We just stumbled over another green home building product that, if its press is to be believed, will soon send drywall the way of the outdoor privy.

Dragon Board is a wall paneling made of a mixture of magnesium oxide and magnesium chloride, water, and a fibrous material used for strength.

Traditional drywall or sheetrock is manufactured from gypsum plaster (a form of calcium sulfate) sandwiched in a paper liner and kiln dried.  The drying process requires a huge amount of energy; it takes between 1.75 and 2.5 million BTUs to dry 1,000 square feet of drywall.  Energy costs make up 25 to 45 percent of the cost of drywall.   Drywall crumbles easily, disintegrates when wet, and almost happily supports the growth of mold.

Dragon Board, in contrast, is manufactured without the use of heat making the process highly energy efficient.  Its benefits, however, do not stop there.

The manufacturer maintains that the boards do not contain any toxins, organic solvents, heavy metal salts, asbestos, or oils and that, during manufacturer any waste or scraps are ground and recycled into the next batch.  Post-use it can be land filled without damage to soil or water.  No claims are made about its biodegradability and I suspect it is one of those products that literally never go away.  It may, however, be very recyclable.


Dragon Board is UL approved and fire rated and has a three-hour fire rating from New York City.  It has also passed missile impact tests for use in hurricane zones.  

But here is the neat part.  Dragon Board is completely waterproof!  It will not disintegrate when completely immersed in water for extended periods and will stand up to repeated freeze/thaw cycles.  It is also a non-nutrient for mold, fungus, and mildew and is insect resistant.  Imagine what a boon this stuff might have been in New Orleans.

And, it is less expensive than drywall.  The manufacturer claims up to 60 percent savings in some applications.

The appearance of Dragon Board is similar to sheetrock.  It is very smooth on one side and has a sand texture on the other so is suitable for finishing either with paint or plaster and it comes with a square edge or ship lapped.  No special finishing products are required and Dragon Board can be worked using ordinary carpentry tools.

Dragon Board is now also available in the form of ceiling tiles and structural flooring.

The product has suffered some painful confusion with an import commonly known as Chinese gypsum which was used in some of the early rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina and by one very large Florida homebuilder trying to cut corners.  This import gave off a strong sulfur odor and caused many other problems for home owners.

Dragon Board, quite frankly, seems too good to be true.  Has anyone out there used it?  Would love to hear a first hand account because if all of this is accurate it is hard to understand why it isn't it being more widely used?  If it is this good, where can we go to buy stock in the company?