Creating awareness through learning

The Stand 47 process has created general awareness about alternative high quality building materials available to residential new builds in South Africa. However, Saint-Gobain have also invested their knowledge and skills in drywalling to establish a training academy to further enrich the construction industry with high quality building skills. There have three training centers in South Africa in Durban, Cape Town and Johannesburg. Learners obtain a qualification in Metal & Engineering Manufacturing Processes (drywall and ceiling system installation) at NQF level 2 and 3 from the Academy, accredited by the Manufacturing, Engineering and Related Services Sector Education and Training Authority (MERSETA), after a year of training.

The graduates not only learn specialised skills (many of whom have now started their own businesses), but also they contribute towards a future that will have more environmentally and economically sound building practices. Plasterboard in buildings currently only provides around 5% of the materials used in buildings in South Africa, mostly restricted to ceilings, but will increasingly replace traditional methods. This is because this building methodology provides for better insulation, requires less energy to heat in winter and are cooler in summer. The acoustics within homes and offices constructed with drywall are much improved, providing for increased privacy. In addition, interior spaces are easier to adapt and change as residents’ needs change.

Over the past 10 years, 767 students have graduated from the learning academies, contributing to a shift in attitude towards learning in general and an increase practical skills, which are sorely needed in South Africa.

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Healthy interiors – activ’ air cleans the air

What is activ’ air?

Saint-Gobain Gyproc’s Activ’ Air, is a plasterboard that uses an innovative technology to actively improve indoor air quality, by removing VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) from the air and keeping them out, offering a healthier internal environment. 

Activ’ Air’s technology takes VOCs and converts them into safe, inert compounds that once captured in the board cannot be released back into the air. It is a passive system that works without one knowing it’s there. Several tests conducted on the product have proven that even after multiple renovations the board continues to clean the air for 75 years.

Why is it an important product to use in a home?

Most people spend 90 per cent of their time indoors and as a result there is a growing awareness of the importance of indoor air quality and its impact on health and productivity. Many impurities are found in the air and long-term exposure to these pollutants, which are naked to the visible eye, can cause health problems and reduce general well-being.

Indoor environments are affected by many factors, including local climate, building materials, occupants and potential containment sources such as furnishings, moisture and outdoor pollutants. The source of many of these pollutants, include; computers, copiers and printers, cleaning materials, paints, solvents and adhesives, smoke, dust, carpet fibres, pesticides, carbon monoxides from car exhaust fumes and carbon dioxide from combustion of fossil fuels from heating equipment and generators.

The new Activ’ Air plasterboards with air purifying technology offers the ideal way to absorb all impurities and reduce overall health risks. It removes 100 percent of aldehydes and almost completely removes any other pollutants, which occur in the form of VOCs. 

Added benefits

Gyproc Activ’ Air is not only characterised by its purifying effect on indoor air, it also exhibits a range of quality features that make it a versatile drywall construction solution. The application of water based acrylic paint or breathable wallpapers do not affect the working of the product. It has a high fire protection classification, and its hard surface makes it resistant to everyday mechanical stresses such as knocks and scratches.

For more information visit or contact heidi olivier on 012 657 2800