Herndon, Va. - November 30, 2009 - Lafarge announces a new standard in high-performance sheathing for exterior wall and ceiling applications, Weather Defense Platinum. With an enhanced glass-mat facer and treated core to resist the effects of weather and moisture, Weather DefenseTM Platinum provides a high degree of warranted weatherability — 12 months of outdoor exposure under normal weather conditions.
Stephen DeMay, Vice President of Sales for the Gypsum Division of Lafarge North America, says “The ability to offer warranted performance against normal weather conditions, and the highest possible scores for mold and mildew resistance, combined with LEED credit contribution, provides a competitive edge for our dealers and applicators to satisfy their most demanding customers."
Weather Defense Platinum cuts, scores, snaps and fastens as easily as traditional drywall. Its distinctive platinum-colored coating makes it less irritating to handle than traditional fiberglass-faced boards. “Providing a high-performance sheathing that is more user-friendly to the touch is a big plus for our applicator clients,” adds Terrance O’Brien, Manager of Product Development and Innovation for Lafarge North America’s Gypsum Division. “Skin irritation is the most common complaint with fiberglass sheathing products, and our enhancements employed in the manufacture of Weather DefenseTM Platinum will surely provide a more enjoyable application experience and enhance productivity for those using the product.”
Weather Defense Platinum will be manufactured at Lafarge North America’s state-of-the-art drywall plants in Silver Grove, Ky., and Palatka, Fla., utilizing 100% synthetic gypsum; and at the Buchanan, N.Y., plant in 2010. This allows the product to contribute to the attainment of LEED® credits for both the Recycled Materials credit (MR 4.1 & 4.2) and the Regional Materials credit (MR 5.1 & 5.2).
According to independent tests, Weather Defense Platinum outperforms traditional drywall products in protecting against mold and mildew, achieving an average panel score of 10 out of a possible 10 using ASTM D 3273, and meets the ASTM C 1177 specification for glass-mat gypsum used as sheathing.
The Lafarge Group is the world leader in building materials, with top-ranking positions in all of its businesses: Cement, Aggregates & Concrete and Gypsum. With 83,000 employees in 78 countries, the Group posted sales of 19.0 billion Euros in 2008. Lafarge North America Inc. (“Lafarge North America” or "Lafarge"), a Lafarge Group company, is the largest diversified supplier of construction materials in the United States and Canada.
In 2009 and for the fifth year in a row, the Lafarge Group was listed in the “Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World”. With the world’s leading building materials research facility, the Lafarge Group places innovation at the heart of its priorities, working for sustainable construction and architectural creativity.
For more information about Lafarge North America, go to www.lafarge-na.com 
Terrance O’Brien, Manager of Innovation Sales and Product Development: (703) 480-3732
Serene Jweied, Director, Communications: (703) 480-6647