it also fights mold and insulates sound.  Strong against high impacts and highly durable, Panolam FRL is not only green since it is Greenguard certified for indoor air quality but also quite practical.

 Volcanic Stone Ceiling Panels

Eurostone Ceiling PanelsEurostone Ceiling Panels

Inorganic perlite, or volcanic stone, is blended with other materials to make these enchanting Eurostone Ceiling Panels.  Without the use of coatings or biocides that could potentially offgas into indoor air, these ceiling panels promise to defend against mold and bacterial growth.  They won't warp, sag, contribute fuel to a fire, burn or smoke, or be affected by water leaks in regards to stability or performance.  Made entirely of non-hazardous, non-fibrous materials, the product is 100% free of formaldehyde and asbestos.  Eurostone claims to be the only "true sustainable ceiling product available on the market today."  The product also qualifies for LEED credits and offers a recycling take-back program.  It's great for use in schools, health-care facilities, offices, commercial buildings, and high-humidity environments such as bathrooms or indoor swimming pools.

Grasscloth Wallpaper

Zoffany Grasscloth WallpaperZoffany Grasscloth Wallpaper

Made from rapidly renewable materials such as plant fibers and silk, Grasscloth wallpaper by Zoffany provides a "natural and elegant finish for your home."  Easy to apply and maintain, this wallcovering is made from several types of Asian grasses and fibers. recommends using Safe and Simple Wallpaper Removal Solution to remove your former wallpaper.  This solution uses mineral and vegetable ingredients and is non-toxic, biodegradable, and odorless.  Then apply the grasscloth wallpaper which promises to give a natural ambience and texture to any room in your home.

Sources: and and Chicago Metallic and  James Hardie